Marquette fans are rightfully looking forward to the Trent Lockett era in Milwaukee. The former Arizona State Sun Devil is moving eastward to be near his ailing mother, who lives in Minnesota, and should bring an experienced scoring threat to a team learning to live without Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder.
The Golden Eagles are pretty loaded in the backcourt for 2012-13, with a rotation that looks something like this: Lockett, Junior Cadougan, Vander Blue, Todd Mayo and Derrick Williams. The big man rotation may be a bit thin — literally and figuratively — without the broad-shouldered Crowder patrolling the paint. Regardless, according to a roundtable hosted by the Marquette blog Paint Touches, some who write about the team are really looking forward to 6’4″ Paris Junior College transfer T.J. Taylor joining the guard platoon.
Andrei Greska, Paint Touches: I was going to say Steve Taylor, but I’ll play devil’s advocate for this one. I’ll go with the other Taylor, T.J. Steve will turn out to be the best player from this class, but a true freshman will have a much tougher time adjusting to the rigors and physicality of low post, Big East basketball. T.J. has more experience and has the ability to step in right away if his shot is dropping. He will get a shot to fill in for Cadougan in limited slots, giving him ample opportunity for playing time.
Greska’s assertion that he was playing devil’s advocate makes sense in light of the overwhelming excitement directed toward another Taylor – 6’7″ true freshman Steve.
Mark Strotman, Paint Touches: All aboard the Steve Taylor train. I have been as vocal as anyone about how good I believe Taylor can be ever since a conversation with Tony Benford back in February. Jae Crowder walked by on his way to the locker room, and Benford turned, saw Crowder and said, “He’s a lot like that guy.” Taylor already has the experience on playing what was essentially a national stage at Simeon, and his skill set is similar to Crowder, plus two inches. His importance to the second unit as the top rebounder and inside-out threat will be important to a team looking for scorers. He’s the real deal.
To say “he’s like that guy” while actually looking at a bulldog like Crowder is tough stuff. If Steve Taylor can back up that comparison, the Golden Eagles will again be fun to watch. If both Taylors live up to the hype, even better.