While we’re all focused on this season’s Marquette men’s basketball team, Wednesday brought National Signing Day and five commitments to Buzz Williams’ Golden Eagles.
With those five commitments combined with the players returning next season, the future of the program looks very bright.
Marquette’s 2013 recruiting class is a consensus top 10 group in the country, and it is pretty evident why. There are a few things to really like about this group.
The main part of this class is local. Duane Wilson, Deonte Burton, and Jameel McKay all have Milwaukee connections, with two of them currently playing in the area. With the top talent on a national level, like Kevon Looney and Diamond Stone, in the Milwaukee area, Williams has proven his ability to get the best this city has to offer.
Instead of getting players from all over the country, it’s good to be able to get local talent. While it’s great to recruit players from Tennessee, New Mexico, Texas and even California, if you don’t have to go too far from home to get what is needed, then that’s even better.
What is needed for next season’s Marquette team is depth at the guard position and another body down low. So Marquette went and got three guards, a small forward and that post presence.
Wilson will be starting at point guard for the Golden Eagles at some point in the near future. While his game could use some polishing when it comes to running a team, Wilson’s athleticism and ability to score is very impressive. A 6-foot-3 point guard as quick and dynamic as Wilson is difficult to find, but Marquette found itself a player who has risen to national prominence on the recruiting scene over the past year or so.
John Dawson is a bit of a wild card. The New Mexico native can play either guard position and could turn out to be a diamond in the rough. People have told me that if he was playing in a larger city, he would be a top 100 prospect in the country. We’ll see what Dawson can bring to the table, but he sounds like he is worth the risk.
Jajuan Johnson was the cherry on top of this class and is a pretty nice one at that. He is one of the highest ranked prospects Marquette has ever recruited and can score. With Todd Mayo’s future up in the air, Johnson looks like he could come in and contribute right away. Whether Williams would start both Johnson and Wilson in the backcourt is up for debate, but regardless, the Memphis native is key to Marquette’s plans for the future.
Burton could be a linebacker. While he’s only 6-foot-4, his frame is extremely imposing, as is his athleticism. While at Marquette, Burton will likely make SportsCenter’s top 10 plays once or twice with his ability to finish at the rim. A streaky shooter, Burton will impress with his athleticism and defensive intensity once he starts playing for Williams.
McKay is another hometown product and is currently at Dwight Buycks’ old junior college, Indian Hills in Iowa. The former Milwaukee City Conference high school star is an athletic power forward good on both ends and excels around the rim on offense. He’ll add more competition to what should already be a deep Marquette front line.
Next season, the Golden Eagles might be a top 25 team in the preseason. If a few of these five guys transition well, with the returning talent Marquette will have, Williams may have another Big East contender on his hands.
Coming off two straight Sweet 16 appearances, the program is on the rise. If it keeps getting recruiting classes like this one, it will soar all the way to one of the nation’s best.