Deonte Burton, the 28th best 2013 player in the country according to Rivals, will reportedly be on campus this week. While some fans seem purely focused on getting a 7-footer, the fact is that very few 7-footers are very good and that the 6-foot-4 Burton could be the top-rated player signed by Marquette ever.
While our obsession with signing a 7-footer is understandable after watching the Three Amigos success cut short by the lack of any inside presence, MU fans need to understand one fact when new recruits are announced:
Swing men between 6-4 and 6-8 are the most likely players to emerge as stars, and they are more likely to be great players than those 6-11 or taller.
Sports Illustrated piece on Value Add
Sports Illustrated was kind enough to feature an article on my Value Add system this weekend, and when I look back at the ratings I realized that only ONE out of 101 players 6-foot-11 or taller last year was a top 100 player (Zeller, UNC).
In considering the importance of signing a 7-footer, fans should consider that MU went up against four of the Top 7 in the country this year, and except for Zeller none of these guys compare to a dominant swing man like Burton:
|7 footers (best 7)||Team||Points||Rebounds||Blocks|
|Alec Brown||Wisconsin Green Bay||3||8||0|
|Garrett Stutz||Wichita St.||DNP|
|Average vs. MU||12||8||1|
So as much as I hope Buzz lands 7-footer Blaise Mbargorba, or at least a 6-foot-11 guy like Prince Ibeh or Phillip Nolan to balance our roster, signing 6-foot-4 Deonte Burton during his reported visit this week would be MUCH bigger for the program so no fan should utter “oh no, another swing man.”
As you can see from the table at the bottom of this post of players by height, players between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-8 are the most likely to be stars, with 268 of 1724 ranking in the top 500.
Butler best 6-foot-7 player in country last year
One fact I stumbled onto in sorting Value Adds by height is that Jimmy Butler was the best 6-foot-7 player in the country last year – but perhaps even more exciting is that perhaps the best 2014 player in the country, 6-foot-7 Andrew Wiggins, is considering Marquette.
Sure I love having Chris Otule’s defensive presence, and would love to add a big, but the fact is MU outrebounded their Big East opponents last year due to the play of swingmen, and 6-7/6-6 players Jamil Wilson, Jae Crowder, Jamail Jones and Juan Anderson are likely to keep that going.
The following table shows how many D1 players last year played at each height, how many of those players ranked in the Top 500, who the best was at each height, and the height of each player on Marquette’s roster or at the top of MUs recruiting targets. The figures shown are the Rivals national rankings, which are not out for 2014 players, but all of the 2014s listed will be near the top of the national rankings:
|Height||Count||Top 500||Best||Current MU Roster (possible recruits)|
|7-foot-3||2||0||Somogyi, UC-Santa Barbara|
|7-foot-2||1||0||Bachynski, Arizona State|
|7-foot-1||6||1||#235 Tisdale, Ill|
|7-foot-0||34||4||#32 Zeller, UNC||(2014 Blaise Mbargorba)|
|6-foot-11||58||10||#104 Benson, Oakland||Chris Otule (2012 Prince Ibeh #55, 2012 Phillip Nolan #103)|
|6-foot-10||148||22||#11 Leuer, Wisconsin|
|6-foot-9||265||35||#10 Sullinger, OSU||(2014 Paul White, 2013 Kyle Washington, 2012 Chris Washburn #112, 2012 Zach Auguste #94)|
|6-foot-8||381||60||#7 Williams, AZ||Davante Gardner|
|6-foot-7||361||49||#21 Butler, MU||Jamil Wilson, signee Steve Taylor (2014 Andrew Wiggins)|
|6-foot-6||349||55||#5 Dahlman, Wofford||Jae Crowder, Jamail Jones, Juan Anderson|
|6-foot-5||315||49||#15 Brooks, Providence|
|6-foot-4||318||55||#14 Jenkins, Vandy||Vander Blue, signees Jamal Ferguson and TJ Taylor (2013 Deonte Burton #28)|
|6-foot-3||314||43||#4 Jenkins, Hofstra||Todd Mayo, Jake Thomas (RS)|
|6-foot-2||271||32||#3 Fredette, BYU||Darius Johnson-Odom|
|6-foot-1||237||34||#1 Taylor, Wisc.||Junior Cadougan, Derrick Wilson|
|6-foot-0||180||29||#8 McConnell, St. Mary’s|
|5-foot-11||88||10||#80 Hamilton, Oakland|
|5-foot-10||95||7||#20 Warren, Mississippi|
|5-foot-9||36||2||#120 Young, Clemson|
|5-foot-8||12||3||#35 Thomas, Washington|
|5-foot-6||2||0||Taylor, FL Atlantic|