"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Monday, June 28, 2021

Reigning B10 DPOY Darryl Morsell transfers to Marquette

Darryl Morsell, a senior guard from Baltimore who completed four seasons as starter at Maryland, today announced his decision to transfer to Marquette University. Morsell, the 2021 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, selected MU over Louisville, Providence, Arkansas and DePaul.

In College Park, Morsell distinguished himself as a consistent, reliable contributor with a ferocious defensive reputation. Last season the 6'5" Morsell averaged a career-high 9 ppg and was particularly effective inside the arc, along with an admirable assist rate for a player with a defense-first reputation.

But let’s face it, Morsell is coming to Milwaukee as the defensive totem for the Smart era. Marquette, a program that refused to defend at a high level for the past seven seasons, now values elite defense.

As Alan Bykowski noted in March, "(Shaka) Smart ... managed to maintain a top-40 Adjusted Defensive Efficiency every year with the Longhorns." Adding Morsell to a very young roster will be critical in developing the defensive toughness that ought to define this program going forward.

Marquette fans might remember Morsell from the 2019-2020 season where he helped shut down a white-hot Markus Howard in an 84-63 Maryland victory.

Darryl Morsell has been a quiet key for Maryland this season. He's not the scorer than Cowan or Wiggins is, but he is Maryland's Swiss Army knife. He spent more than his share of time guarding Howard, who had totaled 91 points in his previous two games, teaming with Wiggins and Cowan to shut down the All-American. Late in the game, with Marquette switching to a zone defense that had Maryland slumping, he found a spot near the baseline and played quarterback to perfection. In the span of less than two minutes, he hit a short jumper, bounced a dime to Makhi Mitchell for a layup, made a free throw and fed Wiggins for a 3-pointer.

In between, he made play after play, including a couple of 3-pointers and his typical scrapping defense and rebounding. In the semis and finals of the tournament, he totaled 30 points and 22 rebounds.

Morsell fills an immediate need for Shaka Smart’s 2021-2022 squad: an accomplished, mature guard and backcourt defender. The good guys only return Greg Elliott from last season’s backcourt (!!!!) and welcome a cadre of freshmen and transfers who will be in a hyper-competitive battle to contribute straight away. Morsell, long on experience and productivity, figures to be a day one starter who keys Marquette’s defensive pressure.

Morsell is following assistant coach DeAndre Haynes from College Park to Milwaukee, and has been linked to the program since Haynes joined the staff a few months ago

Shaka Smart has one more open scholarship for the upcoming season. With Dawson Garcia in the transfer portal – and likely to move on, it says here – Smart could still fill that slot with a capable scorer, though the market is tightening up for immediate impact scorers.

No comments: