Hey, you know what we’ve been neglecting since the school year got started? RECRUITING TALK.
By my count — and please correct me if I’m wrong — but Shaka Smart and the Marquette men’s basketball staff have made at least four new scholarship offers since the start of September, and maybe five. Trust me, it’ll make sense when we get there.
Let’s jump right in because we’ve got guys to get to.....
Marquette offers scholarship to ILLWolves 2023 6’5 Cam Christie pic.twitter.com/J6zuMe8AL3— Illinois Wolves (@WolvesILL) September 7, 2021
If you’re doing your Google searching, you probably want to try Cameron Christie as he is listed on his 247 Sports page. The 6’3”, 160 pound shooting guard hails from Rolling Meadows, Illinois, which is in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. 247’s Composite currently ranks him at #147 in the country. That makes him the #31 shooting guard in the Class of 2023 and #4 in the state of Illinois. Put a pin in that for a minute and we’ll come back to it.
Christie has exactly the kind of set of recruiting offers that you’d expect for a guy in the top 150 and still about a year away from being able to sign a letter of intent. It’s a whole bunch of schools largely speaking within driving distance of Chicago: DePaul, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Purdue. The lone exception to that midwest flavor that 247 Sports shows? Ole Miss, for some reason.
The Michigan State offer in there is the one to keep an eye on to a certain degree. Cameron’s older brother Max is currently a freshman for the Spartans after wrapping up his prep career as a top 25 prospect. Through 12 games so far, Max is averaging 9.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game while starting every game.
Here’s a four minute highlight reel from back in the spring of 2021.
Dai Dai Ames
Remember a minute ago when I said that Cam Christie was the #4 player in the state of Illinois for the Class of 2023? Yeah, so Dai Dai Ames is the top prospect in the state. The 6’1”, 160 pound point guard is a four-star prospect and currently ranked #50 in the country according to the 247 Sports Composite system. That puts him in as the #9 point guard prospect in the class as well.
He’s a Chicago kid and he attends Kenwood Academy, which is down near Lake Michigan on the south side. You could have figured that out from the initial tweet on the page, of course, as well as the fact that he plays his club hoops for the very notable and famous Mac Irvin Fire team. It’s probably not a coincidence that Mike Irvin is the newly hired Kenwood coach.
Ames’ offer list according to 247 Sports is very Big Ten oriented. Illinois, obviously, but there’s also Maryland, Michigan State, and Nebraska. Notre Dame is also involved for a little local-ish flair, and there’s also offers from LSU and Oklahoma as well.
I don’t seem to be able to find stats from last season, but this year is a different story. With seven games played in 2021-22, Ames is averaging 24.9 points, 1.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 3.4 steals per game for Kenwood. Seems good, and that’s before mentioning that he’s shooting 27-for-45 from behind the three-point line. Yes, that’s 60%.
Can I interest you in a six minute highlight video from this past May titled “They can’t guard him?”
247 Sports lists Royal as a 6’6”, 210 pound small forward out of Pickerington, Ohio. That’s in the southeast suburbs of Columbus, if you were in need of brushing up on your Ohio geography. That height and weight certainly makes Royal sounds like a lanky dude and thus right up Shaka Smart’s alley.
He’s not currently rated or ranked in the 247 Composite system, but it appears that has more to do with everyone else not being up on him yet. 247’s internal system has Royal as the #121 prospect in the country for the Class of 2023, which is pretty good. He’s the #26 small forward prospect in the class and the #6 ranked player in the state of Ohio. Four of the five guys in front of him are top 100 prospects, so being #6 is no knock in the slightest.
It would seem that Royal hasn’t quite caught on as a national prospect quite yet. Sure, Ohio State and Xavier lead a list of eight in-state programs to have issued him an offer, so big programs are aware of him. But outside the state, we’re looking at Marquette joining the likes of Iowa State, Kansas State, and Penn State in terms of high major offers. Good programs and good schools, clearly, but not quite a national recruiting priority yet.
Royal averaged 13.9 points per game as a sophomore last season for Pickerington Central, so that’s pretty good, especially since the team went 15-5.
