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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Veteran guard hopes to improve role on and off the court

Photo by Isabel Bonebrake
Redshirt junior guard Greg Elliott.

It’s a new era for Marquette men’s basketball as head coach Shaka Smart is set to begin his first year at Marquette, along with nine new faces coming into the Golden Eagles’ program.  

Despite this year’s roster taking some time to get used to, one face familiar to most Marquette basketball fans is redshirt junior guard Greg Elliott.  

Elliott, who is in his fifth season in the program, said he has learned a lot about himself throughout his Marquette journey that has been everything but easy.  

“I’ve been through a lot since I’ve been at Marquette dealing with a lot of injuries but I can’t really focus on that,” Elliott said. I got to be able to get through the next thing and do whatever I can to help my team win.” 

After averaging 28 points per game in his senior year at East English Village High School in Detroit, Elliott chose Marquette over other finalists’ programs such as Michigan State and Providence.

Upon first arriving to Marquette in 2017, Elliott had to accommodate with his role to his new team as he averaged just 4.5 points per game while starting only four games throughout the year. 

Elliott’s early development would come to a halt his sophomore season as he was forced to redshirt the whole year after having hand surgery. 

In his redshirt sophomore season in 2019, Elliott missed multiple games due to an ankle injury but started to develop a new role as one of the team’s three-point specialists. Despite 11 less games played than his first-year, Elliott took 16 more 3-pointers throughout the season while raising his three-point percentage from 36% to 41%.  

As a redshirt junior, Elliott continued this trend of developing his outside shooting as he was the Golden Eagles best 3-point shooter in terms of shooting percentage, shooting a career-high 45% from beyond the arc.  

Elliott said he has taken notice of his development when it comes to shooting the ball from deep over the years and is something he’s gotten comfortable with.  

“In high school I wasn’t necessarily known as a shooter but a scorer, whereas now here at Marquette I’m mostly known as more of a shooter,” Elliott said. “This year I’m also wanting to be more of a playmaker and having the ball more in my hands, which is going to be different for me, but it’s not something I’m not used to.” 

In addition to developing his play on the court, Elliott said he is looking forward to growing his role as a leader as he’s now one of the older and more experienced players on the roster.

“I get to help groom our guys and lead them to where they should go, which is something that I had other people do for me when I was the younger guy, so now it’s my turn to do the same for them,” Elliott said. “I just want to be a good older brother for the younger guys and make sure I’m there for them at all times.” 

Elliott mentioned former Marquette guard and teammate Sacar Anim was one of these players he looked up to most when he was a first-year himself.  

“Just watching the way he worked throughout his time at Marquette was something that really rubbed off on me,” Elliott said. “He was always in the gym and would reach out to me and guide me. That’s one thing that I want to make sure I do with our freshmen this year.” 

Redshirt first-year forward Justin Lewis said Elliot has a huge impact on him both on and off the court. 

Lewis said Elliott played a key part in his decision to return to Milwaukee this season after the changes within the program during the offseason.

“That’s what really brought me back to this place (Greg) along with many other things,” Lewis said. “Just the relationship I have with him and who he is as a person, he’s like a big brother to me, he’s influenced me a lot.” 

Following the team’s exhibition against Bowie State Nov. 4, Smart said Elliot will miss the first four games of the season due to a “failure to adhere to department policies.”

“One of the things that I think is important to Marquette and important to the leadership here and to me is that we hold these guys to a certain standard,” Smart said. 

Despite the setback to begin the season, Elliott said he is looking forward to showing why he came back to play for Marquette and Smart this year. 

“Of course, we want to make a run in the BIG EAST and make the NCAA Tournament, but for me I want to do that because that’s one of the reasons I decided to come back to Marquette,” Elliott said. “Shaka came with that same mindset and our mindset is to go out there, play as hard as we can and win as many games as possible.” 

This article was written by Sam Arco. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SamArcoMU.  

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