"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

'Tis the Season

No, not Christmas... recruiting season. This is the time of year that basketball recruiting really heats up, as AAU tournaments are in full swing and kids are looking to commit to schools before they begin their senior seasons.

Marquette has received one commit from 2006, SG Anthony Green from Beloit, WI, but it also appears there are a number of players they are interested in to fill their final two slots. It seems clear that Jonathan Mitchell, a 6'6" combo forward of Mt. Vernon, NY and Bryce Webster, a 6'10" center, of St. Paul, MN are two high priorities for the staff. Both players are regularly ranked in the top 100 nationally.

There are varying reports on Mitchell, but every report at this point names Marquette as his leader. It seems that the race for Mitchell may come down to Marquette and Virginia, as Mitchell has expressed interest in new Wahoo coach, Dave Leitao, who was the assistant who helped recruit Mt. Vernon product, Ben Gordon, to UConn. Mitchell appears intent on visiting UVa, but from all indications, still loves Marquette. A decision may not be made until late August or early September.

Webster also appears to have approximately the same timeline in mind for his decision, and MU appears to also be at the top of his list. Recently, Bryce crossed Notre Dame off his list of 4, leaving Minnesota and Boston College as MU's main competitors. One article even suggested that Minnesota is off the list entirely.

There are other options out there as well. Tyrone Kent, a Chicago Crane player Marquette really liked in 2005, may be going the prep school route, and presumably, MU will be watching. Paul Bayer, a sharpshooter from Moline, IL, has already visited Marquette and liked what he saw. He is also considering Wyoming, Stanford and Creighton.

A couple other interesting names have popped up of late. Lazar Hayward, a 6'4" SG/SF who will attend Notre Dame prep in Fitchburg, MA. Hayward apparently has great interest in Marquette at this point, and Marquette has reportedly offered Hayward.

Two other big men recruits from Chicago have also been of interest to Marquette. Thijin Moses, a rising 6'7" junior was reportedly offered by Marquette and DePaul. Also, 2007 6'8" big man, Nyal "Mac" Koshwal has been rising up the recruiting ladder (he is expected to be a top 100 player in 2007) also is reported to have an offer from Marquette. Both players attended Marquette's Elite Camp this summer and both will attend the brand new Boys to Men Math and English Academy this year, where they will be coached by current Marquette player, Ousmane Barro's former coach, Loren Jackson.

Some other recent articles with some Marquette mentions for recruiting:

Twin forwards Jerrell and Terrell Williams of Paterson, NJ, announced they were transferring from Paterson Catholic to Northfield Mount Hermon, a prep school in Northfield, MA.

Kimmani Barrett, a 6'5" guard, also from Paterson Catholic.

Josh Guillory, a 6'4" wing who left the rough community of Watts, CA near Los Angeles, to live in Decatur, GA.

Also, keep an eye on Armon Bassett, a talented Terre Haute, IN point guard. There is some mutual interest between MU and Bassett.

Time will tell which athletes end up at Marquette.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed works.

Gordon Gekko's quintessential 80's movie line still rings true with many kids trying to make their way to the NBA. Randolph Morris, Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Roberson, Matt Walsh and a host of other talented but not-ready-for-primetime-players sidetracked their careers by letting their dreams of big bucks skew the reality of their situation.

Coach Crean is quoted in this lengthy article by Michael Smith at the Louisville Courier-Journal (which curiously does not address the wisdom of recent Pitino signees Donta Smith or Amir Johnson in an article that appeared one month later than it should have).

TC reflects on how he and Dwyane Wade worked through the process of considering early entry:

When Dwyane Wade exited Marquette, Crean's contacts were unanimous that the star guard would go in the lottery, which he did.

"As Dwyane got better and better, the more we talked about shrinking the circle," Crean said, referring to an athlete's circle of friends. "Kids these days want to ignore the nine people who tell them no and listen to the 10th guy, who tells them yes. They know what they want to hear, but you've got to be honest with yourself.

