Marcus Shaver Jr.
If you are a Bronco fan and follow basketball, you know the name.
The senior guard has become a prominent athlete in Bronco Athletics since 2020.
In 2022, Shaver Jr., or “Big-shot Shave,” not only helped lead the Broncos to a Mountain West title and a berth in the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament, but he also withdrew his name from the NBA draft.
To fulfill his final season of collegiate eligibility, Shaver returned for the 2022-2023 season.
“We are thrilled to have Marcus back for another season of Bronco basketball,” head coach Leon Rice said about the return of Shaver. “Not only is Marcus a special player, he’s a very integral part of our program. The continuity of leadership and experience that he provides will help us continue to elevate this program to new heights.”
Though the Broncos welcome him with open arms, it is fair to wonder, was it all worth it?
Shaver Jr. has had high expectations and pressure on his shoulders since transferring to Boise State from the University of Portland.
The highest Shaver has averaged in his collegiate career was during his sophomore year, 2018-2019 season, at University of Portland, with 14.2 points.
The statline fluctuates from then on.
During his first season as a Bronco, the 2020-2021 season, Shaver averaged 10.4 points.
He then developed astronomically throughout the 2021-2022 season and finished the season averaging 13.3 points.
Come this season, the 2022-2023 season, he has averaged 13.2 points.
This season has also been the lowest for Shaver in regards to field-goal percentage (37.7%), three-point percentage (26.7%) and free-throw percentage (73.9%).
Each of these percentages are the lowest in his five season collegiate career.
This season, Shaver has had the opportunity to be the leader of this team. Being one of the starting veterans of the 2021-2022 Mountain West champion team, the pressure is inevitable.
But, the goals for this year’s team seems to be heavily determined by Marcus Shaver’s production on the court.
Granted, Shaver has had clutch game winning moments this season.
His game-winning three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left against San Jose State solidified the 67-64 victory on Jan. 3.
Though he leads in many facets as a Bronco, leading in rebounds (6.3), assists (4.2) and steals (1.7) per game, his injuries have made a significant impact.
Though the season isn’t over, the injuries Shaver has faced may seem like the end of his.
Despite playing through his injury he suffered in December 2022, he sat out against San Diego State on Feb. 3 and had a boot on his right foot.
The Feb. 3 game against San Diego State, proved just how influential Shaver’s presence is for the Broncos.
To preserve his health, and his draft capital, it seems understandable for Shaver to remain off the court for the remainder of the season.
With the 2022-2023 season being the final year of eligibility, the NBA prospect is looking forward to the future.
With this year’s return to the Broncos squad, there is much on the line for the young player.
The need to develop his game, become a more versatile and NBA ready player and also recover from looming injuries.
It leads fans to wonder, is he a budding star or a falling star?