Marquette Wire

Fischer bridges gap during transition years for MUBB

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

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Luke Fischer’s route to collegiate success followed an unusual path, spanning three different head coaches with two different teams. Still, Fischer eventually made Marquette his home, bridging the gap between former head coach Buzz Williams and current head coach Steve Wojciechowski by filling a roster hole at a program that was going through a transition period.

When Fischer arrived at Marquette back in January of 2014, he was heralded as the big man of the future for the Golden Eagles. Now just over a month away from graduation, Fischer will leave Marquette as the program’s all-time leader in field goal percentage and as a member of the illustrious 1,000-point club.

After declaring his intentions to leave Indiana in December 2013, it was obvious Marquette would be a frontrunner for his services considering Davante Gardner and Chris Otule were set to graduate in the spring. The Germantown, Wisconsin-native and Marquette seemed like the perfect match.

“Being back in Wisconsin is great … only 30 minutes away from Germantown,” Fischer said during his introductory press conference Jan. 14, 2014.

Although the move made sense logistically at the time for Fischer, things changed quickly. By March of 2014, just two months after Fischer came to Marquette, Williams left the program. In came Wojciechowski, Fischer’s third head coach in just four months.

“You don’t really know what’s going to happen when that happens,” Fischer said. “You come in here, and you think you have a set feeling of what your next (three) years are going to be like. Obviously that changed abruptly, but having coach Wojo come in here has truly been a the biggest blessing in disguise we could have asked for.”

After being forced to sit out two semesters of play due to transfer restrictions, Fischer finally made his Marquette debut Dec. 16, 2014. He totaled 33 minutes in his first game in the Blue and Gold, logging 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting, nine rebounds and five blocks, giving Marquette fans a taste of what to expect going forward.

Due to his size and skill set, his role on the team was clear from his first appearance as a Golden Eagle. He was truly the only legitimate post presence Wojciechowski had at his disposal. This abundance of in-game experience has helped him grow into the player he is today.

“I definitely have been able to get more confident, be stronger, more explosive … all that stuff. I’ve just grown as a person on the court,” Fischer said. “My IQ I think has gone up a lot with the whole game of basketball.”

While Fischer’s individual game continued to improve from year to year, Marquette men’s basketball also continued to show improvements, moving from Marquette’s lowest total win output since 1990-’91 his sophomore year to an NCAA Tournament bid this year.

“Being able to say that we were the team to bring back Marquette to the tournament, to bring it out of such a dark place of things that we’re not used to here, (is great),” Fischer said. “Losing seasons, not making postseason play, that was really hard for us. To say that for my senior year we were able to bring this back out, we were able to change it all, is really something I will cherish forever.”

However, an NCAA Tournament appearance was not the only highlight of Fischer’s senior year.

After shooting 6-for-8 from the field and hauling in eight rebounds on a Senior Day victory against Creighton, Fischer grabbed the microphone and asked his girlfriend to come down to the floor. Then, in front of the entire BMO Harris Bradley Center, he got down on one knee.

With his teammates beside him, Fischer proposed to “his biggest supporter,” Payton Brock.

“To have that memory and to have so many awesome pictures and videos of that moment … we are truly blessed to have that,” Fischer said. “Marquette basketball has been our lives for the last couple of years. She’s been to almost every one of our home games, tons of road games. To be involved like that, it was, I think, the best way we possibly could have done it.”

It is memories like this that will make leaving Marquette so hard for Fischer.

“I mean, this place is seriously so special to me,” Fischer said. “Eventually I want to give back to Marquette what they’ve given to me. It really is such a special place here, and I’m really going to miss it.

Now just over a month away from graduation, Fischer, just like every other college senior, has to figure out what’s next in his life. April 12 he will compete in the Portsmouth Invitational, a showcase senior tournament with an abundance of NBA and overseas scouts on hand.

“Hopefully I can play at the highest level, wherever that takes me,” Fischer said. “It’s exciting. It’s scary, but I am really excited to see where basketball can take me from here on out.”

While his future path may not be clear at this point, Fischer said he is excited for the upcoming process. For now, he can relish his final few weeks as a college student and look back upon a successful senior year, both on and off the court.

“I’m really going to miss it (Marquette),” Fischer said after his final game as a Marquette Golden Eagle. “It’s been a heck of a two-and-a-half years playing here, and I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else.”

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