Here’s seven minutes of highlights from September.
Blessed and honored to receive an offer from Coach Smart and Marquette pic.twitter.com/wQv7ihdsgA— Nick Janowski (@nick_janowski12) October 29, 2021
Can I interest you in a local-ish guy? Pewaukee is still local for Marquette and Milwaukee, right? Janowski attends Pewaukee High School, about 30 minutes west of the McGuire Center. 247 Sports says that he’s a 6’3”, 180 pound combo guard... but that’s about it. No ratings or rankings for him quite yet.... but that’s fine, because Janowski is actually a Class of 2024 prospect. No hurry in making any definitive statements about that class quite yet, I suppose.
Since he’s a Class of 2024 prospect, coaches can’t initiate contact with Janowski yet, so it’s not surprising that his offer list according to 247 Sports is pretty small so far. Right now, Marquette is one of four teams listed along with Georgia Tech, Iowa State, and USC. That’s a bit of a weird list, geographically speaking. Wisconsin is listed as interested, but they haven’t made an offer yet.
I would like to point out this Rivals article from late October for a few reasons.
- Janowski has taken an unofficial visit to Marquette, which is his mother’s alma mater
- It says he’s 6’4” and 195 pounds
- He plays club ball with fellow Marquette prospect Kon Knueppel
- He plays high school ball with fellow Marquette prospect Milan Momcilovic
- and finally, and this is the big one, Rivals ranks Janowski as the #27 prospect in the entire country, and yes, that’s overall not at his position.
Who wants to watch 10 minutes of highlights, which is very happy to start off letting us know that Janowski shot nearly 59% from behind the three-point line as a freshman? At that point, I’m trying to figure out why his coach only let him score 11 points a game....
2023 prospect Brooklyn Hicks (@brooklynhickss) has told me that he will be taking an official visit to Marquette next weekend.— jake lieberman (@jakelieberman2) November 7, 2021
Hicks holds power-five offers.
2023 PG Prospect Brooklyn Hicks will take an official visit to Marquette this upcoming weekend on November 14th, he tells @hoopmajorhm.— Hoop Major Fonso (@hoopmajorfonso) November 7, 2021
The 6’3 PG has offers from Cal Poly, Oregon State, Portland, San Francisco, Washington, & Washington State.@brooklynhickss @rotaryhoops
I mean, I think Brooklyn Hicks has an offer from Marquette? I would hope that he has an offer if he’s spending one of his junior year official visits on the Golden Eagles AND Marquette is spending one of their limited total of official visits on him? But I can’t find anyone saying that explicitly, so we’ll just presume this is the case and move on.
Hicks has a 247 Sports page, which lists him as a 6’3”, 180 pound point guard out of Washington. He’s specifically from Lacey, which is a suburb of Olympia, where he attends Timberline High School. He doesn’t have a rating or a ranking in the Composite yet, but internally 247 Sports lists him as a three-star prospect and the #36 point guard prospect in the Class of 2023.
If he does in fact have an offer from Marquette, then the Golden Eagles are the lone non-west coast team to offer him so far. Oregon State are on the board, as are both Washington and Washington State, as far as Major Seven programs go. Eastern Washington, Portland, and San Francisco are also involved.
I found a 15 minute long highlight clip, but it’s of an entire game. You’re watching #4 in white, and according to the info on the video, Hicks goes for 28 points, four rebounds, and eight assists in this one.
And now, the always popular scholarship chart!
As you can see, Marquette is looking at two open scholarships for the Class of 2023.... maybe. With Greg Elliott floating out there as a question mark for his bonus year of eligibility, Marquette doesn’t project to have any seniors in 2022-23, but they still have those two scholarships available. It’s possible that we’ll see transfers come in during the summer of 2022 and change the calculus of available spaces in the fall of 2023.
It’s also possible that Shaka Smart ends up using his available roster spots on transfers with just one year of eligibility remaining. That lets Marquette have a full roster but also allows the Golden Eagles to add two freshmen to the team in the fall of 2023.
There’s a lot of ways this can go, of course, so just keep your eyes and ears open and we’ll keep you as up to date as we can.