As expected, Class of 2020 top 100 forward Justin Lewis announced his college choice on Wednesday. As suspected, his choice was YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles. Based on 247’s list of offers for Lewis, it looks like Maryland, Connecticut, and Virginia Tech were the schools that lost out in the process.
I Feel Like It’s Different When You Got It Out The Mud!! #COMMITTED @hoopmajorhm pic.twitter.com/ow3qPG0TnC— Justin Lewis (@jusbuckets_5) July 24, 2019
Four-star forward Justin Lewis just verbally committed to Marquette, he tells @247Sports | Story: https://t.co/ZTCxBuTOfx pic.twitter.com/Rr4ePevpYR— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) July 24, 2019
As much as I like to (and will continue to) bag on the 247 Sports Crystal Ball as a propaganda and nonsense device, it was incredibly obvious to even the biggest cynic in the world that things tipped towards the Golden Eagles over the past few weeks. Lewis took an official visit to Marquette in early June, and after that, seven of Lewis’ eight Crystal Ball picks all popped up for MU. When 247’s Evan Daniels who doubles as a Big East insider for Fox Sports made his pick a week ago, that was probably a pretty good sign that things were wrapped up in favor of Steve Wojciechowski and his staff.
If we flip over to Rivals, their analysts board gives us the same picture. Four predictions, four for Marquette. All four are in the last week, with two — Jake Weingarten and Eric Bossi — pulling the trigger after news came out that Lewis was ready to announce.
Lewis is currently ranked #74 in the country by 247 Sports’ Composite system, which makes him a four-star prospect. As a 6’7”, 225 pound power forward, 247 has him as the #10 player at his position in his class in the country, and the third best prospect in the state of Maryland. 247’s internal rankings have him at #85, while ESPN puts him at #59, and Rivals has him at #97.
Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talked to Lewis shortly after his official visit to Marquette in early June. I highly recommend that you go read the whole thing, but here’s the most important parts for our purposes here:
Q. What are you looking for in a program as you make your decision?
A. Just a program where I can get better and not just for basketball. The education part, too. Where I can put myself in a position to be successful in life.
Q. How would you describe your game to Marquette fans who have only seen you play in highlight clips?
A. I’m versatile. I can compete on both ends of the floor. And I’m a winner. Stretch four.
Q. What are you looking to improve on this summer?
A. Hitting the three-ball more consistently. Getting my feet faster. And playing hard the whole game.
Lewis isn’t kidding about the “I’m a winner” thing, by the way. Baltimore Polytechnic has won three straight state titles, making them the first Class 3A program to do that. They’ll be the favorite this coming winter to become the first squad to win four straight Class 3A titles, as they return their top four scorers, including Lewis.
With Symir Torrence reclassified to 2019, Lewis is Marquette’s first official commitment in the Class of 2020. That leaves the Golden Eagles coaching staff three projected scholarship spots to fill in that recruiting class, and possibly four. There will be four seniors on the roster in 2019-20, as well as one scholarship spot that’s currently available.
In a future article, we’ll talk about what comes next for the coaching staff on the recruiting trail, but for now, here’s what the scholarship picture looks like with Lewis on board.