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UNGER: Transfer Harry Froling and Marquette a perfect marriage

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UNGER: Transfer Harry Froling and Marquette a perfect marriage

Luke Fischer will be moving to the Canary Islands to play professional basketball.

Luke Fischer will be moving to the Canary Islands to play professional basketball.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Luke Fischer will be moving to the Canary Islands to play professional basketball.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

Luke Fischer will be moving to the Canary Islands to play professional basketball.

It’s no secret that Marquette men’s basketball is undersized. The Golden Eagles average roster height is 76.6 inches, 188th in the country. Even head coach Steve Wojciechowksi knows his team is a bit smaller than most.

“If you’re undersized, it doesn’t mean you’re undermanned,” Wojciechowski said back on media day.

However, Marquette will soon be undermanned as well as undersized. With redshirt senior Luke Fischer, grad transfer Katin Reinhardt and senior Jajuan Johnson all set to graduate in the spring, Wojciechowski’s roster is only getting smaller as all three guys stand at least 6 foot 5 or higher. Fischer, a 6-foot-11, 250 lbs. center is obviously going be the hardest to replace in terms of size. After transferring in from Indiana, Fischer has played a critical role for Marquette, averaging 28 minutes per game in 65 games in the blue and gold.

So far this season Fischer is second on the team in points per game (13), first in rebounds per game (6.3) and first in blocks per game (1.07). And while backup center Matt Heldt has upped his minutes per game from 5.1 to 12.6 from freshman to sophomore year, the dip in performance between the two is still quite noticeable.

Don’t get me wrong, the 6-foot-10, 245 lbs. sophomore has shown some positive growth. Still, I doubt Wojciechoswki would feel comfortable with Heldt as his only big man option heading into the 2017-’18 season.

Enter Harry Froling. After starting his collegiate basketball career at SMU, the 6-foot-11, 260 lbs. freshman has been granted the freedom to transfer. The Australian-native has already narrowed his list to two schools: Marquette and Oregon State.

As first reported by Fox Sports writer Olgun Uluc and confirmed by the Journal Sentinel, Froling is visiting Marquette as I type this column. Wojciechowski and his staff should do everything within their power to impress the transfer, as this marriage would make sense for both parties.

Marquette is clearly in need of a big man to eat up at least 15 minutes next season, and Froling is their best (and possibly only) option. Although the Golden Eagles have offered a scholarship to fellow Australia-native Jacob Epperson, the center has received 24 other offers as well. Michigan State, North Carolina and Texas are among the other interested schools, so don’t count on Marquette to be a clear favorite.

With Froling and Epperson as the only two centers the Golden Eagles have reached out too, it is crucial that they sign at least one. Froling seems like the more plausible option right now.

The marriage makes sense for Froling as well. After announcing his intentions to transfer, Froling did an interview with a local Australian paper detailing his decision. The 18-year-old pointed to “fit” as his reason for leaving the Mustangs. Froling noted that the departure of Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown was a big factor, but I would be surprised if playing time was also a factor.

At Marquette, playing time would certainly not be an issue. Depending on his progression, Froling could have the starting center position waiting for him once he is eligible to play NCAA basketball again (second semester of next season).

In case you don’t remember, it was around this time three years ago when Marquette landed a 6-foot-11 freshman transfer to play center for next two and a half seasons. With Fischer’s collegiate career coming to an end, it would only make sense that a 6-foot-11 freshman transfer takes his place.

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