The future of Marquette basketball begins today as the 2016 fall signing period gets underway.
Recruits in the high school graduating class of 2017 can sign their national letters of intent starting today, November 9th, all the way through November 16th. Both men’s head coach Steve Wojciechowski and women’s head coach Carolyn Kieger are expecting to officially announce signees at some point over the next week. Since those players are already verbally committed to play for Marquette, those announcements should come at some point during the day today.
Wojo has three verbal commitments for the class of 2017 right now.
Cain hails from Michigan, where 247 Sports has him as the best prospect in the state in their internal ranking system and #84 in the country. Other recruiting services aren’t as high on Cain, which is why he’s only #131 in the Composite system. Marquette’s most recent verbal commit stands six feet, seven inches tall and weighs 175 pounds, and the belief is amongst scouts that he could play both inside and outside for Wojo.
Here’s a video package of Cain playing for his high school team.
Eke, a 6’9”, 215 lb. forward, was the first player to commit to Marquette in this class when he made his verbal back in June. Currently ranked #303 in the 247 Sports Composite system and #260 in their internal system, Eke appears to be a bit of a raw athletic prospect. However, I counter that with the fact that Eke went for 10 points and 13 rebounds in the state championship game last spring and also this highlight package that Pat Donnelly, Eke’s high school coach sent our way.
Steve Wojciechowski continues his plan of camping out in Richard Pitino’s backyard and poaching all his local talent with the signing of John, a Twin Cities area native. John committed to Marquette back in September shortly after taking an official visit to Milwaukee. The 6’9”, 230 lb. forward projects to be a strong defensive force from the get go, which is a very good plus side to a recruit ranked just barely outside the top 200 by the 247 Sports Composite system.
With those three guys already signed on, Wojo and his staff still have one scholarship left to hand out for the fall of 2017, but barring some surprise news out of somewhere, it doesn’t appear that there will be a fourth member of the recruiting class during the fall period.
Kieger has two players verbally committed for the fall of 2017, which will complete her recruiting for next fall, presuming that everyone returns as expected.
Lott will be coming to Marquette from New York, where she attends high school in the Albany area. She can dominate the scoresheet for Columbia, pouring in 24 of their 58 points in the Class AA quarterfinals. She can rebound a bit, too, as she was named Albany area Player of the Week after a 20 point, 15 rebound performance.
At approximately six feet tall, Lott continues the trend of Kieger going out and finding the best possible six-foot-tall women that she like to fit in to her hardcore up and down tempo. I can’t embed the video, but check out this link for some highlights from a 25 point outing by Lott last December.
When you’re limited in scholarship space like Kieger is for next fall, the smart move is to go after the best player in your state. That’s exactly what Kieger did by bringing in Smith-Traore, who hails from Whitewater.
The 6’2” forward averaged a double-double last season with 17 points and 15 rebounds, and in her spare time, blocked more than five shots, grabbed more than three steals, and dished three assists. As a result, Smith-Traore was the only unanimous selection to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 3 All-State team. The Whippets won the 2015 Division 3 title, carried by Smith-Traore’s 17 point, 18 rebound performance in the title game as a sophomore.
And here’s how the women’s team scholarship picture looks right now.
With men’s and women’s basketball being the primary revenue sports at Marquette, they’re the ones getting the primary focus here. However, every other sport except for soccer will also be accepting letters of intent from recruits over the next week, so keep your eyes open for news from those corners of the campus as well.