After months of irrational interest in the comings and goings of high school basketball stars, the day has finally come to make official what has been so hotly discussed. Today is the day that so many hours of effort put in by coaching staffs, and so many hours of scouring Twitter by bloggers, finally come to fruition. That's right kids, today is Day One of the 2011 college basketball early signing period. Between today and November 16th, high school hoops stars from around the country will sign on the dotted line and make official their intent to play basketball for college programs. So, in case you haven't been paying attention, here is your quick glance at those that will be signing on to play for Coach Buzz Williams and YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles next season.
Jamal Ferguson - A 6'4", 180lb shooting guard from Richmond, VA (Maury High School), Jamal was the first prospect to commit to Marquette for the 2012-13 season, and the first to send in his LOI. He got his decision out of the way early, announcing his intention to play for MU back in January of 2011. Scout.com ranks him as a 3-star prospect, the #22 SG in the 2012 class. ESPN.com lists him as a small forward, so I think we can see how he fits into Buzz Williams' overall plan of "switchable" players. He is a long, athletic wing player with great finishing ability and also projects as a plus perimeter defender. Jamal chose Marquette over Georgetown. Obligatory YouTube highlight package here.
TJ Taylor - No Buzz Williams recruiting class would be complete without a Junior College player. TJ Taylor, a 6'4" 220lb shooting guard from Denison, TX (Denison HS), comes to Marquette by way of Paris Junior College in Texas. Taylor was recruited by MU out of high school, but eventually chose to play for Jeff Capel and the Oklahoma Sooners. After spending an injury marred semester in Norman, he decided to transfer out of OU and take the JUCO route to Milwaukee. He was the #78 ranked player by ESPN.com and the #29 ranked SG by scout.com in 2010. TJ is regarded as a scorer that can play point guard or small forward, along with shooting guard (switchables!). He is a physical player that can finish and also has a decent stroke from 3-point land. Obligatory YouTube clip here.
The final two pieces to the 2012 recruiting class after the jump
Steve Taylor - A 6'7", 200lb small forward or power forward, depending on who you ask (switchables!), Steve is probably the crown jewel of the 2012 recruiting class. He comes to Marquette from Simeon HS in Chicago, IL. He is rated the #11 PF and #56 overall prospect in the nation by scout.com (note: that's 30 spots higher than local uber-recruit JP Tokoto), as well as the #64 overall recruit by ESPN.com. Taylor is a top flight talent that can score inside and out, that is crafty around the rim and knows how to grab some rebounds as well (Sound like anyone we know?). Steve chose MU over Missouri, DePaul, Xavier, Providence and others. Obligatory YouTube highlights here.
Aaron Durley - If you feel like we just talked about young Mr. Durley, it's because we did. The 6'10", 270lb center from Sugar Land, TX (George Bush HS) made his announcement just a little over 2 weeks ago. Durley is the only player in this year's class that won't get the switchable tag (unless you count his prowess as a baseball player). This big fella is as true a center as there is. Out of the same high school that brought you Chris Otule, he is the latest in an ever growing line of players to make the trip from Texas to Milwaukee in order to play for Buzz Williams. Aaron is a big man that can score, has good hands and good touch around the rim. His junior season was derailed by an Achilles injury, and that kept him off the radar of a lot of schools. He says the Achilles is now fully healed, so hopefully he is ready to have a breakout senior season and then head north to be the heir apparent to Big Chris in the middle for Marquette. Durley chose MU over South Florida and others. Obligatory YouTube clip highlight here.
So join me in welcoming these young men to the Marquette family. It is always fun to see who will be the next generation of Golden Eagles. And I know I can't wait to see these guys in Blue and Gold next season. Welcome aboard boys!