Thanks to the always on the ball Ryan James, we now know that Marquette men’s basketball has offered a scholarship to Class of 2022 guard Eli King.
Marquette has offered 2022 guard Eli King from @adidasD1MN 17u & Caledonia HS pic.twitter.com/XLmh7oa4WV— Ryan James (@RyanJamesMN) July 30, 2020
We have to be careful when linking to King’s 247 Sports page. We want his page for basketball, which is here, and not his page for football, which is here. For basketball, 247 Sports has King ranked as the #98 player in the country in their Composite system, which makes him a four-star prospect in the Class of 2022. The 6’3”, 170 pounder from Minnesota is the #18 point guard in his recruiting class. I believe that makes him the third best point guard prospect in the class that Marquette has offered already behind JJ Starling and Tre Holloman and the fourth best prospect that MU is looking at as Seth Trimble is one spot ahead of King, but I don’t believe Trimble has a scholarship offer yet. The offer to King puts Marquette on the board for all of the top four Minnesota prospects in Class of 2022. Holloman (#50) is the top of the chart, followed by Camden Heide (#75), King, (#98), and Prince Aligbe (#101).
So far, King has five scholarship offers before the Golden Eagles waded into the water. Minnesota is obviously on the list, although given that Caledonia is about at least a 2.5 hour drive from the Twin Cities because it’s down near La Crosse, maybe “obviously” isn’t quite the right word there. Iowa, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa are all involved with offers, and given how close Caledonia is to the Minnesota/Iowa state line, that makes a lot of sense. The final offer that King has is the one that doesn’t make regional sense: Stanford. The Rochester Post Bulletin helps provide some context in this article from mid-June. It seems the Cardinal offered King a scholarship on the very first day that coaches could initiate contact with 2022 prospects, making them the second offer that he picked up after UNI.
The always helpful Star Tribune Basketball Hub shows 17 games worth of stats for King and Caledonia in the 2019-20 season. That’s somewhat unfortunate, as the Hub also shows that the team was 24-1. In any case, King averaged 17.2 points per game for the Warriors, and he raised his game in the four games of Section Playoffs that Caledonia had, all the way up to 18 points on average. The rebounding statistics are even more wonky, tracking just two regular season games for King. Still, if his 6.5 rebounds per game in those two is anything close to a quality example of what he’s capable of, then that’s pretty good for a 6’3” point guard.
Here’s a two minute TV segment from KTTC in Rochester from March when King was named Athlete of the Week. There’s highlights and also comments from King and his high school coach, which happens to be his dad.
Let’s go to the scholarship chart.
Given that 2022-23 is projected to be the senior year for both D.J. Carton and Symir Torrence, that’s always a good time to bring in a top 100 point guard. It’s never a bad idea to bring a point guard along with a little bit of a cushion, and with Greg Elliott projected to be leaving the program in the spring of 2022, Marquette could definitely use another quality ballhandler in the backcourt. Obviously, with Holloman, Starling, and Trimble getting long looks, Marquette isn’t putting all of their eggs in the King basket. Still, the effort to recruit multiple top 100 point guards shows that head coach Steve Wojciechowski and his staff are making that position a major priority for the future of the team. Given Marquette’s ability to recruit well in Minnesota under Wojciechowski, we have to pay a little extra attention to what MU is up to with King.