The curious case of Jamil Wilson

Every single college basketball team has “the guy”. You know, the one player that dominates a majority of the games and is the most loved person on his respected campus. For Marquette, Jamil Wilson could have been that player.

After Vander Blue controversially decided to forgo his senior season to take his shot at the NBA, the Golden Eagles were searching for a player that would take them to new heights. Wilson fit that mode.

In the two seasons after transferring from Oregon, Wilson improved his point per game from 7.1 to 9.7. Labeled as “the most athletic player” on the roster by head coach Buzz Williams, the Wisconsin native has developed into an above average defender. As a vocal senior on a team that needed veteran leadership, Wilson was penciled in to take over and guide the Golden Eagles to another NCAA tournament appearance.

Sitting at 14-10 (6-5 Big East) Marquette finds itself on the outside looking in at the NCAA tournament picture. Needing upsets over Villanova and Creighton to be strongly considered to enter the field of 68, someone needs to step up for the stretch run. Enter Wilson.

Wilson is the most consistently inconsistent player in college basketball. One game he plays to his potential, like his two most recent performances against Butler (17 points on 6-9 from the field) and Seton Hall (25 points, 10 rebounds, 8-14 from the field). However, other games he plays as well as a walk on (vs St. John’s 1 point, 4 rebounds, 0-5 from the field).

Whenever Wilson is on, Marquette is competitive. Whenever Wilson cannot find his touch, the Ohio State game for instance, Marquette falters.

Now, what does Wilson need to do the rest of the season?

I have given up on expecting Wilson to be a top player in college basketball. All he needs to be is a top player in the Big East. He needs to embrace the “leader” label in the right way, which he has not been doing. With his play this season, he has displayed that there is a wrong way to lead on the court.

This season Wilson has decided to take shots late in the game, which he should be doing. The problem though is that those shots are ill-advised and take place when a teammate is wide open. This horrendous decision making has cost Marquette games. With every contest a must win, Wilson needs to tinker how he approaches his role or the Golden Eagles’ dream to go back to the dance will be over.

  • Marquette Fan

    There is a reason you are still a student and learning. As a lifelong basketball player, fan, and junkie, as well as former coach, and having been to and watched every Marquette game possible,……I have yet to see Jamil Wilson make a decision that cost Marquette a game. The reason they are not the team we have expected is they have one of the worst backcourts of any competitive D1 team. Derrick Wilson looks like a dear in the headlights when he has the ball, and takes driving shots that have no chance of going in. Jake Thomas (your 2 guard) is a D2 player, not a starter on a D1 team. I do agree that J Wilson has been wildly inconsistent, but I beleive that is more of a result of trying to be the total team player. He does not get to the line as much as you’d expect, and often settles for long jumpers instead of driving the ball. That being said he is also by far the most complete and talented as well as having the highest basketball IQ on the team. Marquettes strength is it’s frontcourt, but that cannot be exploited when the guards can’t make simple entry passes, and take low percentage shots. Can’t stand Mayo, but the fact is he is the best guard Marquette has at this point. And by the way Nick,……..Jamil Wilson has the skill set, versatility, and athleticism to play and quard 3 positions (2,3 and 4) in the NBA. To blame Marquettes losses on one player is idiotic, and shows that despite being a Marquette student you haven’t been watching the games as anything other than an individual whom is frustrated that the player he wanted to lead Marquette back to the sweet 16 hasn’t been able to do it himself. I love Marquette, but the fact is,…this team does not have the balance or depth to make any type of tourney run. They just aren’t good enough. It isn’t Jamil Wilson’s fault, but the onus has to fall on the coach,…….you have to be able to coach the talent you have. I think Buzz is a great coach, but he has this loyalty thing with players (as seen in recent years) that should be sitting more than playing. J Wilson isn’t one of them.

    • Nick Kapetan

      Thanks for reading