We’ve done a lot of talking about Class of 2022 recruiting for Marquette men’s basketball over the last week. Monday was the first day that coaches could initiate contact directly with prospects, and as expected, there was a whole hell of a lot going on to talk about.
However, on Thursday, head coach Steve Wojciechowski hopped in the Wayback Machine and refocused his priorities on the Class of 2021. With potentially as many as five scholarships available for that recruiting class and no commitments currently on the board, there’s obviously lots of work to be done here. Let’s dive in to see what Wojciechowski and his staff have been up to with a pair of in-state prospects.
Going in chronological order then.......
Blessed to receive an offer from Coach Wojciechowski and Marquette ‼️ pic.twitter.com/SzQWoBn7PX— Brandin Podziemski (@brandinpodziem2) June 18, 2020
Podziemski is currently listed as a 6’6”, 185 pound small forward in the Class of 2021 by 247 Sports. He currently does not have a rating or a ranking in their Composite system, and it seems clear that Podziemski is amongst a group of prospects who are going to be drastically affected in the national attention department by not being able to play their final spring and summer of grassroots basketball due to the coronavirus pandemic. Marquette appears to be just the third high major offer for Podziemski after Arizona State and DePaul. Boise State, Loyola-Chicago, Rice, and Milwaukee round out the list of offers that he has so far.
Podziemski currently attends St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin, but his Verbal Commits page says that his hometown is actually Muskego, which is just a bit southwest of Milwaukee. According to MaxPreps, SJNMA went 19-6 this past season with a 14-1 record in conference play. With 22 games worth of stats compiled, Podziemski led the squad in scoring at 27.3 points per game. In his free time, he also grabbed 9.4 rebounds, dished 3.6 assists, snagged 3.7 steals, and blocked 1.2 shots. So that’s a lot, huh? 66 of his 229 field goals on the year were from behind the three-point line as he connected on 33% of his attempts. That sounds an awful lot like a guy who can do a whole bunch of stuff on the court on offense, and seeing as he led his team in long range attempts, he was also their most trusted outside shooter.
Left-handed wing player with a very good shooting touch from deep and the ability to take defenders off the dribble with his quickness. Also a strong rebounder on both ends of the court.
Here’s video of Podziemski going for 39 points at home against Milwaukee Messmer.
And here’s a 2+ minute highlight reel from his junior season with SJNMA.
He also has a Hudl page, and don’t be worried about the top highlight being dated from 2018. It’s just the one pinned to the top, and the most recent update is from March 2020.
I can’t help but wonder if Marquette is just a little bit late to the party here. Graham is a 6’8”, 205 pound small forward according to 247 Sports, and the fact that he’s not rated or ranked by them is clearly not indicative of what he’s capable on the court. Graham has been a very popular young man lately on the national stage, earning offers from Maryland, Wake Forest, Florida State, Missouri, Cincinnati, Georgia, Michigan State, Xavier, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Iowa, Arizona State, Oregon, and Butler just since the start of May.
Oh, and I left out the part where Graham attends Nicolet High School in Glendale, just a 15 minute drive from the Al McGuire Center on MU’s campus. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on that caused Marquette to wait this long on offering a 2021 prospect that’s essentially in their backyard, especially as Graham exploded over the past six weeks or so. That’s why I wonder if MU is going to end up late to the show here. While the coaching staff clearly has a relationship that goes back past this week with Graham, you have to wonder if seeing those notes from the Michigan States and Oregons of the world have already moved Graham’s eyes past staying in Milwaukee for his collegiate career.
Max Preps shows stats for 24 games that Graham played in as Nicolet went 22-3 this past season. He averaged 20.2 points per game, which led the team if you ignore the fact that 2020 top prospect Jalen Johnson averaged 24.6 per contest but only in nine games played. Graham added 6.6 rebounds per game along with 1.4 assists and a block to boot. That’s some pretty quality across the board production, and the fact that Graham shot 44% from long range on just over five attempts per game is pretty good, too.
Here’s three and a half minutes of junior year highlights that was posted on YouTube in late April:
Let’s go to the scholarship chart, shall we?
As you can see, Marquette is looking to have two open scholarships during the 2020-21 school year. At this juncture of the calendar, I think it’s a safe bet that those two spots roll over into 2021-22. That would mean that Steve Wojciechowski would have as many as five open scholarships for the fall of 2021 as Jamal Cain, Theo John, and Koby McEwen will all be wrapping up their eligibility this coming season. With five spots open, the Golden Eagles aren’t really looking to fill any particular needs with this recruiting class because they honestly need a bit of everything, and there would presumably be space on the roster for both of these guys if it came down to it. The Class of 2021 can start signing national letters of intent in November, so we’re entering the part of the year where players start making decisions and committing to their school of choice. We’ll get a better idea of what Marquette really needs to focus on once the Golden Eagles get their first 2021 commitment on the board.