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Revisiting Preseason Predictions: Marcus Garrett

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Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) soars in for a dunk over Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith (2) during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) soars in for a dunk over Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith (2) during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena. by Nick Krug

For the past couple of years, I've kick-started yet another season of KU basketball coverage with a series known as “He Will, He Won't, He Might,” which looks at each individual Jayhawk expected to be in the rotation and tosses out a prediction in each of those categories about the player's upcoming season.

For the second year in a row, the guesses were pretty spot on, with just a couple of misses and mostly a good look at what was to be for the Jayhawks.

Before we completely put the 2017-18 season to bed, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at each one from KU's Final Four season.

We'll go in reverse order here, I'll give a quick recap and grade my predictions and we'll try to get to all eight of them this week so keep an eye out and be sure to click the links inside each to go back and look at the original entry.

Next up: Freshman guard Marcus Garrett:

Garrett played in all 39 games for the Jayhawks during their run to the Final Four, starting seven and playing a big role as the top reserve to all four of KU's starting guards.

He finished the season averaging 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, had a couple of big games and became known as the player who did all of those intangible things that did not show up on the stat sheet but often made the difference in a game or a half.

It cannot be overstated how valuable this year's experience was for Garrett. After taking all of that knowledge and information into the offseason, the versatile guard should emerge by entering the 2018-19 season with a ton of confidence and some serious leadership potential.

He Will: Become a fan favorite almost immediately – Given the fact that I've never heard a single KU fan say a single negative thing about the freshman from Dallas, it seems like this is at least mostly correct. On a roster that included Devonte' Graham, it's hard to become the fan favorite, but there's no doubt that people came away from his freshman season impressed by Garrett's game and contributions to the team. I expect his fan favorite status to grow as his career moves along.

He Won't: Play enough minutes to put up big numbers in any category – Not exactly. My guess was that Garrett would log somewhere in the 10-12 minute range on a nightly basis and all he did was double that. In 39 games, the freshman guard played 748 minutes and averaged 19.2 minutes per game. He played 20 or more minutes in 18 games and occasionally found himself playing some pretty important minutes in place of KU's regular guards who found foul trouble or were ineffective on a given night. Garrett's numbers were not huge, but it wasn't because of a lack of playing time. He simply found his role player niche and played it to perfection most of the time.

He Might: Be this team's best defender – Hard to argue with this one. Garrett was always up for whatever challenge was thrown his way and, in limited minutes, finished fourth on the team in steals, with 35, one better than full-time starter Lagerald Vick and just seven behind fellow-starter Malik Newman. Garrett used his active hands, good instincts and physical size and toughness to create problems for offensive players throughout the season. His specialty became immediately getting the possession back after any particularly careless turnovers. Because they were on the floor more and, therefore, drew tougher defensive assignments in bigger moments, I'm only going to take partial credit for this one. But it's clear that the foundation for a solid Bill-Self-defender has been laid by Garrett.

My overall prediction grade for this one: 1.5 out of 3.

Light reading:

A quick look back at a few of my favorite Lightfoot stories from the 2017-18 season

• KU freshman Marcus Garrett guides KU to key bucket in relief of Devonte’ Graham, March 18, 2018

• 'He never gives up:' Marcus Garrett’s hustle propels KU to Big 12 title game

• Keegan: Playing for an Eddie Sutton disciple prepared Marcus Garrett for Bill Self

Comments

Jay Scott 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Great freshman season from a kid with huge potential. If you think the starting PG slot is Devon Dotson's to lose you don't understand Bill Self at all. Garrett has all the tools and really understands what Self wants and how to get it done. His shooting mechanics are solid. A little confidence in them and he's a beast.

Tony Bandle 3 weeks, 5 days ago

I would respectfully beg to differ regarding his shooting mechanics. I think that it is critical this off season that he actually develops some shooting mechanics, which I fully believe he can accomplish. Even more critical, it is that he gains the confidence to take more shots now that Svi, Vick, Graham and Newman are gone and he no longer feels he has to defer to the upper class men.

Marius Rowlanski 3 weeks ago

No way Jay. Hell. Garrett is behind Charlie Moore AND Dotson. You cannot have a PG who is unable to shoot FTs.

There was a reason Graham shot and made more free throws than anyone else on the team just as last year, Mason was the man most often at the free-throw line.

Garrett has plenty of talent but he won't start a single game as the PG.

Pius Waldman 3 weeks, 5 days ago

The experience Garrett gained certainly should expect a huge increase in playing time. On another note for reasons unknown to me Sam Cunliffe after spending a year not eligible didn't get an opportunity to show his ability. Lets hope he at least gets playing time to show his skills.

Jay Scott 3 weeks, 5 days ago

While Garret is the definition of "getting it", Cunliffe is the definition of "doesn't get it". Hopefully he figures a few things out. He has talent. So did Anrio Adams.

Robert Brock 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Garrett is a good-handling, good-passing, weak-shooting 2. Point guard duties will be handled by Dotson and Moore.

Jay Scott 3 weeks, 4 days ago

A perfect example of someone who doesn't understand.

Matt Tait 3 weeks, 2 days ago

For what it's worth, I agree with Robert. And I'm not sure you could convince me that Dotson won't be the starting point guard, with Moore either pushing him or backing him up.

Garrett will have a bigger role but I think it'll look a lot like what he was asked to do this year and not much to do with him playing point.

Time will tell.

Roger Ortega 3 weeks, 4 days ago

I've been wondering who next years on court leaders will be and I have to think that Garrett will be a vocal leader alongside Lightfoot. I think he's gonna come into the season confident and seasoned. I think the transfers that will be eligible will respect him as he's battled tested and the new guys will look to him as he knows what coach wants. Despite all the FBI uncertainty, I'm really lookin forward to watch next years team grow, learn and get better. My biggest concern is chemistry, which will develop overtime and 3 point shooting. It's a different game now and I don't know that pounding it down low wins as much anymore. But I'm not a Hall of Famer and have never coached a team so who know! RCJH

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