Well, we already know that Dawson Garcia, a consensus top 50 prospect in the country, has made his verbal commitment to play for head coach Steve Wojciechowski and the Marquette Golden Eagles starting in the fall of 2020. It’s now time to take a spin around Al Gore’s Internet to see what the reaction to the news is.
First, let’s start with the CBS Sports HQ video of Garcia’s announcement from Prior Lake High School in Minnesota.
.@MarquetteMBB has its next star player.— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) November 20, 2019
5-star PF Dawson Garcia commits to playing for the Golden Eagles.
LIVE coverage of his announcement happening right now:https://t.co/8azcNxTE3n pic.twitter.com/RoQlx109HE
I’m not going to lie: What sounds like a lukewarm reaction, which I presume can be read as “oh, he’s not going to Minnesota,” is very very very very funny to me.
Garcia added this video to the collection of information about his commitment on Thursday.
Let’s follow up with the important information, as Wednesday was also the final day of the fall signing period. Yes, Garcia’s official letter of intent is signed and delivered, as the athletic department made their announcement not long after Garcia’s.
That gives us a nice transition to some things from the Marquette staff. Here’s the quote from Wojciechowski in the press release:
“We are so excited the Garcia family has chosen to join Marquette University,” Wojciechowski said. ”Dawson is one of the top players in the United States. He’s a position-less player with great versatility and competitiveness and can be one of the top players throughout his time at Marquette.”
And here’s some fun facts about Garcia from the press release:
- won a gold medal this summer at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup, scoring a tournament high 52 points and earning tournament MVP honors
- averaged 27.5 points and 11.0 rebounds for Prior Lake as a junior
- led Prior Lake to their first ever Minnesota Class 4A sectional final and guided them to 25 wins, the most in program history
So that seems fun.
Here’s Deputy Athletic Director Mike Broeker:
Welcome Dawson and the entire Garcia Family! Your family is a tremendous addition to ours. We couldn't me more excited to watch you continue to grow as a young man on and off the court. #family #wearemarquette pic.twitter.com/Boz0woZfWm— Mike Broeker (@mikebroeker) November 20, 2019
And two tweets from associate head coach Stan Johnson:
Today concluded what was a long fought battle for 1 of the elite players in the country @Dawson23lee It took an all out effort from our amazing people & the belief of an amazing family to get this done.— Stan Johnson (@MUCoachJohnson) November 20, 2019
I’m on the road today but I got sent a Live look in at the Marquette offices pic.twitter.com/6IpiwNUs2t
Assistant coach Dwayne Killings echoed the sentiment from that second tweet:
Okay, let’s move on to some outsider perspectives. We’re going to start with ESPN’s Bomani Jones. Yes, the co-host of High Noon and host of The Right Time chimed in on the news, although not to opine about what Garcia’s addition means for the Golden Eagles. His perspective is more about the head coach......
i'd love to know how many home visits for wojo start with a father saying "i swear, i hated your f cking guts when you played." cuz that's how it would start with me. i might make him do his pitch on the porch. https://t.co/SoDLdQn5Is— bomani (@bomani_jones) November 20, 2019
Look, I don’t care what his interest is, having Bomani Jones pipe up to talk about your new commitment is a big deal.
Here’s ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein on the commitment.
Dawson Garcia is a terrific pick-up for Marquette. He & fellow ESPN Justin Lewis could be Big East’s best incoming frontcourt duo.— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) November 20, 2019
Dawson is ultra-versatile. Good combo of size & skill. Lefty but virtually ambidextrous. @FreshCoastHoops highlights ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/deiNUoy3Nx
I think the most fascinating part about Finkelstein’s commentary there is that he considers Lewis and Garcia to be frontcourt commitments for Marquette, but not Oso Ighodaro, who is listed at 6’9”. I’m not disagreeing with the assessment, just pointing out that a professional recruiting analyst either A) forgot about Ighodaro or (more likely) B) considers Ighodaro to be a guard or wing.
Here’s Corey Evans for Rivals:
He stands close to 6-foot-10, sports a college ready frame that should only get stronger in due time, and a quality skillset that can impact the game in the half-court setting.
A giant pick-up for Steve Wojciechowski and his program, Garcia will be a day one producer in Milwaukee. The lefty is someone that Marquette has failed to showcase in recent years. He is a go-to weapon in the frontcourt that can extend the defense via the perimeter jumper, put the ball on the floor on the straight-line attack, rebound in traffic and defend more than just one position.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: That last sentence could be used to describe Garcia as well as Justin Lewis and Oso Ighodaro, and that’s why all three will end up being key contributors to Marquette’s teams in the future.
The size of Garcia is what stands out, but so does the skill. For a long and lanky big man, he’s ultra-skilled as a rim protector and has huge upside long-term as a potential NBA prospect. CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander compared his skill set favorably to that of former USC star Bennie Boatwright, a versatile big who had a tremendous college career.
And then CBS’ Matt Norlander quoted in Boone’s article, presumably from Norlander’s hitch on CBS Sports HQ following Garcia’s announcement:
“He’s a 4/5, can shoot from deep, can switch off ball-screens on defense,” said Norlander of Marquette’s latest addition. “Some big schools wanted to get involved, but he had mono this summer, and since he had mono, he did not play the full slate of games. Some coaches who would have seen him and otherwise been intrigued by him didn’t get the chance. I would expect him to enter and be an immediate impact player as a freshman. This will be an intriguing freshman a year from now in college basketball.”
And let’s wrap up with Brian Snow from 247 Sports:
With his ability to score both inside and out, to go along with very impressive athleticism, Garcia could find time at both the center and power forward positions for the Golden Eagles. Though Marquette has been a guard driven team with Markus Howard, the addition of Garcia gives them a stud who plays in the front court that should give them a go to player for multiple years while he is on campus.
Marquette still projects to have three open scholarships for the Class of 2020 even with Justin Lewis and Oso Ighodaro joining Garcia on campus a year from now. Dexter Akanno, who is currently on campus, is redshirting in 2019-20, and will join that trio as freshmen in terms of eligibility in the fall of 2020.
Here’s what the scholarship situation looks like right now.