Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? Tuesday was the first day that college basketball coaches could initiate contact with recruits in the Class of 2023, which is the current class that has just wrapped up their sophomore year of high school.
Marquette men’s basketball was not afraid to jump right into the deep end of the pool with those guys, as there were six new scholarship offers from head coach Shaka Smart and his staff that 1) made their way out to the players in question and 2) made their way out into the public discourse. Are there even more scholarships out there that the players haven’t announced in some form or fashion yet? Maybe! Who can say?
But we have these six to get through, so let’s dive right in, going in chronological order as they popped up.
Momcilovic is listed as a 6’8”, 190 pound power forward by 247 Sports. He attends Pewaukee High School in — you guessed it — Pewaukee, Wisconsin. He has not garnered enough attention or enough proper scouting to be rated or ranked in 247’s Composite system, but internally, 247 has Momcilovic as a four-star prospect and ranked #53 in the country. That makes him the #8 power forward prospect nationally and the top prospect in the state. He’s also the only Wisconsin prospect in 247’s internal rankings, which only goes out to #75 for the 2023 prospects at the moment.
I’m not exactly sure how this works, but somehow 247 doesn’t list anyone as having offered Momcilovic at this point. In fact, the only other programs who have been recruiting him are Iowa State and Wisconsin. A check of Momcilovic’s Twitter and a search on Twitter reveals that this does appear to be the case. That seems incredibly weird for a guy who is at least considered to be a top 100 prospect if not actually better than that level.
Momcilovic had himself a nice 2020-21 basketball season at Pewaukee. He averaged 16.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists, which is pretty quality stuff after a 14.8 ppg average as a freshman according to WisSports.com. Oh, and Pewaukee also went 27-3 and won the WIAA Division 2 state title. They beat Onalaska 54-37 in the title game with Momcilovic going for 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a block and a steal.
Here’s 3:30 of sophomore year highlights:
Blessed to receive an offer from Marquette University !! pic.twitter.com/lxzfdQSC8o— Lawrent (@LawrentRice) June 15, 2021
Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, Rice is listed as a 6’3”, 170 pound combo guard by 247 Sports. That makes him #70 in the country according to 247’s internal system as he doesn’t quite have enough behind him to make it into the top 40 for the Composite at the moment. They’re saying his a three-star prospect, but that does not seem to match up at all with being a top 75 prospect, so we’ll see what happens there. Rice is ranked as the #13 combo guard in the country and the #3 prospect in the state of Ohio behind Rayvon Griffith (#25) and Marlon Barnes, Jr. (#56).
Based on the list that 247 is throwing up, Marquette is the sixth team to offer Rice a scholarship. MU is already competing against Kansas State, Louisville, Ohio State, Purdue, and West Virginia. Local squads Cincinnati, Dayton, and Xavier have also gotten involved, as has Indiana, although I’m not sure whether that was before or after their coaching change.
This past season at Wayne High School in the Dayton area, Rice averaged 13.8 points per game along with a conference best 5.1 assists per game. He also chipped in 2.1 steals and shot 56.3% from the field on the way to earning first team all-conference honors. He might be officially labeled as a combo guard by 247, but his high school coach says that he played off the ball as a freshman before taking over as point guard sophomore year and definitely projects as a point guard at the next level.
Extremely blessed to receive an offer from Marquette University! pic.twitter.com/oI2qSXy76Y— dailyn swain (@dai1yn) June 15, 2021
Sticking with the state of Ohio for a moment, we turn our attention to Swain, who is a 6’6”, 170 pound small forward according to 247 Sports. He doesn’t have a rating or a ranking in either the Composite or their internal system, so I suppose we can just count it as a win that he has a page at this point.
The only scholarship offer that 247 lists for Swain is from in-state Ohio, and that’s the Bobcats, not the Buckeyes. A check of Swain’s Twitter makes it clear that he has offers from both Toledo and Xavier as well, with the one from Travis Steele coming just a few days before Marquette. I don’t know if it’s a big deal to Swain or not, but I can’t help but notice that MU is the first offer he has received from outside the state of Ohio.
Swain plays on the same All-Ohio Red 16-U as Lawrent Rice, and so I suspect that the team was at the team camp that Marquette hosted this past weekend. At Columbus Africentric, his high school, Swain averaged 17 points per game in a six game long season because of the pandemic.
