"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

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Recruiting: Not Yet Dunn

Marquette fans got great news this past weekend when the #1 prospect in the state of Illinois for 2012, Steve Taylor, orally committed to the Warriors. But as Marquette Nation is still celebrating the commitment of Buzz's latest acquisition, we learned today that Mitch McGary and Anthony Bennett would not be picking Marquette. While it's always disappointing to lose a recruit, there are a few consolations here. First, as Al McGuire always said, a no is better than a maybe. Buzz can now move on from both highly-regarded big men and focus on recruits who may say yes. Second, regarding McGary, he didn't list any other Big East schools, which means that while he won't be helping Marquette, he also won't be regularly hurting us. It's similar for Bennett, though he did list UConn, Pitt, and West Virginia as three of his final ten.

Looking ahead, Marquette is still in on a number of prospects for 2012. A number of big men still seem to be interested in Marquette, including Shaquille Cleare, a big man in the Davante Gardner mold but rated by most in the top-25. Others considering Marquette include Zach Auguste, Brice Johnson, and Devin Thomas. But while the prototypical face-up four seems to be the dream of all the Marquette faithful, I think our top target should be Kris Dunn.

Dunn has had a lights-out summer and has been one of the fastest-rising prospects in all of AAU basketball. While most services ranked him in the mid-40s back in April and May, don't be surprised if Dunn is a top-20, or even top-10 talent by the time the next recruiting rankings come out. Marquette was one of the first high-major schools in on Dunn, and back in late-April he told ESPN's Dave Telep he wanted to go to Marquette. After his breakout summer, he has offers from Connecticut, Louisville, and Providence. What makes Dunn so ideal for Marquette, more than his shooting ability, his excellent length for the point guard position, or his ability to get to the rim, is that he is a natural point guard. Dunn is a distribute-first kind of player that is working on his decision-making and his handle.

When Junior Cadougan graduates after the 2012-13 season, we will need someone to take over the point. While guys like Vander Blue, Derrick Wilson, and Todd Mayo have all played some point guard, all of them are usually regarded as combo guards. Dunn is a true point that will make everyone around him better. And the odds are he'll do it in the Big East. With the fluid nature of recruiting, it's possible that by the time I finish writing this, Dunn will have committed elsewhere, but if he hasn't, I hope Buzz Williams and his staff make Kris Dunn their top priority for the 2012 recruiting class. He's a perfect fit for Marquette, he has said he wants to be here, and he's the kind of truly elite recruit that the Marquette faithful would be able to get excited about.

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