"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 10, 2011

Transfer Murray or Prep Jarion Henry ahead of JUCO All-Americans on wish list

God's Gift Achiuwa 22.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game certainly explains Marquette's interest. However when comparing him with other potential recruits that has to be tempered by the fact that he played for a team that Marquette would have beaten about 99-62 this year.

Erie Community College is a Division 2 JUCO school, so Achiuwa's stats are not nearly as impressive as Jae Crowder's 18.9, 9.0 at Howard College, which was better than most Division 1 schools last year, or Aaric Murray's 15.2, 7.7 at La Salle. Level of competition is the key to evaluating the rest of the stats, and luckily www.masseyratings.com gives us the tools to measure how Marquette would be expected to do against the other 2,071 JUCO and college teams.

Ohio StateL66-77-111st ranked team
XavierW72-7026-8 Jordan Latham
Howard CC last yearW74-60146-5 Jae Crowder last year
La SalleW87-73146-10 Aaric Murray
WyomingW80-60206-5 Jackson/6-9 M'baye
College of Southern IdahoW94-69255-10 Pierre Jackson
San Jacinto CCW97-64335-11 Marsell Holden
Monroe CC-BronxW101-57446-3 Jeff Early
Lawson State Community CollegeW89-61286-5 Larry McGaughey
Missouri State-West PlainsW97-60376-0 Lonnie Hayes
North Idaho CCW98-55435-9 Michael Hale
Erie Community CollegeW99-62376-9 Gods Gift Achiuwa
Cape Fear Community CollegeW92-52406-4 Tavares Speaks
Chattanooga State Tech CCW83-58256-11 Philip Jurick
Appalachian Bible SchoolW131-191122072nd ranked team
Dallas, TX High School  6-8 Jarion Henry
Lee, Maine High School  6-9 Keith Coleman
Van Buren, AR High School  6-10 Hooper Vint

So to take an extreme case, if we heard that the star of the Appalachian Bible School team was thinking of transferring to Marquette, we wouldn't be very excited because they are the worst team in the country and would likely lose about 131-19 to MU on a nuetral court. At the other extreme, if a good role player from Ohio State wanted to transfer we would be interested since they were about 11 points better than MU last year, so their strong sub might be our starter.

This is why we insisted last year Crowder would be a rookie star. He led Howard College to the national JUCO title at 28-2, and they were actually the 117th best team in the country, much better than the top JUCO team this year (Midland 265th ranked). While Howard would have been expected to stay within 14 of MU last year, only four JUCO teams this year would be expected to stay within 25 points.

The two players who jump out from those teams as players who could probably contribute to MU are point guard Pierre Jackson, who was ranked only 62nd the beginning of the year, but took 1st team honors and tournament MVP for a good Southern Idaho team that could have held their own against Marquette (predicted 94-69 loss). Sounds like he is leaning Iowa, but with Buzz's knack for nabbing JUCO players, we don't know who we are in the running for.

However, if we have settled on the final spot being a big man, then certainly 6-11 Philip Jurick is the one true center out there with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 8 blocks per game for a Chattanooga State Community College team that likewise could have held it's own against Marquette (83-58 final predicted). He initially played at Tennessee as a 4-star recruit before dropping down to JUCO, and Mississippi State and Huggins both want him, and his defensive dominance against pretty good JUCO competition is one reason his team would be forecast to hold MU to a reasonable 83 points in a hypothetical match-up. Obviously the question is how important he would be in light of Chris Otule's excellent defensive play since only scoring 11 ppg at the JUCO level probably indicates he would purely be a dominant defensive player.

We just bring up these two JUCO players and Achiuwa because of Buzz's reputation and knack for grabbing JUCOs, and because they have at least not committed elsewhere. However I have provided an alphabetical list at the bottom of all 50 JUCO All-Americans and how their teams would have done against Marquette from Xavier Blount/Johnson's Conchise College team that could have stayed within 22 points, to Cheikh Mbodj's Grayson College team that probably would have lost by about 58 points.

Not to say a good recruit can't come from a bad team, but view the players stats in the context of their competition if signed.

Tranfer Murray bigger impact player than any JUCOs

Crowder's Howard team last year was about as good as Murray's LaSalle team this year, and better than Wyoming, whose top two players are transfering and of interest to some MU fans. Murray's stats as the best player and a dominating inside force for a team that was only about 14 points worse than Marquette makes him the player who would likely add the most extra wins, but transfers have to sit out a year of course.

As for other transfers, I do believe 6-9 Amath M'baye from Wyoming is worth a look. MU would likely have beaten the Cowboys about 80-60 this year, but as M'baye was one of their top two players already he could certainly be an impact player after a redshirt year. While Xavier was really just a couple of points worse than MU despite our big tournament win by more, 6-8 freshman transfer Jordan Latham was a non-factor for them and was just a 3-star in high school, so I would think M'baye would be a better catch if available.

