Marquette’s Class of 2015

If you’re a Marquette Basketball fan, the last few years may not have been some of your favorites. For a school with a tradition of tournament runs and generating NBA talent, going 13-19 and being last in the Big East was certainly something new. When Buzz Williams left for the ACC and former Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski moved in, the feelings around Marquette basketball changed. Now, there’s a new sense of possibility, a sense that perhaps they could emerge as Big East and tournament contenders again.

The obvious first step in rebuilding your basketball program is to bring in elite talent. Though Marquette hasn’t found recent success, they have most certainly taken some of the necessary first steps to rebuilding the program under Coach Wojo. In his first calendar year as the head coach, Wojciechowski was able to land touted Indiana transfer Luke Fischer, a highly skilled big man who proved he will be a relevant player during his brief time on the court. The Golden Eagles also bring back Milwaukee native Duane Wilson, another piece that proved last year that he’ll be able to help shoulder the scoring load, as well as facilitate the offense after the graduation of the Golden Eagles premier guard from last season, Matt Carlino.

The Golden Eagles definitely have some major components returning that will push them towards contention in the Big East in 2015-2016, but it’s the incoming freshmen that are likely going to be the future catalyst. The five incoming freshmen, all given four-star rankings or better by, are all likely to see the court in their freshman years.

Sacar Anim**** (Minneapolis, MN)

At 6’5”, Anim comes to Marquette with a college basketball ready body and the ability to take advantage of that frame at the guard position. He can score the ball using his slashing ability, but can also knock down jumpshots and play stout defense against his adversary. Using his length, he can bother his opponent’s rhythm, a skill that is very useful at the college level. Although his first step is very quick and he is very agile, don’t expect him to blow by his defenders. His scoring will come via jumpshooting and skill moves to get by his man. Despite that, his 6’8” wingspan on the perimeter will be of great value.

Traci Carter****(Burlington, NJ)

A quick crossover, a smooth jumpshot, and great court-vision are thee three attributes you want from a scoring point guard. Carter, though only 6’ tall, brings all three of those attributes with him to Marquette. Since he only weighs about 160 pounds, it’s likely Carter’s minutes will be a little more limited until he can bulk up a little bit. Still, small guards with spurtability and quick scoring are not only incredibly popular, but incredibly useful. NBA players like Aaron Brooks and D.J. Augustin make their living doing exactly that. Is that to say Carter will be on the level of two respected NBA guards? Probably not – but he will provide Marquette some offensive intangibles off the bench, likely backing up Duane Wilson.

Matt Heldt**** (Neenah, WI)

You can’t coach size, and Matt Heldt has quite a bit of it. At 6’10”, Heldt is immediately a contender for playing time. His post hook shot, usually his go-to move, is smooth, in rhythm, and technically sound. His great touch around the basket makes him a threat from either side of the block. Heldt has also shown the ability to step away from the basket, face up, and shoot. The pace and space game is redefining college basketball, and Heldt will almost certainly be of high value to the Golden Eagles’ future if he can continue to develop his jumpshot. It’s not certain whether or not Heldt will rack up major minutes this season, however. He needs to put on weight to be able to bang down low with bigger guys, and he needs to work on his rebounding. In high school, it’s easy to rely on height to rebound, but in college, footwork and positioning are much more important. If he’s able to add weight and become a better rebounder, he will see the court a lot.

Haanif Cheatham**** (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

A left-handed guard with phenomenal handles, a smooth jumpshot, and exceptional finishing around the rim sounds a lot like the NBA’s MVP runner-up James Harden, but it’s actually Haanif Cheatham of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Cheatham, though slightly underweight currently for his 6’5” frame at just 180 pounds, is a crafty, quick guard who can push the offensive tempo. As a member of the ESPN 100, Cheatham drew interest from schools in nearly every power conference, but elected to join Marquette. Cheatham is a deadly scorer, a guy who you can turn to on offense to draw attention and either score the rock or set up his teammates. Cheatham is a future premier scorer in the Big East, and he’s likely to show flashes of his abilities in his freshman season.

Henry Ellenson***** (Rice Lake, WI)

Being 6’10” and playing in Rice Lake, WI didn’t give Ellenson the opportunity to play his natural position of forward. On a team where he was usually the tallest player by six inches, Ellenson roamed the paint and posted up a lot more than he might in his future. When his skills are analyzed, Ellenson looks like a 6’10” guard. He has a pure and smooth jumpshot, he can handle the ball from end to end, and he can create his own scoring opportunities with step-backs, crossovers, and post moves. Ellenson is the prototype power forward; he is stout on D, utilizes skill as well as strength, and has the ability to stretch the floor. Ellenson will be Marquette’s first McDonald’s All American since 1982, and Golden Eagles fans are hoping that Ellenson can carry them back to the Final Four for the first time since Dwyane Wade.


The Marquette class of 2015 is a diverse one. There are guards, wings, and big men. The variety of players is going to be beneficial for the Golden Eagles, as they will have a chance to grow and develop their games not only as individuals, but as a team. When you combine what the Golden Eagles bring back and head coach Steve Wojciechowski along with the 13th best recruiting class in the nation according to 247 Sports, the future is bright for college basketball in Milwaukee.


Bucky’s Fifth Quarter

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