"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

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A weighty decision for MU

We're just hours away from learning Iman Shumpert's college choice. The MU message boards are rather tense, with good reason -- it has been years since a player of this acclaim and caliber actually committed to Marquette.

Iman Shumpert is a bellwether recruit for the program. Can MU break through and ink a nationally-ranked player of this magnitude? Simply put, Shumpert is the the kind of player who would signal to other big time prospects that it is OK to sign with MU. This one matters nationally.

If MU swings and misses here, it won't be for lack of effort. Crean poured it on in the pursuit of Shumpert, consider: the clever midnight visit as the open recruiting period began, securing Shumpert's final visit, Marquette Madness, and Dwyane Wade. Well done, TC.

Of course, if MU can't land a kid at a need position after that kind of royal treatment, well........it is likely more of the same for the program on the recruiting trail, and a kick in the 'nads for Crean.

Look, MU will be just fine either way; Crean has proven that for the last decade. He has an eye for talent, particularly in the backcourt and he's proven that 'recruiting rankings' are not the only measure of future success. However, Shumpert presents a undeniable opportunity to ratchet this program up several notches in the eyes of big time recruits for years to come.

In a sense, Shumpert's decision is all about credibility. Does MU have it or not with players of this caliber?

We'll know soon enough.


Anonymous said...

Any radio coverage of this?

Gene Frenkle said...

This decision, to me, is like the Badger football program.

Badgers had a shot in the 90s to gain national credibility by playing tough non-conference teams in addition to winning big ten titles (or at least...contending). What did Bucky do? They wussed out and felt content being "good" and took the safe way out. They continued to play pathetic non-conference teams, racked up their three wins, and virtually guaranteed themselves a bowl game. And...Bucky fans were happy and content with that, after all, "mannn, we used to suck. Now look at us!"

If MU can land Shumpert in 33 minutes, it won't guarantee MU a championship, but it will gain them some national credibility from a recruiting standpoint.

Instead of MU being known as a "really good program that brought D.Wade", MU can be looked upon even better.

"Man, did you see where MU has commitments from? Arkansas, Texas, the east coast? And they play in the Big East w/the TV exposure?"

A "get" like this can really elevate the program on the way to being a top-tier destination for recruits.

Gene Frenkle said...

One other point...

Bucky's non-conference schedule is 100% in their control. Shumpert deciding on MU is 100% our of their control, but it won't be for lack of effort.

But still. They miss this...it will sting a little.

Tim said...

Ga Tech. Crap

Anonymous said...

Gene, I know it is a favorite pastime of many a MU fan to rag on Bucky, but that is one of the most moronic parallels I have ever read.

Wisconsin is hardly alone in the wussing out category when it comes to college football. (Look at Ohio State this year for instance.)

Gene Frenkle said...

Look, I picked Bucky because it's close to home and I figured more people would know about their scheduling. Let's save this topic for another thread or website (OSU vs UW non-conference schedule...because I hate OSU and it's not even close as to who they play every year non-conference. Texas back-to-back seasons, AT Washington this year? Please.)

Gene Frenkle said...

As for Shumpert...I believe the Police said it best.

"...a humiliating kick in the crotch."

This one stings.

Anonymous said...

As a UNC fan I've been lurking on Marquette pages lately to see if y'all had any news on this guy that wasn't on the Carolina pages. In all honesty, GaTech is now a one and done school for kids who think they are ready to go pro. That means Marquette did not fit that pattern, which is actually good from your perspective.

However, don't get too carried away about being "close." You may have finished second or third - we'll never know. The point is, this is zero sum, and even when you are UNC it's tough. The dynamics of kids believing they are only a year away has completely changed college recruiting.

Anonymous said...

Gene...Ohio State *this year*...and don't throw out "at Washington."

Gene Frenkle said...

If you think AT Washington is the same as AT UNLV, then you don't pay attention to college football. And games vs. Texas is quite an upgrade too.

Fundman, nice points on keeping us MU fans in perspective. It's not only our loss, but UNC's too.

Anonymous said...

Who's this Gene guy anyways? Go back to Michigan!