Last fall, few people in the college basketball world had ever
heard of Dwyane Wade. The 6'5", 210-pound guard was lightly
recruited out of Richards High near Chicago, and he sat out the
2000-01 season as a partial academic qualifier. But Wade ended
up leading the Golden Eagles in points (17.8 per game), rebounds
(6.6), assists (3.4), steals (2.5) and even blocked shots (1.1).
As a result, he knows he'll be a marked man this season. "I
realize you have to be careful what you wish for sometimes," says
Wade, a junior. "But being in this position is something I've
As stellar as Wade's play was last year, Marquette coach Tom
Crean points out that he also led the team in turnovers (3.0 a
game). Ball handling is on Crean's mind because he must replace
rock-solid point guard Cordell Henry (15.2 points a game), who
graduated. Travis Diener, a 6'1" sophomore, inherits Henry's
position, and though Diener's forte last season was shooting--he
made 44.2% from three-point range, tops in Conference USA--he
also had a 3.1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Diener brushed up
on his point guard skills this summer leading an All-Star team
that toured Australia.
Unlike Wade, 6'10" senior forward Robert Jackson will not be able
to sneak up on anyone after sitting out a season at Marquette.
Jackson, a transfer from Mississippi State, was a commanding post
presence for the Bulldogs--his 7.3 rebounds a game in 2000--01
was ninth best in the SEC. Since coming to Milwaukee he has added
a 15-foot jump shot to his arsenal while lowering his body fat
from 19% to 12.5%. He should help the Eagles do a better job on
the offensive glass; in their two-point loss to Tulsa in the
first round of the NCAA tournament, they had just 15
second-chance points to Tulsa's 27. "We need to make sure
toughness is a talent," Crean says.
Wade vows to make that a priority this season. He was struck over
the summer, while watching tape of last season's games, by how
lax his effort was at times. "I didn't go for half as many
rebounds as I could have," he says.
A tougher and more determined Wade? Now, that's a scary
COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN SOFT TOUCH The do-it-all Wade led the Eagles in scoring, assists, boards and steals, but now he's ready to play harder.
POS. PLAYER HT. CL. KEY STAT
SF Steve Novak 6'10" Fr. 20.6 ppg*
PF Scott Merritt 6'10" Jr. 4.4 rpg
C Robert Jackson 6'10" Sr. 7.3 rpg [cross]
SG Dwyane Wade 6'5" Jr. 17.8 ppg
PG Travis Diener 6'1" So. 44.2 3FG%
*As high school senior
[cross] 2000--01 at Mississippi State
2001-02 RECORD: 26-7 (13-3, 2nd in C-USA American)
TOURNAMENT: Lost to Tulsa in 1st round
Points scored last season by All--Conference USA shooting guard
Dwyane Wade, the most by a sophomore in school
An opposing coach's view
If the Eagles can shore up at point guard, they'll be tough to
"Replacing Cordell Henry is their biggest concern. I know Travis
Diener has played point guard his whole life, but it remains to
be seen whether he can handle the pressure of running their
offense for 35 minutes.... Dwyane Wade is a Michael Finley--type
guy, but he's also got some Vince Carter in him. It's hard to
describe his explosiveness until you see him in person. He's got
a great feel for the game and can beat you in so many ways....
Robert Jackson is a big, strong wide-body with great hands. There
aren't a lot of guys in college you have to double team in the
low post, but he's one of them.... They'll be a little slower on
defense with Scott Merritt in there. He's been a good player for
them, but he's been a little bit of a defensive liability....
Steve Novak is good, but they have to get him to buy in