As it starts to be readily apparent that Marquette is going to sit pat with Dexter Akanno as their lone 2019 recruit, we need to be prepared for an influx of Class of 2020 recruiting news.
Jalen Johnson is currently the top prospect in the state of Wisconsin for the Class of 2020 and on Tuesday morning, he tweeted out his list of his “top 15” schools. Since you’re reading this on this particularly website, yes, Marquette is one of the 15.
Why is it a GIF that’s dripping wet? I have no idea, and I’m not even sure that I want to know.
Also on Johnson’s list, in no particular order, is Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, UCLA, Ohio State, Missouri, Kansas State, LSU, Florida, Minnesota, Kansas, DePaul, Georgetown, and Wisconsin. That’s a pretty interesting list, with four true blue bloods, four prominent names in college basketball, and a few wildcards that almost don’t seem like they fit in with the rest. I’ll let you figure out which ones are which.
Now, it’s a top 15, not a final 15, at least according to the tweet. We’re still 13 months away from the point where Johnson would be able to sign a national letter of intent, so it would make a certain amount of sense if Johnson suddenly started listening to what North Carolina had to say or whatever. However, there was also this article from NY2LA Sports which also has a statement from Johnson that indicates that this is in fact his final 15.
Here’s the statement:
“I want to thank all the schools that have provided me an opportunity to continue to play at the next level. Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin, Marquette, UCLA, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Ohio State, Georgetown, LSU, Missouri, Minnesota, DePaul, and Kansas State are the schools that my family and I will continue to consider as we navigate through the remainder of this process,” he said adding that “The process can be a lot to deal with between the phone calls, the text messages, and the visits so this allows me and my family to focus on the schools I am considering while allowing the other schools an opportunity to spend time elsewhere pursuing other prospects that could potentially help their program.”
Said article was retweeted by Johnson, so we’ll take that as fact, I suppose. If you want to draw anything from the order that he put the schools in for that statement, knock yourself right out.
247 Sports currently ranks Johnson as the #5 prospect in America, the #2 small forward, and the #1 player in the state of Wisconsin for the Class of 2020. He’s one of 24 five-star prospects in 247’s Composite system ratings, so it’s not surprising in the least that he’s had an onslaught of calls, texts, and letters coming rolling in on a regular basis. After attending Sun Prairie High School for the last two years, Johnson has transferred to Nicolet High School starting this fall. Yes, those schools are not close together, but apparently the entire family (including younger brother Kobe) all moved to Glendale in the north Milwaukee suburbs, so Johnson will presumably be on the court for the Knights alongside 2020 top 100 prospect Jamari Sibley. They were supposed to be joined by 2020 top 150 prospect (and Marquette target) Desmond Polk, but instead of going from New Berlin West to Nicolet, Polk has landed at La Lumiere School in Indiana. Wild, huh?
The 2020 recruiting class will be an important one for Marquette, as the Golden Eagles are projected to lose four seniors following the 2019-20 season, including Markus Howard and Sam Hauser. Those two have proven to be near invaluable to MU and head coach Steve Wojceichowski over their first two seasons in blue and gold, and replacing their minutes and contributions will be quite the tall task for both the incoming freshmen and the coaching staff.
Here’s what the scholarship situation looks like right now.