• Marquette Welcomes Five Newcomers to Program

    Marquette Press Release

    From Marquette Basketball Communications

    The Marquette men's basketball team has announced the addition of five players to its 2021-22 roster, first-year head coach Shaka Smart announced Thursday morning.

    Joining the Golden Eagles are prep standouts Emarion Ellis (Davenport, Iowa/Assumption), Keeyan Itejere (Knightdale, N.C./GRACE Christian School) and David Joplin (Brookfield, Wis./Central). All three had previously committed to Smart and his staff at Texas last fall. The coaching staff also announced the addition of transfers Tyler Kolek (Cumberland, R.I./George Mason) and Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Montreal, Quebec/Clemson).

    Emarion Ellis (eh-MAR-ee-ON) was named Iowa 3A Player of the Year and First Team All-Class 3A by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association in 2020-21 after averaging 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game at Assumption High School under head coach Matt Fitzpatrick. Ellis (6-5, 175) was also named First Team All-Class 3A by the Des Moines Register and helped lead the program to its first trip to the state tournament semifinal since 2013. The Knights were 19-7 overall, 14-2 with Ellis in the lineup, earning him a spot as captain of the Quad Cities All-Metro Team.

    Ranked the 91st-best prospect in his class by Rivals.com, Ellis averaged 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game as a junior at Davenport Central High School.

    Keeyan Itejere (KEY-uhn | eh-TEEZ-your-ray) competed under head coach DeShannon Morris at GRACE Christian School (Raleigh, N.C.), contributing 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 2.0 assists per game. He was an All-Eastern Plains Independent Conference selection and tabbed the school's most valuable player. He was a member of multiple conference championship squads and helped the Eagles to the 3A NCISAA quarterfinals on two occasions.

    As an all-league performer his junior season, Itejere (6-9, 190) contributed 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 2019-20 and helped GRACE Christian to a 21-12 overall record and the second round of the NCISAA 3A state playoffs.

    David Joplin (6-7, 215) averaged 25.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest as a senior at Brookfield Central High School in 2020-21 under head coach Dan Wandrey. He was a unanimous selection on the Associated Press All-State First Team and tabbed to the all-area squad by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Joplin was selected to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Team.

    A top-100 ranked recruit nationally (No. 74 by 247sports.com), Joplin was an all-state honoree by the Associated Press and WBCA as a junior in 2019-20, contributing 23.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest. The Lancers finished 24-1 that year and claimed the league title. As a sophomore, Joplin was an honorable mention all-state selection and the Lancers claimed the school's first state championship.

    Tyler Kolek (6-3, 190), the Atlantic-10 Conference Rookie of the Year in 2020-21, was one of the most productive freshman in the country. He started 18-of-22 games for the Patriots and averaged 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He is one of only 11 freshmen in the past five seasons (and the only one in 2020-21) to average a stat line of 10.0 ppg./2.4 3-pt. FG/2.0 apg./.350 3pt FG%.

    Kolek was the 2020 NEPSAC Class B Player of the Year at St. George's School in Middletown, R.I. He led the team to a 23-4 overall record, league championship and trip to the state tournament semifinals as a senior. A two-time ISL Player of the Year, Kolek was the 2019 Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year.

    Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Oh-LIV-ee-ay) was a nationally ranked recruit in the class of 2020, spending his senior season at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois before transferring to the NBA's Latin American Academy in Mexico City to conclude his high school career. One of the top prospects in Canada as a senior, he was named MVP of the 2019 Biosteel Canadian All-Star Game and was also tabbed to the all-star roster of the NBA Academy Camp that year.

    As a freshman at Clemson in 2020-21, Prosper (6-8, 220) in 22 outings and earned a pair of starting assignments. He averaged nearly 10 minutes per game and helped the Tigers to a NCAA tournament appearance.

    The latest additions join guards Kam Jones (Cordova, Tenn./Evangelical Christian School) and Stevie Mitchell (Reading, Pa./Wilson HS), who officially joined Marquette during the November signing period.