Last week, we mentioned the Marquette men’s basketball coaching staff making a trip to go visit AJ Hoggard. This week, we can update that tidbit with the news that Marquette has officially offered a scholarship to AJ Hoggard, a point guard in the Class of 2020.
Shoutout to our man Andrew Slater there who went out of his way to tag the AE account in his tweet.
AJ Hoggard is listed at 6’3” and 185 pounds by 247 Sports. He’s rated as a four star prospect in the Class of 2020 according to 247’s Composite system, and is currently ranked #129 in the country. That’s up two spots from where he was a week ago, which is fun, I guess. He attends Huntington Prep in Huntington, West Virginia, but it seems he’s actually from Pennsylvania. I’ve got Wayne, Radnor, and Coatesville all listed at one place or another, with Wayne and Radnor being basically on top of one another and Coatesville sitting about 30 miles away. For those of you paying attention, you’ve already realized that this all means that Hoggard is essentially from Villanova’s backyard.
247 Sports says that Hoggard is the #22 ranked point guard in his class, and the #3 player in the state of West Virginia. Not surprisingly, he trails teammates Jaemyn Brakefield and Zach Loveday in terms of in-state prospects. If we transfer Hoggard’s 0.9441 rating over to Pennsylvania, he would be the #5 prospect in the state, trailing fellow Marquette recruits Ethan Morton and Lynn Greer III.
According to the list that 247 Sports has assembled, Hoggard has 15 offers on the books already. Louisville, DePaul, Providence, and Seton Hall are the names that jump off the page immediately there.
I found a stats page for Huntington Prep on PrepCircuit.com. It lists Hoggard as averaging 17.4 points per game in 16 contests on 54% shooting from the field and 34% shooting from behind the arc. He also added 3.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.1 steals. D1Circuit.com has stats from Hoggard’s tenure with Team Final on the Nike EYBL circuit last summer. In 19 games, he averaged 14.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per outing. Hoggard shot just 42% overall, but hit 72.9% of his free throws and 39.1% of his threes.
Here’s a 90 second highlight reel of a 26 point game he put together against Bella Vista Prep back in January.
The Class of 2020 will be an important one for Marquette in general, but in specific when it comes to point guard play. Let’s drop in the most current scholarship table here to give you a picture of what I mean.
As you can see, Marquette will lose Markus Howard to graduation following the 2019-20 season, leaving the roster without a clear heir to the point guard title. Dexter Akanno joins the team this fall, but it’s yet to be seen what kind of contribution Akanno can/will make as a freshman on this team.
There’s also the question of Symir Torrence. He’s listed in the table as a 2020 prospect and it’s clear that 247’s #44 prospect in the class would be a likely target to get the point guard duties handed to him. However, there’s two things at play here. First, the 6’3” Torrence is listed as a combo guard by 247, so it’s unclear if he’ll be a perfect fit as a pure point guard. The second thing is that Torrence is still eligible to reclassify to 2019 and join Marquette this fall.
The lack of clarity on Torrence at this point adds a bit of uncertainty as to what will happen with the point guard spot in 2020. What we do know is that Marquette is most likely best served with two high major point guards on the roster. As the 2019-20 season wore on, it was very clear that MU had no other options other than Markus Howard, and as Howard’s shooting went into the tank in the final 20% of the year, so did the team. I think it’s safe to say that no matter where Marquette lands with Akanno and Torrence in terms of roster construction, Hoggard would still be a welcome addition to the squad.