"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

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tom Crean recruits winners

Congratulations are in order for 2008 MU commit Nick Williams and 2008 MU target Jonathan Baldwin. Williams and Baldwin each led their respective high school programs to state championships within the past week.

Down in Alabama, Williams led Mobile LeFlore to the state title game where the Rattlers topped Jeff Davis, 64-61 for the Class 6A title. Williams had 13 points in the title game. With the win LeFlore finished up at 31-3 for the season and captured its first state title since 2002. Nick was understandably emotional after the big win. Congratulations, Nick.

Over in the Pennsylvania state finals, junior PF Jonathan Baldwin scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Aliquippa Quips secure back-to-back WPIAL Class AA titles. The 73-69 win over Jeannette was the Quips fourth title in five years. That's some kind of high school program. Congratulations, Jonathan.

Want more? SoCalWarrior's blog over on MUScoop has a video of 2007 commit Scott Christopherson via Wishoops.net. The kid can really shoot.

And while the three fellas above are all high school players -- Tom Crean sees plenty of value in targeting prep school kids as well.......and will keep going the prep school route in the future. The Norwich (CT) Bulletin ran a feature story about prep schools and focused on the benefits the student-athletes gain from the extra year. Here's what TC had to say:

"They're products of where they come from," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "The ability to lock in and have the college feel for a year -- to stay organized, stay really on par, to know what's expected of them -- is just a bonus. It's like giving an automatic red-shirt.

"That's what a lot of prep schools do. That's why we're going to keep recruiting them heavily."

Sounds good to me, especially given the success TC has had with prep school recruits (Townsend, Cubillan, and Hayward). And if recruiting more prep school kids means fewer JUCOs -- that can only help the Marquette program.

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