"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

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ben-Eze to Harvard

In a major blow to Marquette's recruiting efforts, highly-coveted 6'10" center Frank Ben-Eze today committed to Harvard over MU and Virginia Tech. IWB had the news first over at Marquette Hoops. Congratulations and good luck to Frank. Harvard, wow.

Now back to MU.

Anyway you cut it this is a huge hit to the 2008 recruiting class. Amazingly, Crean has a starting center spot available for the taking -- yet still can't land the type of immediate impact, high-ceiling center you'd expect from a top 25 program. Sadly, the last center to sign with MU was Ousmane Barro -- a kid who did not play high school basketball in the U.S.

There is some reason for optimism. Crean is recruiting a host of other centers (O'Tule, Stutz and Sutton) but at least two of these appear to be projects. Also, it is worth noting that in the past, recruiting misses at the center position have not dealt the kind of blow to the program you might have expected (think Bryce Webster).

As long as the backcourt remains strong, Crean's system can overcome the absence of a consistently productive center - - but it should not have to be that way. Imagine what this program could be with a formidable front line anchored by a true center.

Imagine is all we can do for now.

What do you think? Talk about it here at MUScoop.


Anonymous said...

Can't blame the kid. I'd totally take a Harvard education if the opportunity was given to me.

But alas, I worked hard enough in high school to make it to Marquette, but simply was not Ivy League material.

Anonymous said...

I think Bryce Webster would be an apt comparison, since this proves that Big Frank would be more interested in academics instead of hoops, and should be commended for knowing what his priorities are and acting on them. Skill wise, he would have been a very good fit for the Marquette program, but I'm not sure that he would have made the hoops commitment that TC demands.

Anonymous said...

"yet still can't land the type of immediate impact, high-ceiling center you'd expect from a top 25 program."

Ummm.... because we're not a top 25 program?

MUWarrior71 said...

Most teams don't have the center they want so TC does an excellent job recruiting the type of player/person he needs to field a contender, year in and year out in the Big East.