Hey, did you guys see that Wednesday was the start of the fall signing period for college sports? Every sport with the exception of football was able to start accepting letters of intent from current high school seniors on Wednesday. Marquette men’s basketball is no exception, and before we even got to lunchtime, MU announced the signings of Al Amadou, Zaide Lowery, and Tre Norman. All three young men had committed to the Golden Eagles and head coach Shaka Smart at some point in the past seven months, so it was just a matter of time before they were able to turn in their official signed letters.
The three newest Golden Eagles combine to give Marquette the #18 recruiting class in the country at the moment according to 247 Sports. Connecticut (#4) and Xavier (#14) are the only two Big East programs ahead of MU right now. That should be a pretty stable ranking as far as high school prospects go. Yes, two of the top four guys in the class have not committed yet, but there’s only seven guys in the top 50 that haven’t made a pledge yet. That’s not likely to cause that much of a disturbance in the team rankings, especially not with Duke and Kentucky going 1-2 and Kansas coming in at #10.
Anyway, let’s talk about the newest Golden Eagles, shall we? In alphabetical order, then…..
Al Amadou committed to play for Marquette back in mid-August of this year. Marquette’s press release on the signings lists Amadou as a 6’9”, 195 pound player, and 247 Sports calls him a power forward. He’s 247’s #113 ranked player in their Composite rankings, which is a little bit down from when he committed. He’s still a four star prospect which is where Rivals rates him but does not rank him at all. Then again, Rivals appears to have two pages for him and is getting confused by the difference between Al Amadou and Alassane Amadou, which would be his full name. Alassane is at #148 in the country, for whatever that’s worth to you, and neither page notes his commitment to Marquette. ESPN has him as a four-star prospect, but doesn’t have him in the top 100. They do have him as the #20 ranked center and the #2 player in the state of Pennsylvania, which is the same in-state ranking that 247 has while marking him as the #23 power forward. On3 is not as high on Amadou, putting him at #127 in the country in their consensus and #142 internally while only rating him as a three-star prospect.
“Al is just learning how special he can become as a person and basketball player,” Smart said. ”Not only does he value relationships, growth, and victory, he also possesses as much, or more, potential as anyone we’ve signed.
“He’s exactly the type of young man we pride ourselves in developing into a special contributor to our program,” Smart added. ”Al’s athleticism and versatility on both ends of the floor give him an extremely exciting future as someone capable of impacting winning in a wide variety of ways.”
Okay, I’m going to say a bunch of things about Zaide Lowery before providing you with a crucial update to his prep career. 247 Sports rates him as a three-star prospect and ranks him #143 in the country in the Composite. Rivals is also sitting on a three-star rating and gives him the #140 slot in their rankings. ESPN doesn’t rate outside the top 100, so you’re not surprised he’s unranked right now, but they say he is a four-star prospect. On3 brings up the rear, putting him at #159 in the Consensus and not ranking him at all internally.
Everybody following along here? Everything make sense? Okay, cool.
Zaide Lowery, a 6’5”, 190 pound guard, is spending his final year of high school at La Lumiere School, the prep school with the highly prestigious basketball program, in Indiana.
God bless everything in Springfield, Missouri, and Kickapoo High School, Lowery’s original high school, but La Lumiere School isn’t bringing in goofs to play for their basketball team. Look no further than Jordan Poole, current Golden State Warriors guard who was recruited to Michigan by current MU assistant DeAndre Haynes. I’m not saying this is some sort of guarantee of what Lowery is going to be as a college player, but it’s certainly not a bad sign either.
By the way, La Lumiere is going to be streaming their home games on YouTube this season. Feel free to bookmark that.
Here’s Shaka Smart’s press release quote on Lowery, who was the first of the three guys to commit to the Golden Eagles when he made his pledge back in April of this year:
“Zaide is just scratching the surface of who he will become as a player,” Smart said. It’s exciting to see how much he has grown in the year plus that we have known him. He is an extremely special mover, who brings great versatility to both ends of the floor.
“His length, quickness, and anticipation make him an ideal candidate for high deflections,” Smart added. ”Most importantly, Zaide consistently demonstrates a desire to be a part of something bigger than himself.”
The recruitniks clearly have Norman, a 6’4”, 197 pound guard, as the best prospect in the recruiting class. 247 Sports shows him as the #84 prospect in the country in their Composite and #82 internally. Rivals shares the four-star rating with 247, but ranks Norman at #109. ESPN has Norman inside the top 100 at #91 along with a four-star rating. On3 has him just inside the top 100 in their consensus at #99, while they keep the four-star rating there and internally while ranking him at #106 on their own data.
“Tre is a flat-out winner with a college-ready body,” Smart said. ”His competitive character is especially advanced for his age and he thrives in the biggest moments. He prides himself in toughness, basketball IQ, making people better, and of course, winning.
“Tre’s size, versatile skill set, and win anyway mentality align with who we work to be,” Smart added. He has the opportunity to be a great leader and winner at Marquette.”
Norman was the third and final member of the recruiting class to commit to Marquette, with his announcement coming a few weeks after Amadou. Marquette’s interest in Norman was never in doubt, but putting him on the scholarship chart does move the Golden Eagles to one over the NCAA allowed limit of 13 scholarship players if everyone projected to return does return for 2023-24. There are several possibilities to explain why Shaka Smart is under the opinion that everything will be fine by the time we get to the start of next school year, a number of which have nothing to do with players electing to transfer just because they want to transfer.
Here’s what the chart looks like at the moment.
We’ll wrap up with Shaka Smart’s press conference on his fall session signees, which includes commentary on Marquette currently sitting one over on projected scholarship usage next season.