Well, the time has finally arrived. The Class of 2020 high school prospects that have committed to their academic institutions of choice can officially sign their national letters of intent starting today. Every single sport that Marquette sponsors can start receiving letters today.
However, because the wide majority of sports that MU sponsors are equivalency sports, meaning their coaches can split up a limited number of scholarships into pieces, we’re going to focus on MU’s two primary head count sports: Men’s Basketball and women’s basketball. MU has a third head count sport in women’s volleyball, but the current size of the roster outpaces the scholarship limit for that sport, so I have no idea who is and is not on scholarship there.
Heading into today, Marquette has six verbal commitments that we’re waiting to see turn into signed letters. Two of those are in men’s basketball, and four are in women’s basketball. We’re going to review what we know about all six here, going in recruiting ranking order according to 247 Sports for the men and Blue Star Basketball for the women. There is one exception for the women, due to her international status, and so we’ll put hers last.
On the men’s side of the aisle, we’re also waiting on word of a decision from an uncommitted recruit who just finished an official visit to Marquette this past weekend. Just last night, we learned about an announcement date, so they’re included here, even though their status is officially still up in the air.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Ighodaro is listed as a 6’9”, 190 pound power forward by 247 Sports. He hals from Phoenix, Arizona, where he attends Desert Vista High School. He’s currently the #74 prospect in the country, the #11 power forward, and the #5 player in Arizona. Ighodaro committed to Marquette in mid-September after taking an official visit in the beginning of August and only getting an offer from MU in late June.
Lewis is a 6’7”, 225 pound power forward out of Baltimore, Maryland. He attends Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where he and his teammates will be looking to win their fourth straight state Class 3A title after becoming the first program to ever win three straight Class 3A titles last season. They have their top four scorers back, so seems pretty likely. Lewis is currently ranked #76 in the country by the 247 Sports Composite system, making him the #12 power forward in the class (right behind Ighodaro) and #3 in the state of Maryland. Lewis made his commitment to Marquette in late July.
Welcome to the question mark part of the proceedings. Garcia made an official visit to Marquette over the weekend, which was his second official visit to Milwaukee. He took advantage of relatively new NCAA rules which allow juniors to take official visits and was in town when Marquette beat Villanova back in February. Garcia, a 6’11”, 230 pound power forward, is currently ranked #30 in the Class of 2020 by 247 Sports. On Tuesday night, we found out, thanks to the always plugged in Tipton Edits, that Garcia will announce his decision on November 20th, which is the final day of the fall signing period. He’s picking from a final four of Marquette, Indiana, Minnesota, and Memphis.
Here’s what the men’s basketball scholarship situation looks like right now. The Golden Eagles currently have four projected spots available for next fall.
We’re going in recruiting ranking order according to Blue Star, and as it happens, we’re also starting with MU’s most recent commitment. Middleton, a 5’10” wing out of Bolingbrook in the Chicago suburbs, made her commitment to Marquette and head coach Megan Duffy about a month ago, shortly after making an official visit to Milwaukee. Blue Star ranks Middleton as the #142 prospect in the country.
Moving on, we get to Duffy’s first commitment as Marquette head coach. Nkumu committed to Duffy back in June, possibly before MU’s new head coach had finished decorating her new office. The 5’8” Nkumu hails from Iowa City, Iowa, where she averaged 19 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 3.7 steals per game as a junior. Duffy had offered her a scholarship at Miami-Ohio in August of 2018, which does explain the speed at which Nkumu jumped on the MU bandwagon. Blue Star slots in Nkumu at #147 in the Class of 2020.
At #189, Karlen is the lowest ranked of the three Americans heading to Milwaukee in the fall of 2020. However, she provides something that is somewhat lacking in the current roster: Size. As word got out about Karlen’s commitment to Marquette, that came with the notification that she stands 6’3” tall. That would make her the tallest player on the MU roster right now, although she won’t be the tallest one next year. While she may end up playing mostly on the interior for MU, she can create mismatches after shooting 43% from long range as a junior. Karlen committed to Marquette shortly after Nkumu’s commitment, which may actually be a more impressive recruiting job than Nkumu given that existing relationship.
Because you’re smart, I presume that you’ve all figured out that Julianna Okosun is the player outdueling Liza Karlen when it comes to height. The 6’5” Okosun is coming to Marquette from Denmark after averaging 13.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for her local club team in their most recent season. She also played for the Danish national team in the U18 Euro Division B Championship, posting 9.4 points and 9.9 rebounds. She was second on the Danish team in scoring and fifth in the entire tournament in rebounding. Seems good. Okosun committed to Marquette in late September, and her decision appeared to have the coaching staff very fired up.
Here’s what the women’s basketball scholarship situation looks like right now. Marquette appears to be set and full on scholarships right now. There is, of course, a question about the future of Tori McCoy relative to her health, but even if she ends up leaving the university with degree in hand, I can’t imagine Megan Duffy feeling a need to fill that spot with four freshmen already on board to go behind what will be seven sophomores.