Trent Lockett’s transfer makes Marquette a team to watch once again

Since Arizona State has been a doormat the past two seasons at a time when the Pac-12 has fallen behind its major conference peers, few outside of Tempe know much about the best player on those Sun Devils teams.

As a result, Trent Lockett's announcement Saturday that he'll attend Marquette for his senior season didn't receive nearly the attention it should have.

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Lockett, a 6-foot-4 guard who will be eligible immediately at Marquette, averaged more than 13 points per game and shot 50 percent or better from the field each of the past two seasons for the slow-paced Sun Devils. What's more, Lockett was an asset in other facets of the game last season as a result of his length and athleticism, grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game and posting 1.5 steals per game despite Arizona State's reliance on zone defense.

What Lockett did best at Arizona State was attacking the rim off the dribble. He attempted only 51 3-pointers as a junior, but he showed a knack for finishing at the rim, getting to the free throw line or sinking a mid-range jump shot.

It would benefit Marquette if Lockett can consistently knock down a 3-pointer next year, but his presence might make the Golden Eagles a top 25 team once again even if he isn't a threat from behind the arc.

Lockett should help Marquette weather the loss of all-league seniors Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder both offensively and defensively. He'll likely start at wing alongside point guard Junior Cadougan, enabling Buzz Williams to bring either Todd Mayo or Vander Blue off the bench.

The decision Lockett made to leave Arizona State was in part due to his mom's diagnosis with cancer in March. The Minnesota native previously intended to stay in Tempe despite the losing and the many defections, but he decided he needed to transfer somewhere closer to home, ultimately choosing Marquette over Iowa State.

Marquette may not have enough scoring without Crowder and Johnson-Odom to contend with the likes of Louisville and Syracuse at the top of the Big East. Still, with Lockett joining an already formidable backcourt, the Golden Eagles once again will not be a team that can be overlooked.

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