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Should Kentucky pursue the Hauser brothers?

Getting the Hauser brothers will be a game-changer for whoever lands them.

Wisconsin v Marquette Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

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.

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.