With the yesterday's announcement that Buzz Williams was taking his talents to Blacksburg, VA, the attention of Marquette fans, and the college basketball world in general, quickly turned to the incoming class of future Golden Eagles. I think Brian Snow, of Scout.com, summed it up best:
Marquette had a top 15-20 class coming in, let the tampering begin— Brian Snow (@BSnowScout) March 21, 2014
As Brewtown Andy laid out for us this morning, there certainly are a lot of questions regarding the would-be incoming Marquette freshmen, and with good reason. Two 4-star recruits (Ahmed Hill and Sandy Cohen), a versatile guard (Marial Shayok) and an emerging big man (Satchel Pierce), have all signed letters of intent to play for Marquette and, perhaps more importantly, Buzz Williams. And with this past season not working out the way MU fans would have liked, there has been a lot of focus placed on this group of talented youngsters to help get the Golden Eagles back on track. So I suppose it's only natural that one of the immediate reactions to the loss of the head coach is: "What are we going to do to keep our incoming recruits?" This focus isn't limited to this year's class either. Marquette was in play for a number of top players in 2015 - most notably, Dominican HS big man, Diamond Stone.
Now, as we discuss who might be the next man for the MU head job, I frequently hear folks debating how [insert hot coaching name here] might impact the interest of Ahmed Hill, or Diamond Stone, or some other recruit, in coming to play for Marquette. I think the most important thing to keep in mind when having this debate, is this:
It doesn't matter.
What the kids that committed to Buzz think about the next coach isn't just the least important item on the list of criteria, it's not even on the list. We shouldn't be concerned with what the next coach is going to do with this year's recruiting class, or even next year's class. Instead, we should be focused on what he can do with the next 10 classes, to sustain the success of the program over the long term.
So over the next few weeks, when you're debating the merits of rumored head coaching candidates, if someone tries to say that Coach X, Y or Z should get the gig because of how it might play with a specific recruit or signee, you tell 'em to shush. If the guys that Buzz recruited decide they want to go elsewhere now that he's gone, that's fine. If they decide they still want to be a part of this program and institution, that's awesome. But that's not something that we should be concerned with at this point.