Sorting Out The Recruiting Situation

There’s nothing that screws up a recruiting class more than a head coaching departure. It’s almost astonishing how quickly our hailed, nationally-ranked recruiting class has caught fire since Buzz Williams packed his bags for the supposed holy land of basketball at Virginia Tech. Sure, the hiring of Steve Wojciechowski has been a reason for hope (and the first one in an eternity and a half), but there’s still a ton of recruiting work to be done before we start circling March on our 2015 calendars. This team enters next season without its lead scorer, rebounder, and three-point shooter, not to mention without the freshman-despising Williams as well — so incoming freshmen may be relied on more than usual come November. Buzz had clearly put together a phenomenal class for 2014, and our road to success would take a sharp detour if Wojciechowski can’t retain its key players. Recruiting news takes some serious web surfing to come by, so we’re here to organize it all for our readers. Let’s take a look at each player’s situations, going by alphabetical order and class year.

2014 Recruits

 

Side note: All 2014 recruits are TECHNICALLY still committed through their signed National Letters of Intent. These recruits must meet with Coach Wojciechowski before asking for a release from their NLI’s. Other recruiting classes, not having signed them, are allowed to reach out to other schools whenever they wish to do so.

Sandy Cohen

Cohen’s recruiting situation is one of the toughest to describe. On March 22nd, he tweeted “I have been released (from) my National Letter of Intent. My window for recruitment is wide open.” This seems to be a decommitment from Marquette — but as stated above, Marquette hasn’t been allowing incoming freshman to be officially released without meeting the new coach. While interest from other schools poured in, Cohen met with Coach Wojciechowski on Thursday and tweeted almost immediately after: “The visit with Coach Wojo was amazing. Can’t wait to build a better relationship with him.” Although not an official verbal recommitment, it seems as if Cohen wants to stay at Marquette — or at least is extremely interested in doing so.

Status: He “verbally decommitted” in the first tweet above, but is seemingly near “recommitment” (both are in quotes because he has technically still been committed the entire time). Hey, I told you it was confusing.

Prediction: Stays with Marquette.

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Malek Harris 

Harris has been awfully quiet about his recruiting situation for quite some time now. After getting suspended from his high school team for his senior season, Harris passed on signing his National Letter of Intent in the fall period and instead planned on signing in the spring. Since then, however, Luke Fischer has taken the final 2014 scholarship spot and Buzz Williams has left. One would expect him to leave based solely on the scholarship situation, but it seems he’s waiting until other recruits leave as to take one of their spots. Harris has seemed committed to attending Marquette throughout his suspension, frequently tweeting to other signees about their kinship in being fellow Golden Eagles (for example, only a few weeks ago: “@NickNoskowiak Great game tonight bro! #WeAreMarquette,” etc). So until further notice, Harris seems to be a Golden Eagle.

Status: Still on board for now.

Prediction: Stays with Marquette.

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Ahmed Hill

Ever since tweeting about Buzz’s departure (“That’s crazy that I found this out on my birthday. WOW this is crazy!”), Hill too has been quiet about his basketball future. Since Hill lives in Georgia, it certainly took a ton of effort on Buzz Williams’ part to get him up to Marquette — so with Buzz gone, there’s been much speculation over whether Hill will explore his options once more. From the time of his commitment, however, Hill has carried an “all in” attitude towards Marquette, getting a tattoo of eagle wings across his chest and sporting Marquette apparel seemingly everywhere he goes. Although Buzz had a factor in his excitement, Hill seemed interested in the idea of Marquette basketball as much as he was dedicated to playing under Buzz. In my opinion, he stays — but with our surplus in future guards, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if he left either.

Status: Still a Golden Eagle for now.

Prediction: Stays with Marquette.

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Satchel Pierce

Multiple sources say the 7’0″, 250-pound center will be Virginia Tech-bound once permitted a release from his National Letter of Intent. At the time of Pierce’s commitment, Steve Taylor (6’8″) was the tallest player for the 2014 roster, so Buzz practically willed his way into signing Pierce through the lure of playing time. With Buzz now gone and 6’11” Luke Fischer’s recent transferring to Marquette, it wasn’t much of a surprise to hear Pierce wants out. Like the other 2014 recruits, he’s technically still signed with Marquette and has to speak with Wojciechowski before asking for a release — but considering all the noise about him leaving, it seems certain that Pierce will be gone in a matter of time.

Status: Looks like he’s leaving.

Prediction: Pierce leaves.

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Marial Shayok

There had been some rumors that Shayok was planning to be released from his NLI, but a Canadian basketball website later reported that he would wait until a new coach was hired to make a decision. Now that Marquette has hired Steve Wojciechowski, the same website reported that Shayok would meet with the new head coach this week to discuss his basketball future. Current players and recruits alike have raved about Coach Wojo upon meeting him, so this meeting definitely looks to be a step in the right direction.

Status: Seems to be willing to stay.

Prediction: Stays with Marquette.

 

 

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Random interjection: Waiiiittt, wuutt!?!? Four of the five 2014 recruits stay with Marquette!? Yes, #mubb fans. Coach Wojciechowski is not only the real deal, but was noted to be a phenomenal recruiter at Duke. An ESPN article from last July ranked him as the 17th-best recruiting assistant coach in the nation, claiming him to be a “key reason for the Blue Devils’ success on the recruiting trail” and described him as “both feared and respected.” Going off the praise from both current players and Cohen, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t able to impress most of the 2014 recruits as well. Back to the article.

2015 Recruits

 

Nick Noskowiak

Not being a 2014 recruit, Noskowiak was able to officially decommit from Marquette a few weeks after Buzz Williams left the program. He has, however, shown much interest in returning to Marquette if Wojciechowski is interested in recruiting him. Noskowiak himself has said that he “thinks extremely highly of coach Wojciechowski and will consider Marquette with any other school that is interested in me,” and another report said he wants Coach Wojo to see him play in person before recommitting. His recommitment seems to hinge on Wojciechowski’s interest in him rather than his own interest in Marquette — and with a meeting with Coach Wojo scheduled for sometime next week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Noskowiak return to the Golden Eagles.

Status: Verbally decommitted, but has shown interested in returning.

Prediction: Recommits to Marquette.

2017 Recruits

 

Philip Flory

“2017 recruits” is not a typo. Philip Flory, son of former Marquette star Mike Flory, committed to Marquette before he even entered 9th grade. Flory has recently said that Buzz Williams’ departure will not affect his commitment to Marquette, and that he’s excited to meet with Coach Wojo next week. Phew!

Status: Still committed.

Prediction: Maybe we should wait until he finishes drivers ed?

 

Welcome to the Daily Eagle – a blog and twitter feed of all things Marquette basketball. Follow us on Twitter at @Daily_Eagle for live updates on recruiting, games, facts, and the occasional opinion. For inquiries, contact us at dailyeagle@yahoo.com.

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