Coming into the season, there was not much expected of Jamal Ferguson. He was the least touted newcomer to the Golden Eagles, and was in a position that had a couple capable veterans ahead of him entrenched in Marquette’s starting line-up.
Before Todd Mayo was suspended for the non-conference portion of the season, Ferguson had little room to break into Buzz Williams’ rotation. He was described as a long guard who excelled defensively. Marquette already had two shooting guards in Vander Blue and Trent Lockett who could excel defensively.
So how’d it go?
Stats: 4.6 minutes, 1.1 points, 0.6 rebounds, 6 of 9 FG, 14 games played.
When Mayo was suspended, there was a bit of hope for Ferguson to get some more minutes than expected. Unfortunately for him, that was not the case. Jake Thomas got any of Mayo’s minutes that weren’t already assigned to somebody else, and Ferguson was resigned to a role deep on Marquette’s bench.
Early in the season, Ferguson got double-digit minutes twice. In those games, against Mississippi State and UMBC, he didn’t look out of place, but didn’t do enough to stake a place in the team’s regular rotation.
Early in the season, Ferguson was given a chance to show what he could do on the court. Against Mississippi State in Maui he played 14 minutes and upon returning to Milwaukee got 16 against UMBC.
His best performance of the season was the latter game against UMBC when he scored four points, grabbed three rebounds, and dished out three rebounds. He made his only field goal attempt and went 2 of 2 from the free throw line.
While he was never going to play a big part in Marquette’s season, it was encouraging to see Ferguson playing with a bit of confidence.
Ferguson made just six appearances in 2013, and he played more than two minutes just once – in Marquette’s blowout victory at South Florida.
It’s difficult to call this part of the season a “low” for Ferguson because no one really expected much of him right away. I don’t know what his expectations were of his freshman season, so he could have seen this coming. Still, on the court in game action, Ferguson got no playing time in meaningful moments of Marquette’s success.
Just because Ferguson was not a very influential player as a freshman doesn’t mean there isn’t a future for him at Marquette. It’s quite possible that he becomes a defensive stopper for the Golden Eagles in the next few years to come.
Next season with Lockett leaving the program, a spot will open up in the rotation at guard. While Williams has an impressive recruiting class coming in, if Ferguson impresses his coach enough with his defensive prowess then we might just see him in the rotation as a sophomore.
Whether that will happen is up for debate, though. That aforementioned recruiting class does include three guards, and a forward capable of playing Ferguson’s position.
If Ferguson wants to make it at Marquette, it will take patience and improvement in his game offensively. Next year will a huge year for him. After the 2013-’14 season, we will know whether Ferguson is the next Vander Blue, or if his career will be take a turn similar to that of Jamail Jones’.