Originally written on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 10/24/14
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MILWAUKEE -- In the state of Wisconsin, the NCAA's graduate transfer rule will always be known as the Russell Wilson rule. The former University of Wisconsin quarterback made perfect use of the rule, which allows student-athletes who have earned a degree to transfer to another institution and play immediately if their current school doesn't offer the graduate program they are enrolling in. Wilson transferred from North Carolina State and made the transition look incredibly easy, leading Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl and setting himself up for future NFL success. When Trent Lockett used the rule to his advantage in order to transfer from Arizona State to Marquette to be closer to his cancer-stricken mother, the Golden Valley, Minn., native wasn't aided by the fact Wilson was fresh in the minds of fans in his new state. Jumping into an entirely new environment is challenging enough, but Lockett arrived with high expectations possibly unfair expectations. "When they leave a high-major program, transfer to a high-major program, upon the transfer, so much is expected of them," Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. "I think that's really hard. You have to have to have an inordinate amount of character and intelligence in order to just have a chance." There's little question Lockett is special when it comes to character and intelligence. Williams has raved about it, so has Arizona State coach Herb Sendek. Lockett, who was a member of ASU's Barrett Honors College and twice Academic All-Pac 10, admits that it has taken time for him to settle in. "I kind of went through some drastic changes," Lockett said. "Obviously, a whole new place, coaches, players, but as the season has gone on I think I've become more comfortable and everyone has helped me the best they can, and at the end of the day it's on me." Williams is an expert in the transfer culture. He's had tremendous success recruiting junior college talent and developing it at the Division I level. He claims to have coached as many transfers as kids out of high school, but even Williams has never dealt with a high-profile transfer of this kind. Lockett has scored in double figures just once, averaging 7.8 points per game and is shooting just 37.1 percent from the field. "I do think in some ways that's a little bit more difficult because he was completely immersed in Arizona State's system, which is diametrically opposed to how we play," Williams said. "And then we are requiring and expecting so much of him. As intelligent as he is and as good of a kid as he is, that's still a lot." Against rival Wisconsin, Lockett turned the ball over seven times and hit just one of his seven shots. Despite his struggles, he played 34 minutes. He did enough other things for Williams to keep him on the floor. His stats weren't flashy in Marquette's next game against Savannah State, but Williams called the first 10 minutes of the second half Lockett's best stretch since he arrived in Milwaukee and wants to see it for 24 to 28 minutes per game. "He changes the complexion of our team if he gets a few offensive rebounds and knocks down a couple of shots," Marquette forward Jamil Wilson said. "Then there's another offensive threat you have to worry about. He plays well defensively, he's a big guard. The things that he brings to the table for us are crucial, and we are going to need him." For Lockett, it has been an adjustment going from the main option on offense for the Sun Devils to just one of the options at Marquette. At Arizona State, Lockett was relied on heavily on a team that has struggled to find success. He's had to change the way he approaches his role. "It is definitely a transition," Lockett said. "The biggest thing is the mindset. I have to be cautious of how much I play into that. It's a great transition, and I'm really enjoying my experience at Marquette." As the first semester winds down and Marquette's schedule solidifies into a consistent practice and game routine, Lockett should settle in. His coach sticking with him through struggles has certainly meant a great deal to him. "I really believe in who Trent is," Williams said. "I think that he's going to turn it. I really think against Savannah State he began to turn it. I believe that, I could be wrong, but I believe that because I've seen it with so many Juco guys. "Trent is smarter than all of us. It's been an adjustment, but I think he'll turn the corner and he's going in the right direction." Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
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