Here’s six minutes of highlights, but the video is from May 2020 from footage of his freshman year.
He also has a Hudl page, but it hasn’t been updated since May 2020.
And now we veer over into the “oh, that’s how we’re doing things” department for a bit. Bowen is listed as a 6’8”, 195 pound small forward by 247 Sports. He is listed as hailing from Newport, Rhode Island, but he will be attending Brewster Academy up in New Hampshire in the fall. Bowen is our first Composite guy that we’ll be talking about here, as he is currently rated as a five-star prospect and ranked #23 in the country. That makes him the fifth best small forward in the recruiting class and the best player coming out of the state of Rhode Island.
You should probably not be surprised to find out that 247 lists 14 offers for him right now. Bowen already has Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas State, LSU, Maryland, Penn State, Providence, Rutgers, and USC involved to the scholarship offer level, and that’s just the high major programs.
Bowen was at St. George’s in Rhode Island for the past two years. I found this article that says he averaged 10 points, five rebounds, and nearly four blocks per game as a freshman.
The local news in Rhode Island did a feature on Bowen this past spring, so here’s two minutes of highlight clips and a little bit of interview, too:
We didn’t stop @koppscustard , but the @Bucks won and I had a world class golf cart campus tour on my unofficial campus visit @MarquetteMBB this past Sunday…I am proud to share that I was offered a scholarship by @coachshakasmart and @CoachDreHaynes #golden pic.twitter.com/xvhZ8j3frf— gusbus (@gusbus2023) June 15, 2021
Feel free to draw whatever conclusion you want from the fact that in between Tuesday afternoon when Yalden’s tweet went up and Thursday morning when I put a final polish on this article, Yalden deleted the tweet. For whatever it’s worth, a scroll through his Media tweets back to 2019 makes it look like he doesn’t tweet about any of his offers.
Okay, stick with me for a second here. Gus Yalden’s home town is Appleton, Wisconsin, just about 100 miles north of Milwaukee. However, he’s attending IMG Academy in Florida. He is listed by 247 Sports as a 6’8”, 240 pound center, and for whatever it’s worth, he doesn’t look like 240 pounds in the picture above as much as he does in his picture on his 247 Sports page. As befitting a guy who is already at IMG Academy as a sophomore in high school, Yalden is currently ranked #32 in the country in 247’s Composite system. That makes him the third best center prospect in the recruiting class, behind Baye Fall (#9) and Jalen Lewis (#12). Because Yalden is at IMG, he’s sorted into the Florida category for where he is coming from, which means he’s the fourth best prospect in the state. However, two of the guys in front of them are the Bewley twins who have already committed to play in the Overtime pro league for players under the age of 18. If Yalden was sorted into the Wisconsin box, he would be the only Wisconsin prospect in the Composite at the moment and thus the top prospect in the state.
There are no shortage of high major programs who are out and about in pursuit of Yalden. If Yalden has an interest in playing back in the vicinity of home when it comes to college, Marquette will have some heavy competition when it comes to the lure of going somewhere else. The big names that jump out are Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma, Stanford, West Virginia, Xavier. Oh, and Wisconsin has offered him a scholarship, too.
Here’s four minutes of highlights of Yalden playing for IMG from back in February:
We wrap with a slightly less heralded recruit. Freeman is a 6’9”, 220 pound power forward according to 247 Sports. He hails from Bradley, Illinois, where he attends Bradley-Bourbonnais High School. He does not have a rating or a ranking in both the 247 Composite or internal systems at this point.
Freeman does, however, have eight non-MU programs already having issued him a scholarship offer, and seven of those are high majors. We’re talking about Butler, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue, Wake Forest, and Wisconsin. Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan State are all listed as involved, but they haven’t made an offer yet.
A freshman campaign ended with Freeman averaging 11.3 points and 7.6 rebounds each night out and shooting — this is not a joke — 68.2% from the field. I can’t find anything about what he managed this past season, so if you can track something down fire it up in the comments section.
Here’s nearly five minutes of highlights that were published in late May.
Scholarship chart time!
That’s what things look like right now. With no projected seniors on the 2022-23 team, it’s impossible to say what Marquette really needs until we see for certain what Shaka Smart’s 2022 recruiting class looks like. MU might have three scholarships to fill, or maybe they’ll have none. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.