As we progress deeper and deeper into the summer, we get closer and closer to the fall signing period for the Class of 2021. As such, it makes sense that we’re going to keep seeing those 2021 recruits trimming down their recruiting lists as they try to make things easier on themselves going forward. That was the case back on July 1st, as North Carolina small forward Eric Van Der Heijden announced a top 10, and yes, he included Marquette on his list. The other nine are [deep breath] Cincinnati, Clemson, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Ole Miss, Providence, Texas, and Wake Forest. It’s important to point out that this is a TOP 10 not a FINAL 10, as I’m sure Van Der Heijden wouldn’t say no to John Calipari and Kentucky giving him a call.
TOP 10! Thank you to all the coaches who have recruited me up to this point. pic.twitter.com/mRNY0YBnJP— Eric (@eric_vdh23) July 1, 2020
Van Der Heijden is listed as a 6’9”, 205 pound small forward by 247 Sports. Their Composite system has him at #157 in the country right now, but there’s some debate on where he belongs in the rankings. Their internal rankings have Van Der Heijden at #72 in the country right now. That would make him the #17 small forward prospect in the Class of 2021 and the #3 prospect in North Carolina instead of #38 and #6 respectively in the Composite system at the moment.
Marquette offered Van Der Heijden a scholarship back in late April amidst a flurry of spring offers. Based on what we wrote at the time about him, his current disparity in recruiting rankings is even wilder than you think. In late April, Van Der Heijden was sitting at #140 in the 247 Composite and #79 internally. Yes, that’s right, he fell in the Composite and rose in the internal. No, I don’t have an explanation for this past “other recruiting services like Van Der Heijden even less than they did before,” which seems mean. If you would like to laugh at someone, you may laugh at Boston College, as they were one of the most prominent offers listed by 247 for Van Der Heijden in late April, but they did not make the cut here.
Van Der Heijden attends Millbrook High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Millbrook’s basketball team went 23-4 this past season, including an 11-1 record in conference play according to MaxPreps. It would appear that our man here played a notable role in that, averaging 12.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. That’s a whole bunch of stuff, and the assist numbers — second best on the team — are of particular note for a forward. He led the team in three-point attempts, and van der Heijden knocked down 45% of his 119 tries.
In the article about his scholarship offer, we dropped in a four minute long video of highlight clips of Van Der Heijden, so let’s go with something new. His high school team put up two videos since the start of the year. Here’s a 70 second one from January:
And a two minute one from April:
Let’s go to the scholarship chart!
As you can see, Marquette is still looking at four more open scholarship spots for the fall of 2021 after Kameron Jones recently committed. Okay, that’s not entirely true, as the Golden Eagles appear to be taking two open spots into 2020-21, and if those roll through to the next school year without anything crazy happening, that’s how head coach Steve Wojciechowski gets to four more spots to fill. Jones is a 6’4” guard, so that makes Van Der Heijden’s interest in the Golden Eagles important. MU already has one quality guard coming in, so diversifying the recruiting class with that many opening spots is important. A 6’9” sharpshooter who can rebound enough and pass more than a little bit definitely counts as diversification, so keep an eye on this one going forward. It’s also important to watch MU’s recruitment of Van Der Heijden relative to Kendall Brown. Brown is a 6’8” small forward in the same recruiting class and is currently ranked #14 in the country by 247 Sports, and he included the Golden Eagles in his top 10 in mid-May. With four more spots sitting open, there’s definitely space on the roster for both Brown and Van Der Heijden. The question is whether Marquette is recruiting both gentlemen at this point of the calendar. Maybe they are — Brown’s cutdown came after the offer to Van Der Heijden — and maybe they aren’t. It’s hard to tell without coaches out on the road watching these kids playing on the summer grassroots circuit, so keep your eyes open for news going forward.