Jarion Henry or other high schooler may be best realistic pick-up

However, now that we are no longer desperate for depth NOW, absent Murray the best pickup might be a high school player, with our last possible shot at a 4-star possible in Jarion Henry out of Texas. I believe that would be a bigger get than Achiuwa, though I would probably still take Murray first. Now with Baylor setting up Facebook pages to gush over Henry, New Mexico practically giving him the keys to the city on his visit there, and Texas turning attention to him, it may well be that we are not even in the picture for Murray, Achiuwa or Henry, but the same principle of evaluating competition applies to whoever the last signee is.

With MU having already locked up two of the top 10 players in New England, 6-foot-9 Keith Coleman could be an intimidating force inside, or 6-foot-10 Hooper Vint is in Buzz's wheelhouse at Arkansas.

One reason I am tending a little away from a JUCO is that as I poured over the JUCO All-American team that was just announced, the problem is that there are only a couple of centers (our top priority) and pure point guards (probably our 2nd priority). However, here is the alphabetical list so that if a JUCOs name starts to be thrown around you have a quick reference to see how good their team was last year.

FnameLnameJUCO SchoolScoreMU ScoreMarginHeightAll-Am
RyanAaronGillette College5689-336' 3"3rd
DeonteAlexanderEast Mississippi Community College5292-406' 1"HM
DerrellArmstrongAllegany College of Maryland4997-486' 1"HM
CharlesAshfordVincennes University5093-436' 1"HM
QuintoriusBivinsAtlanta Metropolitan College5788-316' 2"2nd
XavierBlount/JohnsonCochise College6284-226' 4"2nd
HaunsBreretonWestern Nebraska Community College5388-356' 7"3rd
TylerBrownMarshalltown Community College5782-256' 4"2nd
RaymondCintronMississippi Gulf Coast Community College5188-376' 1"2nd
MonteraleClarkHighland Community College - Illinois5094-446' 10"2nd
SpencerColemanEastern Arizona College5888-306' 7"HM
RobertCrawfordConnors State College5595-406' 6"HM
JeffEarlyMonroe College57101-446' 3"1st
JustinEdwardsHillsborough Community College4493-496' 8"HM
CarlosEmoryHoward College51107-566' 7"1st
ChrisEvansWabash Valley College6191-306' 7"1st
KevinFosterCollege of Central Florida5994-356' 7"3rd
FreddieGoldsteinMotlow State Community College5287-356'HM
JaysonGuerrierAlabama Southern Community College5387-346' 4"HM
ParisGulleySoutheastern Community College5797-406' 2"3rd
MichaelHale IIINorth Idaho College5598-435' 9"2nd
DeangeloHaleyKankakee Community College5494-406' 3"3rd
CarlHallNorthwest Florida State College56100-446' 8"1st
LonnieHayesMissouri State University - West Plains6097-376'1st
MarsellHoldenSan Jacinto College-Central6497-335' 11"1st
MarcusHootenCopiah-Lincoln Community College3895-576' 3"HM
AlfonzoHubbardSalt Lake Community College5998-396' 5"HM
AnthonyHubbardFrederick Community College5592-376' 5"2nd
PierreJacksonCollege of Southern Idaho6994-255' 10"1st
ElliottJohnsonHighland Community College - Illinois5094-446' 7"HM
JeremyJonesSeward County Community College6096-366' 2"3rd
PhilipJurickChattanooga State Community College5883-256' 11"2nd
RecoLewisWaycross College4899-516' 2"HM
CheikhMbodjGrayson County College45103-586' 9"HM
LarryMcGaugheyLawson State Community College6189-286' 5"1st
TyrusMcGeeCowley County Community College5595-406' 2"1st
JoeMitchellHutchinson Community College5694-386' 1"HM
MalcolmMooreTyler Junior College5893-356' 7"3rd
BlakeNashWilliston State College5687-316'2nd
HanifNixon-HughesNorth Dakota State College of Science5487-336' 4"HM
QuintonPippenMissouri State University - West Plains6097-376' 4"HM
OrlandoSanchezMonroe College57101-446' 8"HM
D'AngeloScottArizona Western College48101-536' 7"3rd
TaylorSmithMcLennan Community College53106-536' 6"3rd
TavaresSpeaksCape Fear Community College5292-406' 4"1st
DylanTalleyBlinn College6489-256' 5"HM
CorbinThomasSouthwestern Illinois College5194-436' 6"3rd
Alan MichaelThompsonBrunswick Community College5387-346' 2"HM
WidgettWashingtonNortheastern Junior College5685-295' 11"HM
CoreyWilfordConnors State College5595-406' 1"2nd


John said...

More great analysis by Cracked Sidewalks. I truly hope Buzz and his staff read your blog. While insightful to us MU fans, I think this information has real value to the MU basketball staff.

toogr8fltm said...

JUCO is not a great place to find big men. If you are tall, someone will take a flyer on you at D1. The other thing you find are kids who grow late in high school or after and maybe are a bit slow while their coordination catches up or are too skinny and not strong enough to compete at D1. None of that translates to the Big East. Better to take a taller high schooler and hope he grows or fills out. Right now we have 2 post players, which is not enough. One turned ankle and it's back to half a game of small ball.