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 State||L66-77||-11||1st ranked team|
|Xavier||W72-70||2||6-8 Jordan Latham|
|Howard CC last year||W74-60||14||6-5 Jae Crowder last year|
|La Salle||W87-73||14||6-10 Aaric Murray|
|Wyoming||W80-60||20||6-5 Jackson/6-9 M'baye|
|College of Southern Idaho||W94-69||25||5-10 Pierre Jackson|
|San Jacinto CC||W97-64||33||5-11 Marsell Holden|
|Monroe CC-Bronx||W101-57||44||6-3 Jeff Early|
|Lawson State Community College||W89-61||28||6-5 Larry McGaughey|
|Missouri State-West Plains||W97-60||37||6-0 Lonnie Hayes|
|North Idaho CC||W98-55||43||5-9 Michael Hale|
|Erie Community College||W99-62||37||6-9 Gods Gift Achiuwa|
|Cape Fear Community College||W92-52||40||6-4 Tavares Speaks|
|Chattanooga State Tech CC||W83-58||25||6-11 Philip Jurick|
|Appalachian Bible School||W131-19||112||2072nd 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.
|Fname||Lname||JUCO School||Score||MU Score||Margin||Height||All-Am|
|Ryan||Aaron||Gillette College||56||89||-33||6' 3"||3rd|
|Deonte||Alexander||East Mississippi Community College||52||92||-40||6' 1"||HM|
|Derrell||Armstrong||Allegany College of Maryland||49||97||-48||6' 1"||HM|
|Charles||Ashford||Vincennes University||50||93||-43||6' 1"||HM|
|Quintorius||Bivins||Atlanta Metropolitan College||57||88||-31||6' 2"||2nd|
|Xavier||Blount/Johnson||Cochise College||62||84||-22||6' 4"||2nd|
|Hauns||Brereton||Western Nebraska Community College||53||88||-35||6' 7"||3rd|
|Tyler||Brown||Marshalltown Community College||57||82||-25||6' 4"||2nd|
|Raymond||Cintron||Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College||51||88||-37||6' 1"||2nd|
|Monterale||Clark||Highland Community College - Illinois||50||94||-44||6' 10"||2nd|
|Spencer||Coleman||Eastern Arizona College||58||88||-30||6' 7"||HM|
|Robert||Crawford||Connors State College||55||95||-40||6' 6"||HM|
|Jeff||Early||Monroe College||57||101||-44||6' 3"||1st|
|Justin||Edwards||Hillsborough Community College||44||93||-49||6' 8"||HM|
|Carlos||Emory||Howard College||51||107||-56||6' 7"||1st|
|Chris||Evans||Wabash Valley College||61||91||-30||6' 7"||1st|
|Kevin||Foster||College of Central Florida||59||94||-35||6' 7"||3rd|
|Freddie||Goldstein||Motlow State Community College||52||87||-35||6'||HM|
|Jayson||Guerrier||Alabama Southern Community College||53||87||-34||6' 4"||HM|
|Paris||Gulley||Southeastern Community College||57||97||-40||6' 2"||3rd|
|Michael||Hale III||North Idaho College||55||98||-43||5' 9"||2nd|
|Deangelo||Haley||Kankakee Community College||54||94||-40||6' 3"||3rd|
|Carl||Hall||Northwest Florida State College||56||100||-44||6' 8"||1st|
|Lonnie||Hayes||Missouri State University - West Plains||60||97||-37||6'||1st|
|Marsell||Holden||San Jacinto College-Central||64||97||-33||5' 11"||1st|
|Marcus||Hooten||Copiah-Lincoln Community College||38||95||-57||6' 3"||HM|
|Alfonzo||Hubbard||Salt Lake Community College||59||98||-39||6' 5"||HM|
|Anthony||Hubbard||Frederick Community College||55||92||-37||6' 5"||2nd|
|Pierre||Jackson||College of Southern Idaho||69||94||-25||5' 10"||1st|
|Elliott||Johnson||Highland Community College - Illinois||50||94||-44||6' 7"||HM|
|Jeremy||Jones||Seward County Community College||60||96||-36||6' 2"||3rd|
|Philip||Jurick||Chattanooga State Community College||58||83||-25||6' 11"||2nd|
|Reco||Lewis||Waycross College||48||99||-51||6' 2"||HM|
|Cheikh||Mbodj||Grayson County College||45||103||-58||6' 9"||HM|
|Larry||McGaughey||Lawson State Community College||61||89||-28||6' 5"||1st|
|Tyrus||McGee||Cowley County Community College||55||95||-40||6' 2"||1st|
|Joe||Mitchell||Hutchinson Community College||56||94||-38||6' 1"||HM|
|Malcolm||Moore||Tyler Junior College||58||93||-35||6' 7"||3rd|
|Blake||Nash||Williston State College||56||87||-31||6'||2nd|
|Hanif||Nixon-Hughes||North Dakota State College of Science||54||87||-33||6' 4"||HM|
|Quinton||Pippen||Missouri State University - West Plains||60||97||-37||6' 4"||HM|
|Orlando||Sanchez||Monroe College||57||101||-44||6' 8"||HM|
|D'Angelo||Scott||Arizona Western College||48||101||-53||6' 7"||3rd|
|Taylor||Smith||McLennan Community College||53||106||-53||6' 6"||3rd|
|Tavares||Speaks||Cape Fear Community College||52||92||-40||6' 4"||1st|
|Dylan||Talley||Blinn College||64||89||-25||6' 5"||HM|
|Corbin||Thomas||Southwestern Illinois College||51||94||-43||6' 6"||3rd|
|Alan Michael||Thompson||Brunswick Community College||53||87||-34||6' 2"||HM|
|Widgett||Washington||Northeastern Junior College||56||85||-29||5' 11"||HM|
|Corey||Wilford||Connors State College||55||95||-40||6' 1"||2nd|