Chart Week here at Play For The Garden will be displaying one chart per Big East team; two a day in alphabetical order spanning the week.
Last year was the first year of Buzz Williams’ tenure at Marquette that he didn’t have a junior college transfer on the squad wreaking havoc. And while that’s noteworthy given the production he has gotten from these players over the years, Marquette did advance the furthest in the NCAA Tournament (Elite Eight) since he’s been the head coach of the Golden Eagles.
But that changes back this year with the addition of Jameel McKay, who should add to the list of productive JUCO transfers playing for Buzz.
The production Williams got from the four JUCO transfers (Jimmy Butler, Darius Johnson-Odom, Jae Crowder and Dwight Buycks) between the 2008-09 and 2011-12 seasons is impressive. During the four season span, Butler was on the team for the first three seasons, Buycks was there the middle two, Johnson-Odom the last three, and Crowder was in uniform for the last two seasons. But in total over the four seasons these four players accounted for 42% of the team’s points and 34% of all rebounds.
Buzz has done an extraordinary job of acquiring these talented players and turning them into superstars. Crowder became Big East Player of the Year his senior year and Jimmy Butler is currently flourishing in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls.
Now Williams’ newest JUCO addition, McKay, a 6-foot-8, 210 pound forward with two years of eligibility remaining, is ready to follow in the footsteps of the four guys above. McKay played at Indian Hills Community College last year where he averaged 14.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game and earned first team junior college All-American honors. He is a big and talented player who gives the Golden Eagles another weapon in the front court to go along with Davante Gardner, Chris Otule, and Jamil Wilson. This could be the best front court in the Big East.
So it looks like Buzz has done it again by going back to the well of talented JUCO transfers. It has worked phenomenally in the past and is setup to work again. Another deep run in the NCAA Tournament could yet again be in store for Marquette this season.