"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

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Last Recruit

It’s April? Will we hear about the final roster spot being filled in the coming days?

If players win championships in preseason, coaches win it on the recruiting trail. A future huge NCAA tournament game could be decided based on whether or not MU signs a key high school player, transfer or JUCO player to fill their last roster spot for next season and additional one for the next season.

With Buzz have retooled the team from the hypothetical national 6-foot-5 and under team to a team of switchables, most agree that a key big man or point guard would be the final piece of the puzzle.

As outlined before, MU currently has 27 wins on paper for 2012 and 26 wins on 2013 based on the current roster, so could a recruit add a few more wins to get MU to the 31 wins Connecticut currently enjoys as they enter the national title game?


MU may have struck gold with Jamil Wilson for next year. Filling the last spot with a transfer obviously keeps MU at 27 wins next year since a transfer would sit out, so it would have to be a prize that could really give us a deep run in 2013 to make it worthwhile.

The top of the dream list would be Aaric Murray, who just missed 5-star status as the 10th best 4-star out of 100 when MU looked at him two years ago as a freshman. Murray is the one player that would be projected to add 5 additional wins to MU in 2013 as a junior based on his performance to date, meaning MU would project 31 wins in two years PLUS whatever their final recruit would bring. Aaric has done almost exactly what a high 4-star would be expected to do his first two years, including being worth 4.0 wins to LaSalle this year as their best player – halfway between a 4-star and 5-star sophomore averages:

Aaric Murray4852454131734
Jerrell Williams454243463773.5
Tyreek Duren322931466292.8
Earl Pettis299134864022
Ruben Guillandeaux39289791812
Bench total     0.7

As you can see, his production is about halfway between what you would expect from a sophomore 4-star and 5-star, so he looks like almost a 5-star just as originally ranked.

0-2 Stars0.

While MU is reportedly going after him, I do not know how realistic a chance we have. One report this week said he would go to Kentucky if offered, and had him list Florida and West Virginia as two other potentials, assuming he doesn’t risk it all and test the pro waters.

As for point guards, Korie Lucious volunteered his interest in transferring from Michigan State to Marquette, but MU did not have interest and he instead went to Iowa State. While it might have been nice to have a guard who had a Final Four under his belt, as a senior he would have eaten up the final scholarship for last year while not playing, and then only played in Junior Cadougan’s final year, thus taking away a spot that could have helped develop the point guard post-Junior.

There were 367 Division I transfers after last season, so we there could be others that might fill the center or point guard position.


A late freshman signee is unlikely to add many wins for next year, but obviously builds the best for the future. Even a 4-star or 5-star typically only adds about 2 wins his freshman year, while a 5-star typically adds 4.7 his sophomore year and a junior 3.1 wins – so MU could expect 31 or 29 total wins in 2013 with one of them added. However, even 3-stars generally aren’t worth an extra win until their sophomore year, and 2 wins their junior year.

While some have questioned Buzz recruiting nationally, the fact is there just isn’t that much talent in Wisconsin (MU grabbed the only Rivals 5-star player from the state since 2005 with Vander Blue), and even the four contiguous states to Wisconsin have had only a few more five stars since then. The fact is that Big 10 country is producing very few 5-stars, so the fact that Buzz can go to Texas and the rest of the South, the Big East gives MU a shot at the East, and that grabbing the top small forward in the West (Juan Anderson) shows that Buzz really does have a national base for recruiting is key when you look at where the 5-stars have come from since MU joined the Big East.

Now, before anyone gets upset, if a state had an equal number of teams from different major conferences I just went with the team with the higher Pomeroy rating, so this year I put Wisconsin as a Big 10 state, but when MU finishes higher than them next year, I will list it as a Big East state no matter how many alums they have.

ACC (47) BE (31) B10 (29) B12 (27) 
VA8RI1Neb0SEC (33) 
P10 (27)   WI1AR1
AZ1Other (11)   GA13
CA18AK1  LA2

Obviously signing the right freshman probably doesn’t give MU the next piece of the puzzle right away, but it starts to build for 2014 and 2015.


And finally, the JUCO option is typically the best for adding immediately impact. With a roster full of JUCO All-Americans including the JUCO POY Jae Crowder, Buzz knows that the right JUCO is Marquette’s best bet to have a realistic shot at the 30-win plateau and a potential deep run in 2012 and 2013. The JUCOs are hard to track until the All-American list comes out, and I can’t pretend to be an expert. I did put together a scoring system for any JUCO that was in the national Top 25 in one of the five key offensive categories (points, assists, steals, blocked shots and rebounds) and added some credit for players who made the all-tournament team.

I have no idea if any of these guys are key players, but it at least gives a list of JUCOs with the kind of huge assists numbers we’d like if Buzz wanted to add an extra point guard or the rebounds and blocked shots if Buzz believes we need another big.

1OrlandoSanchezMonroe College 423154  All-tourney
2WidgettWashingtonNortheastern Junior College825  22294 
3AveronMatthewsBroward College57932894   
4PierreJacksonCollege of Southern Idaho     MVP
5ChristopherEvansWabash Valley College507    All-tourney
6PHILIPJURICKChattanooga State Community College 303229   
7DennisTinnonKansas City Kansas Community College672388    
8KennyBucknerCollege of Southern Idaho 312   All-tourney
9AnthonyHubbardFrederick Community College599293    
10TitusRublesIndependence Community College528320    
11RodrigoSilvaLaramie County Community College 307151   
12RyanAaronGillette College834     
13TreyAndersonNeosho County Community College478  183  
14BruceMasseyDodge City Community College   213108 
15DytrelBraceyWestern Oklahoma State College   203111 
16MartelJacksonMalcolm X College   200111 
17XavierBlount/JohnsonCochise College675     
18DylanTalleyBlinn College674     
19TyrusMcGeeCowley County Community College662     
20DerrellArmstrongAllegany College of Maryland641     
21BlakeNashWilliston State College640     
22BojanMihajlovicCentral Wyoming College640     
23MarsellHoldenSan Jacinto College-Central639     
24TylerBrownMarshalltown Community College638     
25TerryTaylorPratt Community College   19287

Look out for the All-American list, and we will anxiously await which way Buzz goes to fill the last spot this year.

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