"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, August 25, 2008

Trevor Mbakwe transfers from Marquette - Shocker

Todd Rosiak is reporting that Trevor Mbakwe has decided to quit the team essentially days before classes are to begin. New coach Buzz Williams said he was "shocked by the news". The last minute decision leaves MU even thinner in the middle as it prepares for the 2008-09 season.

For weeks it has been rumored that Buzz has been recruiting several other players even though no scholarships are available. Some have linked Trevor's departure as a reason for Williams' continued recruiting. However, if it is true that Williams was shocked by Mbakwe's transfer, then it's obvious Williams has been recruiting for another reason the last few weeks and months. Is it simply to stay in on kids "just in case" someone doesn't make it academically or backs out of their verbal commitment? Who knows, but it seems to me that Williams recruiting of late had nothing to do with Mbakwe.

Mbakwe was rumored to transfer after Tom Crean left for Indiana, but he reaffirmed his commitment back in May to stay with Marquette. Last year he was out for most of the season due to a leg injury, but came back early after medical clearance from MU's doctors. He was raw, but showed signs of rebounding presence in several games. It appeared he would be a significant contributor to MU this season as the squad attempts to go for four straight NCAA berths.

What is even more stunning is the reason Mbakwe gave for leaving. According to Coach Williams, the reason he left was to go the junior college route. Strange indeed. I'm sure more information will come about in the coming days.

This leaves Williams in a tough spot. Things had been going very smoothly for him the last 3 months, but now this last second decision has caught him and the MU faithful off guard.

Todd Rosiak's blog with this entry can be found here.



Tony said...

Yeah, this is weird. I'd guess that Buzz's continued recruiting was in anticipation of this, but who knows. He's also a new head coach, and needs to get his name out there with the high schools and JCs.

Does going to a JC get around transfer rules? Can he do a year at a JC and come back to a 4 year?

John said...

What's with MU Scoop removing the link to this Blog and Rosiak's Blog? We are mature enough to handle bad news.

mu_hilltopper said...

@John: MUScoop didn't delete anything. The thread was merged into one big Mbakwe topic.

Oliver said...

Odd news indeed. Mbakwe's head does not seem to be in the right place right now, so there are likely some personal things going on that have not been reported.

Despite the poor timing and the disappointment for this season, this is probably best for him and for Marquette in the long run.

Gene Frenkle said...

I guess if we want to try to make some lemonade out of this lemon, at least it now opens a scholarship up for '09 and another top-50 player.

Of course, it does nothing to help up this year with four seniors.

Richard said...

Listen, you recruit kids with somewhat questionable backgrounds like Trevor -- how many high schools did he attend? -- and you're asking for this kind of unpredictable behavior.

Unfortunately, I see MU doing more of this going forward.

Volatility is never a good trait in a basketball program.

Championships Matter said...


I agree with Gene. This year may be disappointing but it may open up something for someone special in the years ahead.

What I guess I don't understand is why now? Is the young man having emotional problems at Marquette? Here's hoping a change of scenery does him -- and Marquette -- good.

Tony said...

A lot of the top 100 prospects attend multiple high schools/prep schools to get with a coach/team that gives them the best opportunity to make it to a major conference/team. Not too much in that angle.

Maybe his summer grades weren't there, but that wouldn't be a surprise to Buzz.

Who knows, let's get a good recruit for 09-10 and be done with it.

John said...

Little Richard: I am waiting for the day you say something positive about the program. If you are just looking for negative things to say about a program, why don't you choose a real dog. You would be in heaven then. D. Wade was a risk in may programs eyes. Trevor was a much smaller risk. You are the first person to describe the program as being volatile. Where are the others that share your feelings?

Richard said...

You know what, you're absolutely right. Marquette basketball has been all about stability since March. Nothing to see here. No volatility whatsoever.