Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Heralded point guard DJ Carton will be able to resume his basketball career without interruption. Marquette University has announced that Carton has been granted an immediate eligibility waiver by the NCAA.
The former top 40 player headlined what was considered by many as the top Big Ten recruiting class for 2019. Carton at one point helped lead the Buckeyes to a No.1 ranking as they roared to an 11-1 start. But expectations started to waver once conference play began and the team was not as effective. After appearing in 20 games, Carton took a leave of absence in late January from the team for mental health reasons. Subsequently, he would not return. He finished the season with strong averages of 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in just under 24 minutes per game. In addition to Carton’s departure, Luther Muhammad and Alonzo Gaffney would eventually transfer as well.
The Iowa native announced in April he was transferring to Marquette where he is much needed. The Golden Eagles will need Carton’s 40% three point shooting and strong finishing ability with the lack of productivity from their current backcourt due in large part to the loss of Markus Howard. The hope is not to replace Howard but to utilize Carton’s strengths where many believe he can excel in Wojo’s offense. Aside from his athleticism and ability to score, he plays with great feel and high IQ. He displayed at times his ability to elevate his teammates with his passing ability. Carton’s 26.5 percent assist rate was among the top ten as a freshman.
With the waiver, DJ Carton will be an immediate impact guy for Wojo from day one. Again, the expectation is not to duplicate Markus Howard’s individual stats and success, but just to allow Carton to come in and be the reliable - steady handed player that he is. Obviously, losing Markus is a huge hit for any program but having DJ for 3 years and immediately availability will help in any scenario. But speaking bigger picture here, the NCAA finally got it right with this one. Granting DJ the waiver showed they take mental health issues seriously and understand the notion of needing a change in scenery. So major kudos to the NCAA and Ohio State for being cooperative. Also, I have to give props to the Big Ten for their recognition of mental health as well https://www.si.com/college/indiana/football/mental-health-matters-to-big-ten-d0K4rOhdVk6GZ-4rXd5evA