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

Joplin’s pattern of success traces back to high school days at Brookfield Central

Photo by Keifer Russell
Sophomore forward David Joplin attempts a free-throw in Marquette’s win over Villanova Feb. 1 at Fiserv Forum.

As a first-year, David Joplin averaged 7.1 minutes per game and shot 28.8% from beyond the arc.

Now, the sophomore forward has more confidence than ever, while playing three times more minutes and shooting almost 40% from the three-point line.

“If you look back at his high school numbers, he’s always been a guy that can really shoot the basketball,” Marquette assistant coach Neill Berry said. “Clearly, he’s done that well for us this year.” 

Joplin attended Brookfield Central High School, which is only 17 minutes away from Marquette. As a senior, he averaged 25.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest under head coach Dan Wandrey. 

Wandrey said that he has known Joplin, or “Dave,” since he was in middle school when Wandrey moved from the girls’ to the boys’ basketball program in 2014. 

“I knew who he was,” Wandrey said. “He was a pretty good player even in middle school. When he got to high school, it was pretty clear that he was going to come right to (the) varsity (team) with us.”

Joplin said Wandrey played a big role in the successful high school career he had. 

“Playing under Dan Wandrey was great,” Joplin said. “He was a really good coach. I’m glad he was able to mentor me and teach me some of the things about the game and just help me be me.”

Wandrey harped on Joplin’s joyous personality on and off the court in high school. 

“He’s just got that megawatt smile and charismatic personality,” Wandrey said. “He walks in the room, and he lightens the whole place up. He just always had that larger-than-life personality off the court and on it. That was really nice to have from a basketball standpoint.” 

Wandrey said that Joplin started to massively improve his game in the middle of his sophomore season at Brookfield Central. 

“We had some growing pains and adversity,” Wandrey said. “We lost an all-state guard on our team, (but) he raised his level of play. At the end of the season through the state tournament run, he had five or six games where he was scoring over 20 points. That (was) when he just started to know that he could score in a variety of different ways.” 

It wasn’t until the summer going into his junior year, Wandrey said he saw Joplin’s game flourish.

“Now, he’s a lights-out three-pointer shooter, but that didn’t develop for David until the end of his sophomore year going into his junior year,” Wandrey said. “When he came back as a junior, that’s when his perimeter game really blossomed. That year, David was almost unguardable.” 

During this past offseason, Berry said Joplin primarily focused on conditioning and becoming more athletic.

“He really put a lot of time into getting into the best shape he can possibly be and getting stronger. That has probably helped with his confidence more than anything else that he’s done,” Berry said.

Joplin said that he was not only working on growing physically but also on developing his mindset.

“It’s really just mentally wanting to and making sure that when I’m on the court, I’m in the right spot,” Joplin said. “Just growing, getting older and getting used to playing the college game really helped me a lot.” 

Berry also said that Joplin is only scratching the surface of what kind of player he will become.

“He’ll continue to get better as his career goes because like DePaul (and) Purdue, he can make one and then he can really run them off in a hurry,” Berry said. 

Joplin finished with a career-high 28 points against DePaul Jan. 28, where he shot 8-for-11 from beyond the arc and 10-for-14 from the field.

When he comes off the bench, Joplin said he tries to bring enthusiasm and energy to his teammates on the court.

“I know that my scoring brings energy from the team and the crowd, so I try to bring that and increase the score as much as we can,” Joplin said. “Just make sure that the second five (players) keep up with what the first five did.”

Sophomore guard Stevie Mitchell said it has been fun to see his development as a player firsthand. 

“He’s a great guy,” Mitchell said. “When someone like him just keeps getting better and better, it’s always great to see because he’s someone who deserves it.” 

Berry said that Joplin has truly embodied his role coming off the bench this season.

“A big thing for our team this year is (that) every single player on our team is a role player,” Berry said. “David has done a great job of that and just embraced the role along with everybody else on our team. That’s allowed Jop to play with a clear mind and execute the things that we need him to do.” 

Mitchell said that Joplin brings offense and swagger to the team as he continues to grow. 

“He’s a scorer that can get buckets in any way, fashion, shape (or) form,” Mitchell said. “He also brings swag and attitude to the team. As he becomes more of a two-way player, he becomes more unstoppable.” 

As the season goes on, Joplin said that his personal growth will come from being united with his team.

“Our biggest strength is our togetherness,” Joplin said. “I take confidence from them, and I try to give them confidence as well. We’re all confident that whatever we come through, whatever we come across, whatever team we play, we (can) beat them just because we have each other.”

From being his coach to watching him play now, Wandrey said he has never doubted Joplin’s athletic ability.

“I always knew that David had it in him to continue to improve,” Wandrey said. “Offensively, he’s got so many ways to be effective. It’s just a matter of a comfort level and confidence.” 

This story was written by Kaylynn Wright. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @KaylynnWrightMU.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kaylynn Wright
Kaylynn Wright, Assistant Sports Editor
Kaylynn Wright is a junior from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin studying journalism, and she is an Assistant Sports Editor for the 2024-2025 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys reading and watching baseball, specifically the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox. She is excited to meet new people and continue to create high-quality sports content for the Wire.
Keifer Russell
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *