On Sunday, following Marquette’s 70-52 victory over Xavier, the good news continued for the Golden Eagles as Symir Torrence announced his commitment to play for MU starting in the fall of 2020. We published our article here on the site when Evan Daniels broke the news on FS1’s Inside The Big East, which means that the article missed out on this announcement video from Torrence’s Twitter account.
100% A Golden Eagle pic.twitter.com/EH9lMHpNMF— Symir Torrence (@EGB_ST4) January 6, 2019
Ok, that was pretty neat.
Since we got the news from Evan Daniels, let’s turn to his article on Torrence from 247 Sports. Here’s the quotes from Torrence:
“Once I did my official visit, I just fell in love with the whole community and just the whole place,” Torrence said. “Just the way everybody treats everybody. It’s just a thing, where everybody loves getting together. I loved bonding with the players, I can’t wait to get to know them more once I get to Marquette.”
“That was one of the reasons and another would be because of the coaching staff. Coach Wojo really gave me the idea that he’s going to push me and wants me to be the best that I can be and wants me to reach my dreams someday.”
“Just the bond that I have with the assistant coach [Dwayne Killings],” he said when pressed about the visit. “Coming into the visit, I just knew and me and my mom talked about it and we knew that it was going to be something special.”
“They just said I was something special and really wanted to work with me,” he added.
“The fact that he just came from a good program, he knows a lot,” Torrence said. “He knows the game very well. He was also a point guard, so just learning from a head coach that’s a point guard was a big factor in wanting to go to Marquette.”
“I’m a point guard, I’m a pass first point guard and that’s another reason why I wanted to go to Marquette, because I can do those things,” he said. “Coach Wojo even said he can make me into a better point guard, and that’s what I love.”
Here’s Alex Popp, Torrence’s coach at Vermont Academy talking to Evan Daniels:
“Symir will be an asset right away because os his unique ability to impact the game with or without the basketball in his hands,” Vermont Academy coach Alex Popp told 247Sports.
”He has an incredible basketball IQ and pair that with his gifted motor, and you have one of the best defensive players in all of high school basketball,” he added.
Best defensive players, you say? Fascinating.
Adam Zagoria’s article on Torrence’s commitment provided us with some information that I was unable to track down while writing about his declaration to make an announcement or about the announcement itself: His current stats at Vermont Academy. Per Zagoria’s article, Torrence is averaging 23 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 43 percent from three-point land this season, and I think we can all get behind that kind of performance from a 6’3” point guard.
Eric Bossi’s article on Torrence for Rivals has those stats embedded into a quote from Alex Popp, and it marks the 6.1 number as for Torrence’s assists. Let’s be honest: That makes an awful lot more sense, given his attitude towards learning to be a point guard from Wojo and his team lead in assists on the EYBL circuit over the summer.
Bossi also adds this breakdown on what Torrence means for Marquette:
Marquette’s first commitment from the class of 2020, Torrence shows a recent shift towards adding players with more physical toughness. There’s been no lack of shooters and scorers on the most recent and current teams, but true defensive stoppers and guys that play with a physical chip on their shoulders have been missing.
While Torrence can score and pass, what he does best is lead, defend and set the tone with his physical toughness. 2019’s lone commitment, Dexter Akanno, is cut from the same cloth and these guys should help to add more balance going forward.
It’s more than a little silly to worry about recruiting rankings for the class of 2020 when Torrence can’t even sign a national letter of intent for 10 months and won’t put on a Marquette uniform for 22 months. However, I will point out that with the #51 player in the country committed to MU has the Golden Eagles ranked #4 right now according to 247 Sports. That’s #4 out of 13, as there are only 13 programs with a 2020 commitment right now. Like I said, more than a little silly.
What’s not silly is discussing whether or not Torrence is going to stay in the Class of 2020. Leading up to his commitment, there had been some noise about his transition to the Class of 2019, as he was originally a 2019 prospect before transferring to Vermont Academy. Prep Circuit’s Pat Lawless broached the topic with a carefully worded question to Torrence, and here’s the exchange:
Q: Marquette has given you the option to commit either as a class of 2019 or 2020 recruit. Is there any update on that?
A: “For right now I’m 2020 and I’m committing as 2020,” he said. “If I want to reclass up I’ll make that decision later on.”
Syracuse.com’s Donna Ditota spoke with Torrence about his decision, since he started his prep career there, and this is her phrasing about Torrence’s 2019 future:
Torrence said there is a chance he could reclassify and get to Marquette a year earlier. He said he will make that decision after his season at Vermont Academy concludes.
Before we go any further here, let’s toss up the Marquette scholarship table so we’re all on the same page. Since he says he’s a 2020 prospect, the table displays Torrence as such.
As you can see from the table, Marquette has one Class of 2019 scholarship available with Dexter Akanno signed up to take the other spot that’s opening up following the departures of Joseph Chartouny and Matt Heldt. If Steve Wojciechowski and his staff are giving Torrence the option of going with 2019 or 2020, then it seems very clear that the open 2019 spot will be held for Torrence to take if he wants it. If he’s not going to make a decision until the Vermont Academy season is over, that takes us up through the beginning of March, at least according to last year’s NEPSAC playoff brackets. If MU is going to hold the spot for Torrence until then, then it’s clear that Marquette is not recruiting anyone else for 2019.
This isn’t a surprise on any level, nor is it a problem. Matt Heldt hasn’t been playing much this season, and in terms of the talent that they bring to the table, Koby McEwen essentially slots directly into Joseph Chartouny’s spot in the rotation. That means, barring some other unexpected surprise, Marquette will roll what amounts to the exact same rotation out onto the floor in 2019-20, except with Greg Elliott returning from his injury redshirt to add experience and depth. With that in mind, Marquette doesn’t particularly need to add any recruits to the 2019 class, making Akanno’s arrival a luxury for Wojo in the first place.
Adding Torrence would just be another luxury, so it’s really up to him as to what he wants to do with his future. For what it’s worth, and yes, I know it really doesn’t work this way, but Torrence’s 247 Sports rating for 2020 that has him ranked #51 there works out to a #53 ranking if you slide it over into the 2019 rankings.
If 2019 is done, one way or another, and 2020 is officially started off, then the obvious question is: What’s next?
As you can see from the table, Marquette will have four scholarship opening up in the fall of 2020 with the departures of Sacar Anim, Sam Hauser, Markus Howard, and Ed Morrow. That’s an awful lot of importance that will need to be replaced, and Torrence goes a long way towards that.
As things stand right now, there’s an awful lot of possibilities to fill the holes left behind by those four guys, and an awful lot of incredibly talented prep guys that have a spot waiting for them if they want it. First and foremost on the list would have to be Jalen Johnson, the 6’8” small forward who attends Nicolet High School in the northern Milwaukee suburbs. Of course, he’s also ranked #4 in the country, so he’s got his pick of blue bloods to choose from as well. Also towards the top has to be Jalen Suggs, a 6’5” combo guard from Minnesota. He ranks #11 in the country in the class as a basketball player.... and #274 as a four star football prospect. That’s a decision that looms in Suggs’ future, so Marquette is competing against blue blood basketball programs and a football option as well there. With that said, Suggs recently told Rivals’ Eric Bossi that he wants to get a visit to Marquette scheduled, so we’ll see what happens.
Digging deeper on 247’s list of 2020 Marquette prospects, the names that jump out to me are Julian Strawther, Nimari Burnett, Ethan Morton, Dain Dainja, Desmond Polk, Reece Beekman, and Jamari Sibley. Any combination of the guys that I’ve named here would be welcome additions to the squad, but as I mentioned above with Torrence, we’re still 10 months away from 2020 prospects being able to sign letters of intent. We’ll have to wait and see what happens and where the recruiting trail takes the Golden Eagles between now and then.