The number of scholarship offers that have been coming out of the Marquette men’s basketball office have been stacking up since late May. So, let’s dive in and see what head coach Steve Wojciechowski has been doing to address the future of the program that he’s running.
Truly Blessed And Honored To Receive An Offer From The Marquette University pic.twitter.com/UA9SXgSQRz— Kameron Jones (@Csgkam) May 24, 2020
Well, let’s just start with the most notable thing right away: It appears that Kameron Jones does not have a 247 Sports page. With that being the case, we won’t be talking very much about ratings and rankings here. He does, however, have a Verbal Commits page, and from there we learn that he is a 6’3”, 170 pound point guard out of Cordova, Tennessee. However, I’m not sure if he’s actually from Cordova or if that’s just listed as his home town because he attends Evangelical Christian School in Cordova, which is in the eastern Memphis suburbs.
Prep Hoops did a profile Q&A of him back in May 2019, and it seems like that’s where that 6’3”/170lb. data comes from. I feel like it’s safe to guess that he’s a little bit bigger than that now, but hey, who can really say. Remember: 6’3” is larger than average for an adult male, and Jones is only finishing up his junior year of high school. If you scroll to the bottom of that Q&A link, Prep Hoops has Jones as the #4 prospect in Tennessee in the Class of 2021, which seems pretty good. For whatever it’s worth to you, 247 Sports has six players out of Tennessee listed in the Class of 2021, and the sixth one currently comes in at #139 in their rankings. Again, Jones isn’t in there at the moment, so if you want to figure him as a top 150 prospect, that’s probably a pretty safe estimation.
Max Preps shows Evangelical Christian going 20-9 in the 2019-20 season, which is pretty good. Their season came to an end in the Tennessee Division 2-A semifinals, falling to First Assembly Christian, 48-42. According to this recap and box score from The Daily Memphian, Jones had six points in the game with just four ECS players scoring at all.
According to that Verbal Commits page I linked to earlier, it appears that Jones’ recruiting had been largely centered in mid-major schools up until the end of May. Troy, Tennessee Tech, Evansville, and South Alabama are all listed, but so is Florida. The Gators got to the party just a few days before Marquette did, and while those are the only two high major schools on the list, I’d be willing to believe they won’t be the last. It’s hard to say for certain as it seems like there won’t be much of a summer basketball scene this year, but when an SEC team and a Big East team get involved, other programs are going to do whatever due diligence they can.
I don’t have any video to embed here for you, but Jones does have a Hudl page. It looks like someone spent all day on May 6th putting up a bunch of videos, but the most notable one is an 11+ minute highlight reel titled “jr season highlights.”
Thankful to receive an offer from Marquette University pic.twitter.com/ER8VdITTjJ— Lucas Taylor (@lucas_taylor10) May 26, 2020
Unlike Jones, Lucas Taylor does have a 247 Sports page at the moment. It lists him as a 6’6”, 185 pound shooting guard out of Wake Forest, North Carolina, and he’s in the Class of 2021. Heritage High School is a public school in Wake Forest, and since that’s Taylor’s school, I’ll presume he actually lives in Wake Forest. While Taylor has a page, he doesn’t have a rating or a ranking at the moment. For whatever it’s worth to you, there are six guys currently ranked coming out of North Carolina, all in the top 160 in the country at the moment. That list includes Carter Whitt (#72) who picked up a Marquette offer way back in the day (okay, actually just June 2019), as well as Eric van der Heijden (#144) and D’Marco Dunn (#145), both of whom just snagged offers from the Golden Eagles at the end of April.
It seems that Marquette is currently Taylor’s most high profile offer, beating out ones from Providence (early May) and Xavier (just a few days before MU). From a scroll through his Twitter page, it seems like the offers have been coming in fast and furious since late April. Vanderbilt was his first high major offer, and his home town Demon Deacons got in the game in early May.
It looks like Heritage went 15-10 this past season. They went 8-2 in conference play according to Max Preps, so perhaps 15-10 is just a “we played a bunch of really great teams that aren’t in our conference” as opposed to anything else. After all, they did advance to the third round of the North Carolina 4A state tournament before falling to a Pinecrest squad that made it to the state semifinals. Taylor led the team in scoring according to Max Preps again, averaging 21.6 points per game. He also contributed 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.6 steals per game and shot 39% from behind the arc and 81% from the charity stripe.
Here’s six minutes of highlights that was posted in late March of this year.
Alrighty, that takes care of the two 2021 offers that have come up recently. The next three guys are all Class of 2022 prospects.
As always, we’ll start with 247 Sports, but we’re going to have to do some explaining once we get through the basics. Okay, so Starling is a Class of 2022 prospect hailing from Baldwinsville, New York, which is in the Syracuse area. The 6’0”, 150 pound point guard attends Charles W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville, although Syracuse.com says that he’s now 6’4” and 180 pounds. Starling currently does not have a rating or a ranking according to the 247 Sports Composite system, but the key word there is currently. ESPN updated their 2022 top 60 rankings on June 9th, and Starling is #57 in the country over there. It’s only a matter of time before 247 updates their composites and pushing Starling up the charts a bit.
It seems to be a very small pool of schools currently paying attention to Starling. 247 only lists Alabama, Siena, and St. John’s in addition to Starling’s hometown Syracuse as having issued an offer so far. Syracuse.com’s reporting also says he has offers from Washington and Providence. This is all kind of surprising. His 247 Sports profile picture has him in a USA Basketball shirt, which makes sense since he was a part of the 2019 USA Junior National Team camp during Final Four weekend. I’m not really sure how more schools aren’t involved with a guy who was junior national team capable over a year ago, but that’s what we’ve got.
