Back on Friday, Blair Academy boys’ basketball coach Joe Mantegna announced that Dexter Akanno will be taking an official visit to Marquette before he gets to campus in New Jersey for the 2018-19 school year.
Blair ‘19 Dexter Akanno will take an official visit to Marquette before arriving on campus at Blair. @BTIHoops— Coach Joe Mantegna (@CoachMantegna) August 17, 2018
Marquette offered Akanno a scholarship less than a month ago. The 6’4”, 190 pound guard played his high school career at Valencia High School in the Los Angeles area. He’s taking a post-graduate year at Blair Academy, which probably explains the sudden attention for him. After all, Akanno doesn’t have a 247 Sports page, and before he decided to take the year at Blair, he was essentially a 2018 prospect instead of the 2019 prospect that he is now.
The fact that he’s taking an official visit to Marquette is kind of interesting. Schools are only allowed to pay for travel and housing for a recruiting visit for a limited number of prospects over any two year period, and it’s fascinating that Marquette is spending one of their visits on Akanno, a lightly regarded prospect to say the least. The announcement from Mantegna doesn’t specifically spell it out, but given that Akanno is from California and Blair Academy is in New Jersey certainly makes it sound like Akanno will be making his visit while in transit to Blair. After all, why go from California to Milwaukee and then back again just to head all the way to New Jersey and do all of that between now and September 8th. If that’s the case, if Akanno is stopping in Milwaukee on his way to New Jersey, then essentially Marquette is paying for Akanno’s trip to Blair. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, everything above board in terms of NCAA rules.
It just sounds a little weird, and if Akanno doesn’t end up at Marquette, it will certainly be a little weird.
Marquette projects to have two scholarships available for the class of 2019. However, James Bishop and Nico Mannion have scheduled official visits for the same weekend as Marquette Madness. At least for the time being, Bishop (247 Sports’ #171) and Mannion (247 Sports’ #17) have a national ranking at this point, while Akanno does not, thus you could make the argument that Bishop and Mannion are ranking ahead of Akanno on Marquette’s wish list.
Here’s the scholarship chart as it stands.