The college basketball world got a big shakeup Monday, as Joey Hauser and Sam Hauser announced they were leaving Marquette to pursue a transfer.
It’s major news on several fronts, the most obvious being it derails a Marquette team that was being projected as a preseason top-five team next season. Between them and star guard Markus Howard, the Golden Eagles were in great shape to make a deep NCAA Tournament run next season. Alas, those hopes likely just died, and now, another team hopes to benefit from it in 2020-21.
In three seasons, Sam, a 6-8 forward, started 97 games and averaged 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 402% from three. He shot 48.7%(!) from deep as a sophomore. Though he will be a senior next season, he won’t graduate this summer. Thus, he can’t be a grad transfer and will sit one to play one in 2020-21.
Joey, a 6-9 forward, started 31 games in his redshirt freshman campaign in 2018-19 and notched 9.7 points and 5.3 boards per game. He shot 42.5% from deep.
Early indications are that the Virginia Cavaliers are the favorite, but they do want to look at multiple options.
Hearing that Virginia is a potential frontrunner in the race to get the Hauser Brothers. These are a pair of high-level players in the portal.— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) April 15, 2019
Confirmed: Joey Hauser and Sam Hauser leaving Marquette. Both boys are wide open in terms of future plans.— Mark Miller (@WisBBYearbook) April 15, 2019
Might the Kentucky Wildcats jump in the mix, and should they?
Kentucky has rarely pursued transfers who had to sit out a season. Ryan Harrow was the last, and that didn’t exactly turn out great, but the Hauser twins look far more promising. Sam and Joey would be a great duo at the 3 and 4 spots, while Joey could probably sneak in minutes at the 5 (he actually played there 26% of the time over their last 5 games, per KenPom).
Getting both players would immediately make Kentucky a major threat in 2020-21, assuming some players from the 2019-20 group stick around. But if Kentucky were to land them, it probably hurts them with several 2020 recruits, likely five-star forward Jalen Johnson, five-star forward Scottie Barnes, five-star forward Cade Cunningham and perhaps even five-star forward Isaiah Todd. Five-star guard Brandon Boston would also likely spend a lot of time at the 3, so it could affect him as well.
But Kentucky isn’t a clear-cut leader for any of those guys other than Todd. If you can get impact players like Sam and Joey now, Kentucky should absolutely make a run at them.