Welcome to the fun and wonderful time known as the fall recruiting signing period!
Today, prospective college student athletes in their senior year of high school in all sports except for football (aka the only sport we don’t care about here at Anonymous Eagle) can sign their national letters of intent and send them on in to their various athletic departments. In the case of basketball, the signing period starts today and runs through November 21st. For everything else, the gates are just open and run through next August, at least according to NationalLetter.org, the official website of the National Letter of Intent.
Marquette men’s basketball is expecting one national letter of intent at some point over the next week, while women’s basketball is slated to receive eight NLIs. I already know that one of them isn’t going to be signed until Friday, so it’s hard to say when exactly a press release is going to come out of Carolyn Kieger’s office about the entire class signing, or if it will just be a steady trickle until all of the letters are in.
That’s the fun of the signing period! An announcement about recruits signing can come at literally any time after 7am! Isn’t that a hoot?
Because it’s near damn impossible to keep track of recruiting for any other sport at the collegiate level due to the general lack of full scholarships, I have no idea what we can expect from Marquette’s other teams today or any time soon. Keep your eyes peeled, I guess.
Let’s take a run through of what we know to expect to come in on the ol’ fax machine at the Al McGuire Center sometime soon....
Akanno committed to the Golden Eagles back on September 6th. He had only had an offer from Marquette since late July, but part of that has to do with his decision to take a post-graduate year at Blair Academy in New Jersey.
He’s a 6’4”, 200 pound combo guard, hailing from Valencia, California. As of right now, he’s ranked #367 in 247 Sports Composite system for the class of 2019. Part of his spot in the rankings is the fact that 247 doesn’t even have him listed in their internal ranking system right now. I’m not saying that he’ll suddenly jump up to the top 75 or something, but a “not ranked” can’t be helping him either.
Akanno is Marquette’s only current verbal commitment, but with only Matt Heldt and Joseph Chartouny departing to open up scholarship spots, that’s not particularly surprising.
Ayres is the second most recent commitment for Marquette, but she’s probably the most mysterious one. Hailing from Victoria, Australia, Prospects Nation lists her as a 5’7” guard and has her on their “Watch List,” whatever that means. However, this highlight video posted by... well, an account with her name on it, says she’s 5’10”.
Marquette picked up this commitment back in late September. Kaifes is a 5’11” shooting guard coming from Shawnee, Kansas. Her high school squad made it to the Class 5A quarterfinals last year, with Kaifes throwing together a 16 & 5 with eight steals and three blocks. Do you think someone like that could fit in with Carolyn Kieger’s style? I thought so.
The 5’11” combo guard from Rockton, Illinois, averaged 21.1 points per game as a junior. That was good enough to lead her conference, as was her 4.0 steals and 1.3 blocked shots. She committed to Marquette back in June, and thanks to what appears to be her mom following AE on Twitter recently, I was able to figure out that King is having a signing ceremony on Friday. In other words: Don’t expect to hear anything from MU about her today.
Here we have an October commitment, as they started to fly in fast and furious as the signing period approached. She’s a 5’10” point guard who can dunk a tennis ball and loves Carolyn Kieger’s style. Yeah, I can imagine why Carolyn likes her, too, after seeing her 10/6/3 and four steals per game last year..... and that was a down year.
We wrote about Strother way back in February, and she had actually made her pledge literally exactly one year ago today, making her Marquette’s first commitment for this class. She was first team all-state in Michigan’s Class A last season while averaging 19.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 3.3 steals.
She made her commitment to the Golden Eagles in late September, back when I thought Marquette only had three previous commitments. Oh, such a long time ago. Taylor will be looking to win a second straight Illinois Class 3A title as a senior after averaging 11.4 points and 7.7 rebounds as a junior. Taylor is Marquette’s second most well regarded prospect, ranking #149 on Prospects Nation’s big board.
FUN FACT: I didn’t find out about Valladay until after Taylor’s commitment even though the Chicago area prospect made her commitment back in July. I blame sunspots. She averaged 13/6/2 and three steals for Rich South, where she’s been a varsity player since her freshman year.
Last, but not least, is Marquette’s most recent commitment, and, well, the crown jewel of the recruiting class. Williams, a Milwaukee native, led the country (yes, country, as in the nation) in scoring last year, racking up just short of 40 points per game for Milwaukee Academy of Science. She’s not just a scorer, as she averaged 13 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 steals, and a block, too. Williams is currently ranked #58 in the country by Prospects Nation and #54 by ESPN. She’s kind of a big deal.