The 2021-22 college basketball season is just around the corner, so let’s get into the Royal Eagles Marquette basketball roster and take a look at what to expect from each player this season. We’re going to go through the players one by one: first MU’s freshmen in alphabetical order, then the two subclass transfers, then the two super-seniors on their extra year of eligibility, and finally the three returning players, in order of average minutes per game last season, from lowest to highest.
We’re going to organize our thoughts on the coming season as it relates to each player into categories, as we always do:
- Reasonable expectations
- Why you should be excited
- Potential pitfalls
With that settled, it’s time to talk about the transfer of Clemson with international experience with Team Canada …….
Sophomore – # 12 – Forward – 6’8 “- 220 lbs – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The transfer portal and the one-time transfer exemption have changed the way we think about college basketball. In a game where a player can have a much bigger impact on a team’s future than college football, having some sort of free agency can allow teams to find both stars looking for more pasture. greens and underutilized assets that just don’t match their first home.
In this case, it is an asset with dizzying potential and four years of eligibility to contribute.
Olivier-Maxence Prosper arrives at Marquette after a year at Clemson. He was a highly touted rookie but never seemed to fit into Head Coach Brad Brownell’s system. He’s averaged less than 10 minutes per game in 22 appearances and 2 starts, but he’s fallen out of favor. He went from 13 to 18 minutes per game, sometimes even as high as 22, to just suddenly never more than 6 and averaging 4.2 minutes in the last seven games of the season.
Add to that the fact that the man who recruited him – Anthony Goins – left Clemson to take on a staff position at Boston College, and it’s no surprise that Prosper found himself in the transfer portal. It could all be seen as a misfortune for Clemson, but it would appear to be for the good fortune of the Golden Eagles. Add to that a partnership with a new trainer who “receives” great men, and in particular great mobile men like Olivier, the pairing here is downright fortuitous and lucky for all.
After graduating from high school, the Montreal native was ranked 86th best prospect in his class, 15th best power forward and 3rd best Canadian prospect. In an odd twist, he also ranked as Mexico’s top rookie due to his presence at the Latin American NBA Academy in Mexico City for what would count as his final year of high school. To say he has traveled a lot would be an understatement.
Stylistically, “O-Max”, as it was called in Clemson’s day, is an image of the modern-day striker. At 6’8 and “only” 220 pounds, he is a tall, athletic and versatile man who can play many different roles in defense. He moves well on the ground and has the ability to jump to become a factor on the Z axis, not just X and Y. He is quick at dribbling and can become a slasher with the best of them while showing good results. exterior scoring key. He can effectively protect wing positions, but has yet to demonstrate his ability to really fight with other great men.
At one point in his high school tenure, he was seen as a player who could quickly become an NBA Draft pick. After all, that’s how you end up in an NBA academy. However, after a tough freshman season some of that shine has worn off… but the potential is still there. What’s most exciting about O-Max is that he’s young. As Shaka Smart has indicated in a year of culture change, the flexibility and willingness to play young talent is there. If given the time to really play the minutes, the good and the bad, the real experience, the collective results could be far more exciting than appalling.
Having essentially been benched in the stretching race of the season, Prosper’s supposed value is hard to determine. Is he the best prospect with potential value for the NBA in his future? Or is he an over-excited former prep star whose value isn’t there? The answer is clearly somewhere in the middle but probably at the top end of the center.
This summer Olivier went to Latvia with Team Canada and had a great appearance where he averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals in the 2021 FIBA Underworld Cup. 19 years old. He has clearly shown an ability to compete with his peers on the world stage and contribute to a competitive and successful team. This is a Canadian team that led eventual gold medalists, Team USA, through the semi-finals and finished third at the World Cup.
O-Max is a very up-and-coming young contributor who you hope excels and becomes the focal point of a roster’s attack and defensive plan. The question for him becomes more a question of consistency and efficiency in all situations and exposure to adversaries.
As a spinning piece, you hope his athleticism, length, and energy would be essential to a high tempo pattern, and his physique gives you both breathing space and flexibility in the Shaka Smart Man-to-Man signature defense.
It would not be unreasonable to expect more results from Prosper as well. At 2.4 points per game, it’s hard to go much lower, and if you factor in games where he’s played more than four minutes in a game, his average doubles. Add an offseason of competitive play and improvement, a hope that his shooting touch improves; you can reasonably expect him to be more of a scoring threat than his 2.4 points per game last season would indicate.
Olivier-Maxence Prosper is the kind of player you can quickly convince yourself to be a top-of-the-range impactful player; the only nuisance there is to be measured as to when that time will come.
Under the basket, O-Max has a fantastic touch and is an elite finisher. Especially when given the ball in transfer or guard penetration situations. He’s an emerging threat as a jump shooter, especially in the midrange, but has shown, at the very least, an ability to extend that shot to the perimeter. He’s not a ball handler in the sense that you want him to be the guy who breaks a press or a trap, but when asked to attack the basket he can certainly be someone who can. manage his own with the ball in his hand.
His passing skills are an underrated skill both as a ball mover, pushing in transition, and as an entry passer into the paint. It’s a skill he could show off more often and could be called upon in a new role, but he had few opportunities to do so at Clemson last year.
As a defender, Olivier can really shine. Heed Shaka’s suggestion to lean into his “Havoc” defense in Marquette, and O-Max is the type of player who can excel both in this system and as an individual. The ability to hold multiple positions due to her length and agility makes her ready to fill roles both as a man-to-man defender and in the area press that Smart likes to mix with her.
More than anything, Prosper is a player who has all the tools to be a consistent and reliable player and who will only continue to develop. He needs time and reps to improve, and given his ability to defend in a system, provide an offensive advantage, and have shown a winning basketball IQ, he is at the very least a prospect to be. developing for the future with significant advantage and could be a star right now.
So with all that potential and that benefit being said. OMP actually has to come out and happen. It’s unclear why Olivier’s minutes fell apart in Clemson, but they did, and it’s not like he was fully American before that fall. He’s got a lot of talent, but that never really translated into South Carolina in a tangible way.
Could it be because of the opportunity? Sure. Not the right size? Yes, of course. Be a first year student living in their third country in three years? It is not easy. He played well in the FIBA U19 World Cup so there is some light at the end of the tunnel but he has to come out and show some numbers or at the very least have a tangible impact that leads to a time constant play.
The actual problems in his game that we know of are quite rare. As a shooter his most important question mark isn’t so much his skills or mechanics … those skills need to be honed, but the talent is there … it’s his selection / situational awareness . It’s a bit prone to rolling, but it’s hard to tell how true that is with the small sample size in playing time. It doesn’t have a large grip, but it’s definitely usable.
More than anything, the main reason for concern is that you can bring all of these skills together to be a major high-level conference player or, conversely, can he get rid of the particularly bad ends of his flaws to minimize them? the impact? He’s going to have opportunities to prove himself but in a team with a lot of young talents … just like a lot of guys. You’re hoping Olivier is the guy (or at least one of the guys) to bust out and be a potential star, but there’s no detailed story or evidence to do it, at least not yet.