Over the last week or so, head coach Shaka Smart and his staff have been hard at work at the future of the Marquette men’s basketball roster. I don’t mean Royce Parham’s commitment — although I don’t not mean that — or any efforts to fill MU’s current available scholarship. No, I’m talking about getting out there and beating the bushes to recruit for the Class of 2024 and the Class of 2025. We’ve got four new scholarship offers to touch on here, one in 2024 and three in 2025. Two of the 2025 guys are of the local-ish variety, so keep an extra close eye on those guys going forward.
Here we go!
Class of 2024
Marquette just offered Top-50 junior Marcus Allen, he told @Stockrisers.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) April 26, 2023
Given Shaka Smart’s general plan of “identify prospects that fit his system and build a relationship,” the timing on this is a little surprising. Allen has been a top 50 prospect since he debuted in 247 Sports’ Composite at #31 a little over a year ago and we’re entering what amounts to the home stretch of his recruitment process as Allen’s final summer on the grassroots circuit is about to begin. In any case, the 6’6”, 190 pound small forward from Compass Prep in Chandler, Arizona, is currently ranked at #47 in the 247 Composite, and #56 in their internal rankings.
With that said, even though Allen averaged 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Norland High School in Miami, this is how he described his mindset when he talked to Stock Risers in December 2022:
“My game is very simple. I thrive on the defensive end and I feel like my defense always helps open up my offense. So, I would say I’m a good two-way player.”
I would say that fits in with what Smart wants to see from his Golden Eagles.
Here’s two minutes of highlights that just went up on YouTube this week:
Class of 2025
Blessed to receive an offer from Marquette University pic.twitter.com/9pkr6I1C9I— Nigel James (@nigel_j24) April 22, 2023
It appears that James doesn’t have a 247 Sports page yet, which is interesting. However, he did talk to Charlie Parent over at ZagsBlog last week, so we know all sorts of interesting bits about the Long Island native as a result. He’s a 6’2” point guard, and he’s up at Cushing Academy in northern Massachusetts now, which is the same prep school that current Golden Eagle Chase Ross attended. He averaged 13 points, four rebounds, six assists, and three steals for Cushing this past season, and he went for 23 points, seven assists, and three steals during Expressions Elite’s most recent club circuit tournament.
Here’s what his club team coach says:
“Nigel is a guard of all service,” Jackson said. “Standing 6-foot-2 with growing athleticism, he can run your show and get others involved with the best in the country. Or he can play uptempo and off-ball consistently be a scoring threat from all 3 levels. Nearly impossible to stop off ball screens and in transition.”
And Cushing’s coach:
“I think what makes NJ [James] unique is that he has such an outgoing and attractive way to him,” Cormier said. “Kids enjoy being around him on and off the floor, so when he buys into that it becomes contagious it becomes contagious amongst the pieces and players within your program. As he moves forward and continues to grow and mature in that role, he’s just going to continue to elevate his stock.”
It’s important to remember at this point that Shaka Smart insists on getting to know everyone around a player as he recruits them, and thus MU already has a relationship with Cushing Academy.
After a great visit today at Marquette, blessed to say i've received an offer from Coach Smart and the rest of the Marquette staff! pic.twitter.com/ufo8bip4b5— Kai Rogers (@kairogers_12) April 26, 2023
If you’re saying “hey, wait a second, a 2025 prospecting visiting Marquette, holy cow, that’s a big deal,” you’re not wrong but also don’t read too much into it. Rogers lists Milwaukee as his hometown and attends Wauwatosa West High School. That has him matriculating just 10 miles away from the McGuire Center, so it’s not surprising that he might be able to pop in at (slightly more than) a moment’s notice.
In any case, Marquette still doesn’t get to count as getting in the door early on Rogers’ recruitment. 247 Sports shows nine different scholarship offers for him, and they’re all high majors. That includes fellow Big East programs Georgetown and St. John’s, but both of those offers were last summer, aka before their recent coaching changes. 247 lists Rogers as a 6’10”, 240 pound center, and we’ll have to keep an eye on exactly what that means for his physical development since he’s just finishing up his sophomore year of high school right now. He doesn’t have a Composite ranking yet, but 247’s internal arrangement has him as a three-star prospect..... but #72 in the country and second best in Wisconsin behind Nicolet’s Davion Hannah.
Here’s six minutes of sophomore year highlights, thanks to Evan Flood over at Badger247.
Will Garlock 7’0” 2025 Middleton & WI Playground has picked up his first D1 offer from Marquette today. Congrats!!! @MHS_Cardinals @RivalsHoops @VerbalCommits @Evan_Flood @WisBBYearbook @willgarlock11— Michael Hansen (@acta_hoops) April 26, 2023
We’ll have to keep an eye on this 7-footer thing for Garlock. I’m not saying he’s not, but I am saying that his 247 Sports page lists him at 6’10” and 215 pounds. Like Rogers, he’s finishing up sophomore year right now, so there’s a lot of possibility for sudden changes in size, even when you’re that tall already.
In any case, it’s good news that Shaka Smart is taking advantage of the possibility of two very good Very Tall Guys in Wisconsin, especially so close to Milwaukee. Yes, I know Middleton is near Madison, but it’s closer than say, Eau Claire. Garlock doesn’t have any ratings or rankings yet from 247, but the fact that he has a page is good news.
Here’s five minutes of sophomore year highlights of Garlock, which I snagged from his Hudl page.
Scholarship chart time!
I am curious about an offer to a 2024 prospect at this point of the show, particularly since Marquette has two spots available and as many as three players eligible to return for a COVID bonus season of eligibility. I say “as many as” because I don’t expect OMax Prosper to be back in the fall of 2024, not if he’s looking at the NBA Draft right now..... but it is available to him for the time being.
As far as 2025 goes, Marquette will be in need of wing players at that point, as their projected senior class is nothing but wings. Still, with at least three projected open spots, you have to at least take a swing at bringing in talented big men who live within a reasonable drive of your locker room.