With the season opener approaching ever so slowly, offseason headlines seem to be filled with nothing but recruiting – and it’s not necessarily because other topics are scarce, but more because this is the time of year where classes really start to fill up. Due to a dead period between high school and AAU seasons, fall is the time of year where most high school basketball players spend time taking visits to colleges, talking to coaches extensively, and really start to get an idea of where they’re going to go – all events leading up to committing to a school. Due to this heating up in the recruiting, we’ve decided to put together a recruiting update for those who may not read our Twitter account regularly. All rankings are from ESPN Insider recruiting profiles, and all recruits are from the 2014 class unless otherwise noted.
SG Ahmed Hill (4 star, #33 in nation): By far Marquette’s most coveted recruit of next year’s class, Hill has gone from once long-shot to on the brink of committing to the Golden Eagles for 2014. Hill recently narrowed down his list to Marquette, Florida, Mizzou, Indiana and Florida State, but as of late, the battle has boiled down between the Golden Eagles and Mizzou – and after his in-home visit with Marquette coaches today, Hill had nothing but positive things to say. The day before he met with Marquette, Hill also had an in-house visit with Mizzou, driving five sportswriters to quickly release predictions on Hill’s commitment to 247sports.com, all predicting a future commitment to the Tigers. However, Marquette fans need not worry – all five predictions were made hours before it was reported he would be meeting with Marquette coaches the next day, with no other schools mentioned. Hill has praised Marquette numerous times in the past – and with Buzz Williams recruiting him as hard as he possibly could right now, it’s very possible we see an Ahmed Hill commitment within coming weeks. If Marquette does indeed get his word, he will arguably be the best recruit of Buzz Williams’ career. 2013 guard JaJuan Johnson and Vander Blue may have been ranked a few spots higher, but Hill is a much better player than his ranking indicates, and will make an immediate impact if he commits. Prediction: Golden Eagles
UPDATE: Hill recently released in a tweet that he canceled his November visit to Indiana and is no longer considering them – adding to the belief that we should be seeing a commitment very soon.
Side note: as of October 12, Hill has indeed committed to Marquette.
PG/SG Sam Cassell Jr. (JUCO): Cassell’s college career (or lack thereof) has surely been a bumpy ride so far. Having committed to Maryland as a 3-star prospect in 2012, Cassell became ineligible before he could even step on the court, and redshirted the following year at Chipola Junior College (FL). However, sitting out for two years has certainly not affected his stock, as Marquette, Mizzou, UConn, Xavier, Florida State and others have contacted him since he opened his recruiting back up. Cassell, though not even a top-150 recruit in HS, has wowed scouts with his electrifying scoring ability, handles and athleticism, making him more than ready to fill-in at guard immediately. Marquette has been pursuing Cassell since early March, and as highlighted by PaintTouches.com, MU definitely makes a lot of sense for Cassell – they need another point guard, Cassell needs playing time, and being a JUCO transfer, there’s no better place to go than Marquette. Prediction: Too Early – Edge: Golden Eagles
As of October 9, Sam Cassell Jr. has committed to UConn. It’s believed Ahmed Hill was an influence influence on Cassell Jr. cutting MU from his list, both being shooting guards.
SF Marial Shayok (4 star, unranked): Shayok, a 6-6 Canadian forward, is a mysterious prospect – with little video and a vague ESPN scouting report based off potential (most likely due to where he lives rather than his playing ability), it’s especially hard to tell how good of a player he is as of now. Nevertheless, Shayok stood out playing for Team Canada over the summer, scoring 22 points with 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals against Africa, and also had 15 points and 11 rebounds in their previous game against France. Whether it be dunking or taking it to the rack with ease (skip to 2:14), Shayok has shown exceptional athleticism, versatility and ball handling in the short film we’ve seen of him. Having led his high school team in threes every season, Shayok’s all-around level of play is already jaw-dropping for a player who hasn’t even began scratching his potential. His top two schools being Marquette and Virginia, many, including 247sports.com and ourselves, agree that Shayok will be donning blue and gold by the end of his recruitment. Prediction: Golden Eagles
C Ben Lammers (unranked) – Aug. 29, (Next three 2015) SG Charles Matthews (5 star, 9th), C Diamond Stone (5 star, 4th), PF Cody Schwartz (unranked) – Sep. 8 (campus) Note: MU commits Malek Harris and Nick Noskowiak were also in attendance. Sam Cassell Jr. – Sep. 12-14 (campus), Marial Shayok – Sep. 17 (in-house), Ahmed Hill – Sep. 28 (in-house)
Marial Shayok – Oct. 11 (Campus/Marquette Madness), PF Tory Miller (3 star, unranked) – Oct. 11 (Campus/Marquette Madness)
2015 SG Antonio Blakeney (4 star, 23rd) – Aug. 21, PG Nate Mason (3 star, unranked) – Sep. 4, 2015 SF Jordan Murphy (unranked) – Sep. 11, (Both 2015) C Daniel Giddens (4 star, 26th) and PG Jaylon Brown (unranked) – Sep. 18
Out – Players who have either committed to another school or are no longer considering Marquette (NLC):
Kevon Looney (NLC), Bryant McIntosh (Northwestern), Quentin Snider (Illinois), Myles Turner (NLC), Goodluck Okonoboh (NLC), James Blackmon, Jr. (NLC), Paul White (G-Town), Terry Larrier (VCU)
For the complete list of players considering Marquette for 2014, click here.
Charles Matthews is expected to cut down his list this weekend. Side note: Matthews kept MU on his updated list of 10.
Todd Mayo’s knee looks great in a shooting video he recently posted on Instagram. His profile is private, meaning we can’t post the link, so give him a follow and see it yourself at instagram.com/liveoncethinktwice.
It’s well-known that MU is lined up for a small lineup next year (tallest player would be 6’8 Jameel McKay). Likely candidates to fill that hole through the 2014 recruiting class are Ben Lammers, Tory Miller, Johnathon Wilkins, Sean O’Mara, or Trevon Bunch (all listed in the first link of this section) – unlikely would be Khadeem Lattin. However, with the 2015 class loaded with talented big men (see: Diamond Stone, Henry Ellenson, Daniel Giddens), these players would most likely see a starting role for one year, if any.
The previously mentioned Ben Lammers has narrowed his list down to Marquette, Georgia Tech and Miami and is expected to commit this weekend, per Wisconsin’s Mark Miller. Lammers, a 6’10” rising center from San Antonio, would easily fill Marquette’s need for a big man next year, most likely taking on a Chris Otule-like role. Note: Lammers committed to Georgia Tech on 9/25.
23 days until Marquette Madness, 51 until the season. Keep grinding, #mubb fans.
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