Baker boy’s basketball went 16-7 this past season per Max Preps. It appears that their season came to an end in the Class AA sectional finals, falling to Corcoran, 70-57. Starling had 30 points and 10 rebounds in that game, and remember: He was a sophomore this past year. That’s actually a pretty standard outing for Starling, who averaged 29 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals per game. He also broke the Baker career scoring record in January, eclipsing the previous mark of 1,070. Again: sophomore.
I don’t have any video that looks like it’s worth embedding for highlights here, but Starling does have a Hudl page that was last updated in February.
Can I interest you in a top 70 prospect?
That’s the deal with Judah Mintz, a 6’3”, 165 pound point guard in the Class of 2022. He’s currently ranked #61 in his recruiting class by the 247 Sports Composite system. That makes him the #13 point guard prospect in the country, and thus I believe the top MU prospect at the position ahead of Trejuan Holloman at #18. Mintz is also the top prospect in his class in Washington, D.C., but the nature of that limited of a scope does take the edge off of that statement. I’m not sure we can even say that he’s the top prospect in the D.C. area, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
As befitting a top 75 prospect, Mintz already has a pretty big list of suitors. Florida is the biggest name on the list with an offer so far, and they’re joined by Georgetown, Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest as far as high major offers go. Maryland is listed as having interest, but it appears that, at least according to 247 Sports, Mark Turgeon hasn’t issued a scholarship offer quite yet for whatever reason. I’d say that top 75 prospects don’t pop up in your back yard every day, but for Turgeon, they actually kind of do, so who knows what his strategy is here.
I can’t track down anything in terms of stats on the year for Mintz, but that’s probably for the best. If we’re being quite honest about the entire situation, Mintz’s stats for the 2019-20 season probably aren’t all that impressive. As a sophomore playing on a Gonzaga roster with three high major Class of 2020 signees, odds are that Mintz wasn’t the go-to guy on the regular for the Eagles. That’s okay, because if he’s good enough to be on the squad as a sophomore, his moment in the sun will come for him.
Here’s a six minute highlight reel from the 2019 Peach Jam quarterfinals where Mintz scores 28 points in a loss. Mintz plays for the team in orange here.
If you’d like more obvious highlights of Mintz, check out his Hudl page, which had a metric ton of updates on March 25th. There’s a seven minute package of 2019-20 highlights all in one spot, so check that out.
Excited to receive an offer from Marquette University!! pic.twitter.com/fWeHBsN68t— Rodney Rice (@rodneyrice__) June 12, 2020
If you thought top 70 prospects were cool a minute ago, then I don’t know what you’re going to think about a top 60 guy.
Rodney Rice is currently ranked #54 in the Class of 2022 by the 247 Sports Composite system. At 6’4” and 175 pounds, he’s the #4 combo guard in the recruiting class, and I believe he’s the only MU prospect so far amongst the eight that 247 is tracking right now. Rice is the #3 prospect in the state of Maryland, as he attends The Bullis School in Clinton, MD. This is the part where we talk about “best in the D.C. area,” as Rice’s school is 15 miles from what Google Maps marks as D.C. and about 20 miles away from Judah Mintz’s Gonzaga College High School. Of course, if we’re talking about D.C. area guys, then Favour Aire at Bishop McNamara appears to have Rice beat by just one teeny tiny ranking spot right now. All depends on what you consider “the area” to be, that’s all.
The difference in number of offers between Judah Mintz and Rodney Rice is wild when you consider that they’re honestly ranked right about the same. According to 247 Sports, Rice already has high major offers from [deep breath] Alabama, Georgetown, Louisville, Illinois, Penn State, Providence, Seton Hall, and Virginia Tech. Oh, and Kentucky, Maryland, and Michigan are all interested, too. Yowzers.
MaxPreps has Bullis going 21-8 this past season. That’s pretty good. They also have partial stats on the season, which is less good. They have Rice playing in 16 games for the Bulldogs and averaging a team high 22.9 points per game. That seems very good. The 16 games thing seems to be explained by a shoulder injury, although I can’t give you a link to that as it’s only showing in a Google result preview for the Washington Post that ends up behind a paywall.
Here’s three minutes of highlights from one game for Rice. The video was published back in April of this year, so it seems pretty fresh.
Rice also has a Hudl page where the most recent update was posted on June 7th. That update is part four of his sophomore year highlights, and while that sounds impressive, this last edition is only 73 seconds long. Part Three was nearly four minutes long, though, so go ahead and track the previous parts down, too.
Okay, onwards to the scholarship chart.
As you can see, two scholarship spots sitting open right now after the official departure of Brendan Bailey leads us to expect Marquette to have five open scholarship spots in the fall of 2021. With a wing (Jamal Cain), a big (Theo John), and a guard (Koby McEwen) headed out the door after 2020-21, the Golden Eagles could use reinforcements all over the floor. I presume the plan is for D.J. Carton to be The Guy in terms of point guard play by then, so pure point guard isn’t a primary concern for MU. The presence of Symir Torrence on the roster also helps alleviate any point guard concerns, but you can never have too many talented ballhandlers on a roster, either.
As far as 2022 goes, it’s hard to say for certain until we know exactly what Steve Wojciechowski is doing for 2021 with those five available scholarships. For the moment, all we know for sure is that Greg Elliott will be coming off the books heading into that season, so it’s possible that Marquette will be looking to add only one, maybe two high impact players at that point. Again, it’s hard to say for sure what MU might need, but “tall ballhandlers” is never a bad move.