MILWAUKEE (AP) – Marquette has added former George Mason guard Tyler Kolek and ex-Clemson forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper as the Golden Eagles reshape their roster under new coach Shaka Smart. School officials announced Thursday the additions of Kolek and Prosper and incoming freshmen Emarion Ellis, Kenyan Itejere, and David Joplin. Kolek, who is 6-foot-3, was named the 2020-21 Atlantic 10 rookie of the year. He started 18 of George Mason’s 21 games and averaged 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
“He’s about the things that go into winning,” Smart said during a Zoom session with reporters. “He’s about toughness. He’s about work ethic. The guy’s constantly in the gym. He’s about making all the plays that go into winning on both ends of the floor by any means necessary.”
Prosper played 22 games for Clemson and made two starts as a freshman this season. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 2.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 9.7 minutes. “He can play a bunch of different positions,” Smart said. “I wouldn’t necessarily limit him to one spot or pigeonhole him into one spot.” Ellis, Itejere, and Joplin had committed to play for Smart at Texas before following him to Marquette. Smart is taking over for Steve Wojciechowski, who was fired after going 128-95 in seven seasons.
Ellis is rated 105th among all prospects nationwide in his class, Joplin 114th, and Itejere 156th, according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports. “I appreciate the loyalty of all the guys who signed with us previously and then decided to sign with us here,” Smart said. “Those guys certainly could have or would have had other opportunities, but there’s a relationship there that we have.”