"You've got to remember that there's a ton of opinion-givers but just a few opinion-makers."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Marquette Program Profile

The Big East Basketball Report takes a look at the MU program in a recent post.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

2005-06 Season Prospectus now available

The Marquette 2005-06 prospectus is now available at www.gomarquette.com.

This information packed PDF featueres biographies and game-by-game career stats for every returning player, biographies for the newcomers, and the final 04-05 statistics.

A must for every Marquette fan.

About the only thing missing right now are the opponent summaries.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Vote in the Best of Wisconsin poll on ESPN

Many Marquette possibilities.

Click here to vote.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Show Me The Numbers

The uniform numbers of the Marquette men's basketball team have been released. The numbers of the new players are as follows: Dominic James has chosen #1, Matt Mortensen #2, Dan Fitzgerald #5, Dwight Burke #12, Jerel McNeal #22, Wesley Matthews #23, Jamil Lott #51.

Dominic James, #1 in your hearts and #1 in your program!

For a complete roster, click here.

3D View of Bradley Center - Marquette Layout

Marquette has released a 3-D view of the Bradley Center to assist people in picking seats. A nice tool.

Click here to view your seats

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hurley Leads St. Benedicts to National Prominence

Check this out....Coach Danny Hurley will lead one of the nation's most talented high school teams into action this winter, the St. Benedict's Gray Bees. Six of his players recently attended the Nike ABCD camp. Tom Konchalski sums it up best, "Don't schedule them unless you want an 'L' on your schedule." Here's a look at what the NY Daily News says about Dwight Burke's Alma Mater.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Prep School Influence: Talent Drain from NYC Hoops

With Marquette University officially a presence on the East Coast, it's interesting to note one of the most significant recruiting trends emerging in the region.

For years prep schools have lingered on the fringes of NYC area basketball, but public and parochial leagues maintained the lion's share of talent. Going forward that might not be the case, as more kids consider prep schools a better option for developing both basketball and academic skills.

Today's New York Daily News takes a hard look at the influence prep schools are having on basketball in the City, and notes that the pool of prep school options are increasing. Dwight Burke's alma mater, St. Benedicts, is cited as a relatively new prep school option.

Clark Francis offers his perspective on the issue:
"In cities all over this trend is getting out of control, and it will get worse," said recruiting analyst Clark Francis. "Poor academics got this thing rolling, but now kids see an Andre Blatche get drafted out of South Kent and everyone wants to go."

St. Benedict's coach Danny Hurley has a more positive perspective on the exodus of talent from the City:
"I think it gives guys an opportunity to get a better education, a better chance to have more college options, (and) the structure definitely helps," said St. Benedict's coach Danny Hurley. "Even in a month at St. Benedict's, (Eugene Harvey) put in more time and effort studying than he did in two years at his other school. So it's not the easy way out."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

RSCI ranks MU as 9th best recruiting class

The RSCI, or Recruiting Services Consensus Index, was put together to take the various recruiting experts ranking systems and cross reference them. By pulling in a multitude of experts opinions, an average ranking could be established. For example, one service may have Dominic James ranked 65th in the country while four other services have him ranked 35, 40 45, and 42....thus his RSCI ranking would be 56.75 (the average of the five rankings).

This system is used to take out some of the biases one expert may have for certain players. It is not perfect by any stretch, but fun to look at.

In the final rankings for this year, Marquette's class finished 9th in the country. Click here for a link to the "RSCI winners" and congratulations to Tom Crean for nailing a great class.

Our complete schedule to date (not official)

A minimum of 15 games against teams that went to post-season last year. Nine opponents made the NCAA tournament and another six the NIT. A loaded schedule to be sure.


