On Saturday night, Jalen Johnson, the top high school basketball player in the state of Wisconsin for the Class of 2020 reduced his recruiting list to a mere four schools. They are, in no particular order, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, and Wisconsin. After including Marquette in a top 15 list back in October 2018, Johnson is no longer considering the Golden Eagles.
I have to admit, given the week that Arizona and Sean Miller have had in federal court, it’s a bold step to include the Wildcats in a final grouping. Arizona has already admitted that the NCAA has launched an investigation into the men’s basketball program, and given what’s being said in testimony and in recorded evidence, there’s no telling what might happen to the Wildcats’ program by the time Johnson would even be eligible to sign a letter of intent in November of this year. Oh well.
Johnson is listed at 6’8” and 215 pounds by 247 Sports. He is the top small forward prospect in the country in addition to being the top Wisconsin prospect in the Class of 2020, and the five-star recruit ranked #3 in the country. Johnson trails only center Evan Mobley and shooting guard Jalen Green, both from California.
Marquette had been recruiting Johnson to one degree or another since at least June 2017. That’s when he picked up an offer from MU head coach Steve Wojciechowski. At the time, Johnson didn’t even have a 247 Sports rating or ranking. Johnson has only boosted his profile during the 2019-20 school year, as he was “only” the #5 prospect in the country when he had Marquette in his top 15.
In terms of where does Marquette go from here, well, the answer has been made quite obvious since the spring live recruiting period started. The Golden Eagles have already made scholarship offers to Jabri Abdur-Rahim and Dudley Blackwell, the #15 and #18 small forwards in the country. In addition to them, they’ve made a visit to see Ethan Morton, the #11 small forward in the country who picked up an offer from MU nearly a year ago. I can’t say for certain when Wojciechowski and his staff knew that Johnson was no longer a Marquette target, but I can definitely say that they’ve been hard at work going in a different direction over the past few weeks. All three of those guys are top 100 prospects, so any of them would be welcome additions to the Marquette roster.
In other top 100 news for the Class of 2020, Marquette has been out talking to Jalen Suggs, (#9), Nimari Burnett (#23), Dawson Garcia (#28), Andre Jackson (#38), and Dain Dainja (#49) this spring already. There’s no shortage of top 200 talent that’s on the radar for Marquette, it’s just a matter of who ends up making the commitment.
Marquette will be looking to fill at least three scholarships in the Class of 2020 for sure, as Sacar Anim, Markus Howard, and Ed Morrow will wrap up their eligibility in 2019-20. Symir Torrence is slated to join Marquette in the fall of 2020, but there’s still the possibility that he reclassifies to 2019 and comes in this fall instead.
Here’s what the scholarship picture looks like right now.