Boy, I hope Marquette men’s basketball recruiting updates don’t bore you, because we’re just gonna keep on getting all kinds of recruiting updates as the offseason and the summer keeps rolling on. The Class of 2020 is shaping up to be a big one for the Golden Eagles and head coach Steve Wojciechowski for a multitude of reasons, but none bigger than replacing what will be headed out the door after the 2019-20 season.
Here’s what the scholarship situation looks like at the moment.
No matter what happens with Symir Torrence in terms of staying in 2020 or reclassifying to 2019, Marquette has three scholarships that will be coming available and two more that are currently sitting empty and available for use. “Between three and five spots to fill” can be a tall task for a college basketball staff, so we’re probably going to hear a whole heck of a lot of news over the next few months as to what Wojciechowski and his assistants are up to on the recruiting trail.
As such, we’ve got two new scholarship offers to discuss.
Marquette just offered four-star junior Dudley Blackwell after watching him today, a source told @Stockrisers.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) May 1, 2019
Congratulations to 2020 HPrep Wing, Dudley Blackwell on receiving a scholarship offer from Marquette University! @1kdudd @MarquetteMBB #hprep #huntington #prep #basketball #marquette #goldeneagles #bigeast pic.twitter.com/ZqoMJzbEUc— Huntington Prep (@HuntingtonPrep) May 1, 2019
This should probably not be a particular surprise to you. If you have put the pieces together, then you remembered that Marquette recently offered a scholarship to AJ Hoggard, who is Blackwell’s teammate at Huntington Prep. If there’s more than one top 150 prospect on a prominent prep school roster, you may as well recruit as many of them as possible.
Blackwell is currently listed as a 6’5”, 185 pound small forward by 247 Sports. Their composite system rates him as a four-star prospect in the class of 2020, ranking him at #87 in the country. Blackwell is the #18 small forward in the country, trailing along behind various Marquette prospects such as Jalen Johnson, Cam’Ron Fletcher, Ethan Morton, and Jabri Abdur-Rahim. He’s originally from Florida, and 247 Sports lists him as the #9 prospect in his home state. If we shift him over to West Virginia, he’s the third best prospect in the state...... and on his own team. He appears to already hold offers from Oklahoma State, Florida Gulf Coast, and Iowa State, which is a surprisingly short list for a top 100 prospect.
According to this article from PrepHoops.com, Blackwell is a relatively new player on the Huntington roster, having only transferred in January. If I’m counting properly, that would make Huntington his third high school, as he was at Westminister Academy before starting 2018-19 at Somerset Academy and then leaving there for Huntington in January. I guess all of that falls in line with this article published by USA Basketball of all places titled “Basketball Becoming a Career for Dudley Blackwell.”
Blackwell was averaging 19 points, six rebounds, and six assists for Somerset before leaving for Huntington, which seems pretty good. There is this quote from Blackwell in the same article where I just pulled those stats:
“Jaemyn [Brakefield] just makes the game a lot easier for me,” Blackwell said. “He does a lot of things really well and he spaces the floor out well. It’s cool not having to be the center of attention all the time. I know they’ve had some great players come through Huntington, and I’m working as hard as I can to be the next one.”
There’s upsides and downsides to a high school junior realizing that he doesn’t want to be the center of attention on his team at all times. Generally speaking, I think that bodes well for his transition to college hoops.
Here’s a 2:30-ish highlight reel of Blackwell that was posted in February 2018.
And here’s a reel of clips from a game where Blackwell played against the team that Dwyane Wade’s son Zaire is on.
Like Blackwell, Hawkins falls into the category of “guys that Marquette is recruiting because they were already recruiting their teammate.” Nimari Burnett has had an offer from Marquette since last July, and both Burnett and Hawkins play for Prolific Prep out in California. Prolific Prep is one of those weird teams where the basketball team is somehow disconnected from the school they actually attend, which is Napa Christian Academy, located about 50 miles north of San Francisco.
247 Sports lists Hawkins as a 6’8”, 195 pound power forward in the Class of 2020. He’s a three-star prospect that’s currently ranked #221 in the country. That has him as the #38 power forward and the #26 player in the state of California. We’ll have to wait and see if that means he’s currently underrated or if he’s tilting a little bit more towards a project player. He currently has offers listed by 247 from Arizona and USC, so that does tend to indicate a bit more towards underrated.
Prolific Prep’s own website is horribly maintained. It says they went 29-7 in 2018-19, but somehow when you click on the stats page, it says Hawkins played in 11 games. That feels inaccurate. Actually, it only says 11 games for his scoring, because for rebounding, it only says 10 games. So that’s fun. In any case, for however many games are actually contributing to the stats here, Hawkins averaged 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game.
Here’s a 2:30+ video clip of Hawkins that went up in February 2018. I’d like to go ahead and point out that saying that a high school sophomore (as he was at the time) plays like a combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant is an amazingly stupid thing to do, and it’s just made worse by the fact that he’s not a top 10 prospect.
Here’s a clip package just short of two minutes from this past September.