"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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recruiting Heats Up for Marquette

While a segment of the Marquette fanbase is anxious because the program currently lacks a commitment from the class of 2011, Coach Buzz is blanketing high-quality talent. With a relatively young roster Coach Buzz is being more selective this time around, and that selectivity involves a number of nationally-ranked recruits most of whom would be immediate contributors as freshmen.

Forwards
Last week Juan Anderson from Castro Valley, California took an official visit to MU. Anderson is a 6'6" natural wing whom Scout.com rates as the best wing player on the West Coast. Anderson is down to Marquette, Arizona State and California.

This weekend 6'7" top 50 target SF Rodney Hood will be on campus for his official visit. A four-start stud from Meridien, Mississippi Hood has offers from just about everybone and is visiting MU along with Louisville, Alabama, Georgia Tech and FSU. This guy is big-time.

6'8" Jarion Henry is also considering MU. The small forward from Dallas Kimball High School excels in transition and currently has offers from MU, Arkansas, Fresno Sate and UTEP, with others lingering, according to Rivals.com. Henry is expected to be at Marquette Madness in a few weeks.

With the departures of both Joe Fulce and Jimmy Butler after this season, landing a high-ceiling small forward is priority for the program. Hood, Anderson and Henry fit the mold of athletes that Coach Buzz prioritizes -- skilled, athletic players how can play multiple positions well.

The baseline
Along the baseline MU is actively pursuing 6'8" Mike Shaw, 6'8" Quincy Miller, 6'9" Trey McDonald, 6'8" Luke Mergerson, and perhaps 6'8" Tre Leonard.

Mike Shaw, a smooth 6'8" combo forward from Chicago DeLaSalle High School, is considering MU, West Virginia, DePaul, Illinois and Notre Dame. Buzz had an in-home with Shaw earlier this month -- but so did the other guys. Landing Shaw would be a signal once again about MU's strong presence in Chicago, as well as a blow to Flatlander institutions in particular.

Quincy Miller is a 6'9" Chicago product who is finishing out high school at Westchester Academy in North Carolina. Miller is one of the top 10 players in the nation, one of the two best forwards in the entire country. Miller has already visited Louisville and is considering Baylor, Kentucky, Texas, Marquette and perhaps Duke. It has been reported that Baylor and Louisville lead for Miller. It is noteworthy that current MU freshman Vander Blue was Miller's teammate last summer on the Team USA Basketball at 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. That squad took home the gold medal. Landing Miller would be a coup, but it says here Buzz should not hold out for the kid if Shaw is ready to commit.

Trey McDonald is a 6'9" power forward from Battle Creek, Michigan. McDonald is drawing interest from MU, Minnesota, DePaul, Wake Forest and several others. McDonald is also expected to be at Marquette Madness in a few weeks.

Another big MU is looking at is 6'8", 230 pound forward Luke Mergerson from Duncanville, Texas. Tulane, Cornell, Boston College, Georgetown, Notre Dame and a many others are checking in on the big Texan.

Tre Leonard, an under the radar recruit, may or may not be visiting MU this week* (*this just in, Twitter can muddy the waters with recruiting). For now the interest from MU is just a rumor but Leonard hails from Wakefield High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, the same program that produced Darius Johnson-Odom. Leonard is a bit of a mystery in that he's been only lightly recruited by high-majors to date, but at 6'8" and 280 pounds perhaps he screams potential.

Shooting guards
D'Angelo Harrison, a 6'3" shooting guard from Missouri City (Dulles), Texas, has been a priority for some time. Harrison is considering MU along with Baylor, St. John's and Oklahoma State. Harrison is one of the best shooters in the nation and is expected to be at Marquette Madness in a few weeks.

High-scoring Nick Faust -- fresh off of a dominant summer which saw his national profile skyrocket -- is considering MU, Maryland, FSU, Oregon State and perhaps Villanova. A month ago it appeared that Faust might be down to MU and Maryland, which turned out not to be the case. Coach Buzz completed an in-home with Faust earlier this month but an official visit to campus has yet to take place.

MU has been mentioned lately with freak-athlete/wing guard Deuce Bello, who teams with Miller at Westchester Academy in North Carolina. Bello has not set up an official visit to MU but Miller has indicated the two might be a package deal. This feels like another long shot, and we'll likely gain more clarity around the Miller/Bello situation after the pair visit Baylor this weekend.

The next six weeks will be pressure-packed for MU on the recruiting trail. With just three scholarships to offer for next season (ha!), Coach Buzz is right to be selective but he'll work to avoid being aced out at any position of need. One thing we are confident about is that when it's all said and done, we expect another high-quality recruiting class on campus next fall. Buzz's history plus the slew of targets (that we know about) means that good things should come to fans who are patient.

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PS - Don't forget to donate to Al's Run, supporting Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Every little bit helps.

3 comments:

RevDrJamalPFunk1 said...

Hood will also be visiting Georgetown for Midnight Madness of oct 15th.

We have a pretty good shot to land him getting him for midnight madness and his last visit.

Tim Blair said...

Thanks, Reverend. Yes -- having kids visit for Midnight Madness is an advantage.

Eric said...

What are the chances we get a pair of top 50 recruits who can contribute right away? Can we get 1?