Recruiting is the lifeblood of every collegiate athletic program. The mere act of getting out and talking to athletes about your program spreads the word about who you are and what kind of players you're looking to add to the roster.
In April, Steve Wojciechowski took over at Marquette, and he had two major recruiting coups right off the bat: he kept Wisconsin native Sandy Cohen on board for this fall and got 2015 recruit Nick Noskowiak to reaffirm his verbal commitment. Since then, there's been a flurry of activity and notes flying around, but no new commitments to speak of. As we start approaching the midpoint of the school year summer break, let's look at what information we've found out so far.
Henry Ellenson - The freshly minted ESPN top 5 player in the class of 2015 has emerged as a high profile candidate for Marquette. How do we know this? Well, let's put it this way: Dr. Michael Lovell, who's in the process of taking over as president this coming week, is making it a priority to sit down with Ellenson and talk about what Marquette can offer him. Again: THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT WANTS ELLENSON TO BE AS INFORMED AS POSSIBLE. Also in Marquette's favor when it comes to Ellenson is his AAU teammate: Nick Noskowiak. The 6'2" point guard is making sure the 6'9" power forward from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, knows that he'd love to keep passing him the ball wearing blue and gold. 247 Sports' Crystal Ball has Wisconsin at 67%, but two of the last three predictions are for Marquette, including one from Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook's Mark Miller.
Matt Heldt - ESPN has the 6'10", 210 lb. center from Neenah as the fourth best player in the state of Wisconsin in the class of 2015. That's an impressive accomplishment for Heldt, since the three players in front of him are Noskowiak, Ellenson, and Diamond Stone. After Heldt helped lead Neenah to the Division 1 state championship game with a 27 point explosion against Mukwonago in the semifinals, he picked up a scholarship offer from Coach Wojo. While Heldt would have to be a third option behind Stone and Ellenson for Wojciechowski, it would still be a formidable in state recruiting coup to get two of the four best players for 2015 to the Al McGuire Center, especially if the top two players opt for blue blood programs. The Crystal Ball on Heldt has eight predictions, all pointing towards Marquette.
Josh Sharma and Aaron Falzon - I'm including these two class of 2015 guys together because Coach Wojo offered them scholarships at (essentially) the same time. As Falzon put it in a blog post on Adam Zagoria's site:
Now it was on to Marquette in Milwaukee, which is just about over an hour East of Madison. We arrived and we took a quick tour of facilities, and then we suited up, and played pick-up with current and former players from Marquette storied program, as well as our own member of NMH, Chris Sullivan ’15 who is a 6-3 guard committed to Brown.
After many physical games, the guys at Marquette compete, we showered and then continued our tour of the urban school. The campus surprised us, on how much of a college community it felt like even though it was in the middle of a big city and a it is a beautiful college campus. Also on tour back to the facilities we learned about the legendary coach Al Maguire.
After the tour Coach [Steve] Wojciechowski sat down with us individually, and offered me and my teammate Josh Sharma scholarships. Coach Wojciechowski really emphasized how he wanted to bring Marquette back into the National Championship, and improve the already great tradition of excellence they have at Marquette, without sacrificing anything academically, as Marquette has a good balance of both. Leaving Marquette there was a feeling of excitement for the growth program conveyed by their experienced and great coaching staff. Go Golden Eagles!
Falzon is a 6'8", 208 lb. power forward, while Sharma is 6'11" and 215 lb. Falzon's Crystal Ball has 11 predictions for Boston College, while Sharma's tilts towards Wisconsin with 14 predictions, although none since early May.
Sam Hauser - Wojciechowski is keeping his eyes in state with regards to the future as well. He recently offered a scholarship to the Class of 2016 forward from Stevens Point. Hauser averaged 16.4 points as a sophomore for a Stevens Point Area Senior High School team that went 23-2 and fell to Matt Heldt's Neenah team in the sectional semifinals. According to that Stevens Point Journal article, Hauser has offers from UW-Green Bay, Drake, Toledo, and Northern Iowa, making Marquette the highest profile school to offer him so far. 247 Sports also lists Virginia and Wisconsin as interested in the 6'4", 175 lb. wing player with a reputation as a sharp shooter.
Legend Robertin & Jakeem Yates - I'm including these two on here together as well, but for slightly different reasons as Falzon and Sharma. Robertin and Yates are both possibilities to join the Golden Eagles for this fall, as reported by the Journal Sentinel's Michael Hunt. Yates just finished a year at Believe Prep School in North Carolina, but doesn't have a landing spot for this coming fall as of yet. He's listed at 6'10" and 210 lb. by 247 Sports, so obviously he could provide immediate size for the Golden Eagles who will enter the 2014-15 season with Steve Taylor as the tallest eligible player until mid-December when Luke Fischer finishes sitting out due to transfer rules. Robertin also attended Believe Prep, but he was enrolled at Chipola Community College and according to this story from the Jackson County Floridian, he was redshirting last season. I don't know how that would affect his eligibility at the Division 1 level, but it's possible that if he were to join Marquette this fall, he might officially be a sophomore. 247 Sports has Robertin as a 7 foot tall 220 pounder, so he'd also provide a nice size blanket for the woefully short Golden Eagles. With that said, if either of these guys were remotely effective basketball players at that size, they'd already have a Division 1 scholarship somewhere. Hunt reported that Wojciechowski is waiting to hear back from both men, but Wojo has also said that he's not looking to add bodies just to fill space on the roster, which currently sits at 12, one lower than the NCAA scholarship limit of 13.
This is the part where I would insert videos of Robertin and Yates, but there are no useful videos on YouTube that I could find. That probably tells you even more about them than their lack of Division 1 scholarships.