So far, since Marquette hired Shaka Smart to be the new men’s basketball head coach, the only new scholarship offers we’ve seen make their way into public view have been for the Class of 2022. That’s the kids who are just finishing up their junior year of high school and will be able to sign letters of intent in the fall.
ALL OF THAT HAS CHANGED NOW.
Unless I’m wrong — and I’ve been making a Google Sheet to keep track of these things now that there’s an new head coach — Shaka Smart’s first scholarship offer at Marquette to the Class of 2023 has gone out to small forward Jalen Hooks.
After a great unofficial visit I am blessed to receive an offer from Marquette University !! Thank you to Coach Smart and the rest of the staff ! pic.twitter.com/ViCvjTzcY2— jalen hooks (@jhooks1414) June 10, 2021
According to 247 Sports, Hooks is a 6’6”, 180 pound small forward from Indianapolis, Indiana. They are, apparently, hilariously wrong about that, as Jalen Hooks was happy to point out.
6’7 206— jalen hooks (@jhooks1414) June 11, 2021
Honestly, I appreciate that he’s looking out for himself, and especially the reason why:
Had to ! They made me seem like a twig lol— jalen hooks (@jhooks1414) June 11, 2021
I suspect that 247 and the other recruiting services don’t have as much information about Hooks as they would like to have at this point in the recruiting cycle because of the pandemic. That’s probably doing a lot of work to explain why Hooks is not currently rated or ranked in the 247 Composite system. He is, however, in the 247 internal system, and they have him as a four-star prospect and ranked #55 in the country. That makes him the #13 small forward in the country and the #2 prospect in the state on Indiana behind La Lumiere point guard Jeremy Fears, who is the #23 prospect in the country. It’s also worth noting that 247 Sports has only ranked 75 prospects in the Class of 2023 in their internal system at this point, so the fact that they went out of their way to include Hooks is a pretty strong vote of confidence in his abilities.
His lack of ratings and ranking on a national scale hasn’t slowed down interest in Hooks, as you would expect from a guy that looks to be a top 75 prospect. At least according to 247 Sports, Marquette would be just his fourth scholarship offer trailing along behind fellow Big East squads DePaul and Xavier, along with Illinois. We should point out that the DePaul offer was back in the fall of 2020, and there has been a coaching change down in Lincoln Park. The list of teams that have shown interest in Hooks without making an offer yet — probably because they haven’t seen him play in person yet more than anything else — is kind of exactly what you’d expect for a top 75 prospect in Indianapolis: Butler, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, and Wisconsin..... and also Kansas in there for good measure.
Hooks attends Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, although he was at Franklin Central in the Indianapolis area for his freshman year. As a freshman, he averaged a perfectly respectable 9.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals. After transferring to Attucks, he didn’t instantly become a star but did make an impact right away as a sophomore. He was fourth on the team in scoring (11.1 points), tops in rebounding (8.4), second in assists (3.3), third in steals (1.7), and also led the team in blocks per game (2.0). All of those sophomore year numbers come to us via Max Preps.
Hooks has a Hudl page that does have lots of highlight clips from his sophomore year, although the pinned video right now is 4:30 of highlights from his freshman year. Don’t let the “April 23, 2020” mislead you as far as what’s on the rest of the page.
It looks like there isn’t any quality up to date videos to embed for you at this point. I suspect that has to do with the summer of 2020 grassroots circuit events getting reduced to “players and coaches only” if not getting outright cancelled more than anything else.
And now, the scholarship chart!
For now, we can’t make any grand statements about what Marquette does or does not need in the 2023 recruiting class. We have to see what happens with 2022 first, as MU currently does not project to have any seniors departing the program at the end of the 2022-23 season. As such, what happens to the three scholarships that appear to be available for 2022-23 makes a big impact on what Shaka Smart and his staff do for the class that Hooks is in.
With that said, I don’t think that anyone is really pooh-poohing the idea of adding a 6’7”, 205 pound top 75, maybe top 50 small forward in that recruiting class if there’s a spot available for him. That’s the kind of guy that can not only contribute right away, but maybe even make an impact right away.