In Tuesday’s edition of the Marquette Tribune (and also available online), John Steppe talked to Marquette men’s basketball assistant coach Stan Johnson about how the coaching staff uses social media when it comes to recruiting. The NCAA recently passed legislation that allows coaches to have simple interactions with recruits, for example, liking or retweeting a particular tweet. They can’t have public conversations with recruits, nor can they tweet about recruits independently, at least not until they’ve signed a letter of intent.
Go read Steppe’s article as he talks with Johnson and gets exactly the kind of answers that you’d like to hear from your favorite team:
"There has to be a balance," Johnson added. "A guy knows that you like him and you’re working to get him, but you don’t come off overly aggressive and don’t give them their space. … If a kid likes space or we don’t feel like its a kid that wants to be bothered or wants us all in his business, we wouldn’t do that as much."
And so on and so forth. Pretty basic simple stuff. Marquette isn’t going to get crazy with the Cheez Whiz when it comes to this kind of thing, and that’s fine by me.
It’s not Stan Johnson’s use of Twitter when it comes to liking and retweeting things posted by recruits that fascinates me, though. It’s what he does to subtly inform us, the fans, what he’s doing on the recruiting trail.
For example, here’s a tweet from Johnson on Tuesday.
@Iam1Cent great seeing you today! I'm holding you to coming out and playing ball with our staff! Hard leaving Milwaukee with a W! #mubb— Stan Johnson (@MUCoachJohnson) September 27, 2016
Why, yes, that is directed at Memphis legend Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway. Why was Johnson in Memphis? Well, let’s turn our attention to 247 Sports’ list of MU targets for the class of 2018. Anybody from Tennessee on there, particularly Memphis?
Hey, look, it’s T.J. Moss, who was offered a scholarship by Marquette back in early August. Say, what team does Moss play his club ball for, anyway? Team Penny, huh?
See what I mean? Johnson is out there leaving breadcrumbs for us, which was confirmed for us by Moss a little later on in the day. Johnson can’t explicitly tweet about a prospect, but he absolutely can tweet at the guy who runs the prospect’s AAU squad and invite him to noon ball with the MU staff. This isn’t the first time that Johnson’s done something like this. Take this tweet for example:
Had a good time hanging with @jbryant3 and the Utah Jazz yesterday. Great things in the future for that organization pic.twitter.com/FoYuwP4vyM— Stan Johnson (@MUCoachJohnson) September 23, 2015
That tweet came about a month before Brendan Bailey committed to Marquette. Bailey is from American Fork, Utah, which is just a wee bit south of Salt Lake City and the Jazz’s practice facility.
Just recently, he dropped this one:
Wheels down in H-Town!— Stan Johnson (@MUCoachJohnson) September 18, 2016
That’s it, just a quick tweet celebrating landing safely in Houston. Guess what’s just north of Houston? The Woodlands, hometown to Quentin Grimes.
Stan Johnson has already developed a reputation as a guy who gets it done for the Golden Eagles on the recruiting trail. Give him a follow if you aren’t already and stay up to date with exactly who he’s visiting next.