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ESPN Updated Their Class Of 2017 Basketball Recruiting Top 100

This list is a little bit more favorable to Marquette’s targets than the new Scout list was.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Murray State v Marquette Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We talked about Scout’s brand new rankings for the basketball recruiting class of 2017 the other day, and unsurprisingly, ESPN was right there with them, reorganizing their top 100 recruits for that class as well.

This is what happens when the summer sessions of tournaments and camps and showcase events wraps up. You can’t really blame the deluge of new rankings on anything other than each service trying to keep themselves as tied in to what’s going on as possible.

The Scout rankings weren’t particularly favorable to what the Marquette coaching staff has been focusing on for 2017, but that’s not the case with ESPN’s layout. Here’s the list of Marquette targets that popped in:

  • Kimani Lawrence, #54
  • Xavier Tillman, #75
  • Nojel Eastern, #78
  • Jordan Nwora, #91

The mere inclusion of Tillman in the top 100 makes this list slightly more favorable towards the mindset of head coach Steve Wojciechowski and his staff. Tillman has included Marquette in his final four schools and will be visiting MU on September 23 as the fourth of his official visits.

Nwora sliding into the top 100 is also a good sign for Marquette, at least on the surface. Nwora, like Lawrence and Eastern, hasn’t made any indication of where he’s leaning as far as a cutdown goes at this point. However, Nwora did make an unofficial visit to Marquette back in late June, one day after visiting Northwestern in Chicago. Is it significant that Northwestern is coached by Chris Collins, a guy that used to be co-workers with Wojo in Durham back in the day? Probably.

In addition to Tillman, Marquette has three other prospects set to visit in September. Theo John will be on campus this coming weekend, and ESPN has him rated as a four star prospect and the #18 power forward in the class. Hasahn French is scheduled for the following weekend, while Jamal Cain’s visit is going to be on the weekend between French and Tillman. French is a three star prospect and the #37 power forward in the class, while Cain doesn’t even have a page in ESPN’s database. I wonder if that’s what’s keeping Cain in the low 200s according to 247 Sports.

Marquette does have one verbal commitment for the class of 2017. Ike Eke, a 6’9”, 220 lb. power forward from University of Detroit Jesuit High School committed to MU and Wojo back in mid-June. He’s in the ESPN database, but he doesn’t have a rating, a position ranking, a regional ranking, or an in-state ranking.

You’ll see the occasional fans of a particular school bragging about their recruiting class rankings at this point in the cycle, and it’s important to realize that only four of ESPN’s top 25 players in the class have made a verbal commitment. What we can talk about, though, is how each conference is doing. The Big Ten and the SEC both have eight committed players in the top 100, but the Big East has the second most of any conference with seven. With 14 members in those first two conferences, but just 10 in the conference that Marquette calls home, I think it’s safe to say that the Big East is doing better on a per capita basis than any other conference in the country.