Fall break is normally a time of relaxation after midterms, but for the Marquette men’s basketball team, it was anything but.
Junior college transfer Jameel McKay announced via Twitter Thursday that he would transfer from Marquette. Later that day, recruit Marial Shayok announced that he would join the Golden Eagles as a member of the 2014 recruiting class.
Monday, Marquette lost freshman guard Duane Wilson for several weeks with an injury. Wilson was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left leg and will miss the start of the season.
“[He] will be evaluated on a consistent basis, but is expected to miss multiple weeks during the rehabilitation process,” a news release from the athletic department said.
After participating in Marquette Madness less than a week earlier, McKay tweeted that his decision resulted from discussion with his family and that there were “no hard feelings” toward the Marquette coaching staff and fans.
McKay came to the Golden Eagles from Indian Hills Community College, the same school that produced former Marquette guard Dwight Buycks. The 6-foot-8 forward was expected by many to be the next in a lineage of successful junior college players under coach Buzz Williams.
“We are thankful for the trust of Jameel, his family and all of his coaches prior to his arrival here,” Williams said. “We wish Jameel all the best.”
Shayok will hopefully be the Golden Eagles’ next great Canadian-born player after Junior Cadougan, who graduated last year. The Ottawa, Ontario native plays high school ball at Blair Academy in New Jersey where he led the Buccaneers in nearly every category during his junior season. Additionally, he competed as a member of the Canadian Junior Men’s National Team over the summer.
The 6-foot-6 Shayok received offers from Minnesota, Rutgers, West Virginia and LaSalle, according to ESPN, and was heavily targeted by fellow Big East program Providence. Shayok is touted by ESPN as the 27th best small forward in the country, though he currently plays guard at Blair.
Blair coach Joe Mantegna describes Shayok as “one of the most versatile and efficient guards in American high school basketball today.”
“After visiting Virginia, Providence and Marquette, Marial had to make a very difficult decision between three very fine schools and basketball programs,” Mantegna told NJ.com. “I am not sure he could have made a bad decision. Our coaching staff and his teammates are very happy for him and ready to get on with the season without any recruiting distractions.”
After Shayok’s verbal commitment, the Golden Eagles have one scholarship remaining for the 2014 class and are expected to fill the spot with more size in the frontcourt.
The USA Today poll, released Friday, provided some good news for Marquette fans. The Golden Eagles start the season at No. 17 with the AP poll soon to come. This came two days after the Big East coaches picked Marquette to win the newly-aligned conference and senior Davante Gardner was selected to the preseason all-Big East first team.