The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BARBATO: Wilson exuding potential in Georgetown performance

One of the more intriguing storylines heading into 2014-15 season was evaluating how Marquette’s underclassmen would perform given an opportunity for ample playing time. One player who was sure to draw attention was redshirt freshman Duane Wilson.

Wilson entered Marquette as one of the top-100 recruits in the Class of 2013, but was a medical redshirt after suffering a fracture in his left leg before the 2013-14 season began.

It hasn’t been a perfect season for the former Dominican High School guard, but Saturday’s 26-point performance in a losing effort against Georgetown was a flash of Wilson’s lofty potential going forward at Marquette.

Wilson scored 22 points and was 7-of-12 from the field in the second half. His second-half flurry was highlighted by three game-tying shots, including an off-balance triple from the right side of the floor which tied the game at 79 in the final minute of regulation. In overtime, he hit a three that put Marquette ahead of Georgetown before the Hoyas went on a 13-1 run to secure the road victory.

Wilson has scored in double figures before, 10 times as a matter of fact. But Saturday’s effort showed off his propensity to be a takeover scorer, something Marquette desperately lacked over the past two seasons. To see these streaks of brilliant play for a player in his first true season is an incredibly encouraging sign.

Coach Steve Wojciechowski might have said it best in Saturday’s postgame press conference. He had high praise for what Duane has done so early in his tenure.

“Duane, as a freshman, has had two 25-point games,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s pretty good. This is his 19th game as a college player and for him to do that is excellent.”

Pretty good might be an understatement, coach. Wojciechowski might have inherited a potential star. The bonus? Wojciechowski can still mold Wilson into a player who fits his system and he can still certainly improve on some aspects of his game.

Wilson needs to develop into an adequate defender at the very least. He doesn’t often get exposed in Marquette’s 2-3 zone, but there have certainly been some lapses that have led to open looks around the perimeter or in the paint.

Wilson’s skill set is slightly undefined. Some expect him to become the leader of the offense at the point while others believe he fits more as a shooting guard. Wilson hasn’t had to play much point guard this season, but that could change once senior Derrick Wilson and graduate student Matt Carlino depart after this season.

Perhaps the younger Wilson should take some of the elder Wilson’s skill set to develop into an all-around guard for Marquette to build around. If Duane can be as prudent as Derrick with an ability to create for his teammates, he could develop into an incredible player.

For right now, Marquette will gladly take the scoring punch Duane Wilson provides in a transition season. He ranks 18th in scoring in the Big East and is second to Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett among freshman. With a top-10 recruiting class entering the program next fall, there is plenty to get excited about in Milwaukee. Much of that should begin with the local product, Swaggy Du.

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