Oakland (NCAA 2004)
San Francisco (NIT 2004)
Cincinnati (NCAA 2004)
Pittsburgh (NCAA 2004)
Notre Dame (NIT 2004)
(NIT 2004)
Georgetown (NIT 2004)
St. John's
South Dakota State
non conference TBD
non conference TBD
non conference TBD
non conference TBD

(NCAA 2004)
(NCAA 2004)
Notre Dame (NIT 2004)
DePaul (NIT 2004)
West Virginia (NCAA 2004)
Louisville (NCAA 2004 - Final Four)
Villanova (NCAA 2004)
Seton Hall

Eastern Washington (Great Alaska Shootout - GAS)
GAS #2 (USC or Oral Roberts)
GAS #3

MU's Big East Opponents Are Finalized

MU'’s 16-game Big East basketball schedule breaks down like this:

Notre Dame*
St John's

Seton Hall
Notre Dame
West Virginia


* = MU's home/home mirror opponents

Here is a link to the .PDF of the Big East master schedule.

Marquette recruiting update

OK, the team over at the Big East Basketball Report have posted an analysis of MU's recruiting needs. Please check it out at their new site and comment away. The team there did a nice job on this entry.

Here is the link.

Big East Schedule to be Announced Today

Later this morning, the Big East will announce its 2005-2006 conference basketball schedule. Dates and times for the games will not be announced, but by mid-day we'll know which teams Marquette will play in its inaugural Big East campaign.

Read about it here.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A New Big East Blog to Check Out

On the right margin, we've tried to stay current with interesting and appropriate links for the MU hoops community. Recently, a new blog was started that's worth a look - - The Big East Basketball Report.

We've linked to it under the Big East Blogs section of the links rundown as well. Currently, the bloggers are taking a look at 2006-2007 recruiting priorities for each Big East program. Cincinnati goes under the microscope today.

In addition, we added several new syndication options under the Syndicate This Site category in the right margin.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Part of MU's Big East schedule leaked

Thanks to John Dodds and his site (Marquettehoops.com), it appears some of MU's Big East opponents have been named.

Dodds reports that Marquette's "sister schools" will be Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and DePaul. These are the schools that Marquette will play twice in the Big East conference.

John is also reporting that UCONN and Cincinnati will play at the Bradley Center this year.

Great stuff from Dodds and IWB as usual.

The guys over at the Pitt SportsBlather also note the updates in an entry here.

Marquette's recruiting class ranked 4th in nation

For you recruiting maniacs, one service (Hoop Scoop) has Marquette finishing with the 4th best recruiting class in the country, just ahead of national champion North Carolina. Bear in mind that Hoop Scoop uses a combination of quality and quantity to score their classes. In other words, if you land 5 players that are all top 100, that class can be ranked higher than a class of two top 20 guys if that is all that school landed. Critics point to the quantity part as a hole in their evaluation scheme.

The complete Hoop Scoop list of 285 classes can be found here.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Fraschilla stays with the "Worldwide Leader"

Fran Fraschilla was courted heavily by both Marquette and ESPN the past week or so. Fraschilla has chosen to stay at ESPN after lobbying efforts on behalf of the network convinced him he did not want to return to coaching. Coach Tom Crean has stated he has already moved on in the process and hopes to find a replacment for Jeff Strohm during the recruiting "dead period".

A full article can be found in the Journal Sentinel here.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Marquette in the Big East: Major Challenges for MU Athletics

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, here's a good article on MU, athletics, and Bill Cords. A key excerpt:

Since the conference was created in 1979, its schools have won 25 national championships in six different sports. Cords said he learned quickly that member schools have a different mentality when it comes to competition and conference championships from what Marquette had in Conference USA.

"The mentality in the Big East is that, if you win a conference championship in a sport, you are automatically contending for a national championship," he said.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Fraschilla Wavering?

ESPN has made a strong push to keep Fran Fraschilla on their payroll and today's press conference was cancelled at Marquette. Comes down to two things in my opinion, does he want to get back into coaching or not...then there's the money. If we wants back into coaching, Marquette seems to be a slam dunk. He works there for a few years, then takes back a head coaching position. If the television camera and the money are the siren song, then that is the direction he will go but it will probably close any final windows of returning to a major coaching position.

Here is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's latest article about Fraschilla wavering.