Trent Lockett was exactly what Marquette needed. He played three years of college basketball, and was pretty good. Lockett averaged over 13 points and shot around 50 percent both his sophomore and junior seasons at Arizona State.
After losing Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, the Golden Eagles needed experience and scoring. Lockett brought both to the table. There were many people – including myself – who thought Lockett was capable of being Marquette’s leading scorer this season.
At Media Day all the way back in October, head coach Buzz Williams said he expected Lockett to be a “stud of a human being” every day. He later said that just being around the senior guard makes him a better man.
While the circumstances of Lockett’s transfer were unfortunate, he and Marquette were perfect for each other.
So how’d it go?
Stats: 7.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.9 turnovers, 41.5 % FG, 33.3% on three-point shots
Early on in Lockett’s season, fans were not convinced he was an impact player. He struggled from the field, and turned the ball over a bit more than anyone would like him to.
But, he kept playing. Lockett’s minutes never decreased. Most people wanted them to, but he kept playing. His defense and rebounding presence from the guard position were simply too valuable to take off the court.
Throughout the season, Williams talked about making winning plays. Lockett came up with one after another as the year progressed. Right when you thought he was having a below-average game, he’d come up with a big play on defense in crunch time or grab an important rebound.
As Marquette played more games, Lockett got better and better. By the end of the season, he was a player that Williams could not take off the court.
I’m going to combine three games for the best part of Lockett’s season, and those were Marquette’s three wins in the NCAA Tournament.
In those three games, the senior guard was on the bench for a combined eight minutes. At that point in the season, he wasn’t just necessary on the defensive end. Lockett had become a confident and comfortable offensive player for the Golden Eagles.
Lockett averaged 8.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in Marquette’s three victories during the “Big Dance.” He also committed just two turnovers in those games, a big improvement from the earlier part of the season for Lockett.
Against Wisconsin in December, Lockett played 34 minutes because he was so important defensively and was making such a great impact for the Golden Eagles on that end of the court.
Unfortunately, Lockett had his worst game of the season on the offensive end. He scored five points, grabbed four rebounds, but was just 1 of 7 from the field and committed a season-high seven turnovers.
Everyone knew at that point that Lockett very good defensively, but at that point in the season fans really started to wonder whether he was worth playing over 30 minutes in a game because of his offensive struggles.
During March, especially the NCAA Tournament, Lockett established his legacy at Marquette. In just one season, he made sure that he would be known as the ultimate “glue guy.”
While he is just 6 foot 5 and plays shooting guard, Lockett did a little bit of everything on the court. When the Golden Eagles needed a big defensive play, Lockett would block a shot. If a basket was necessary, he would get a good look from the field or get a crucial offensive rebound.
Lockett wasn’t the scorer Marquette fans expected, but he still was a huge contributor to the Golden Eagles’ Elite Eight run. In the end, his one-year stint in Milwaukee worked out well for everyone involved.