Duane Wilson, Deonte Burton and Jameel McKay have filled Marquette’s three open scholarships available in 2013, but that has not stopped Buzz Williams from aggressively recruiting the class.
With one open scholarship, Junior Cadougan graduating next year and Arizona State transfer Trent Lockett having one year of eligibility (2012-’13), all spots have been filled for now.
But in four seasons, at least one player has transferred under Williams each year. And the status of Chris Otule’s request for a sixth year will be unknown until next spring, meaning there is always the potential for another open scholarship. That, and the fact that a head coach never stops recruiting has given way for Williams to look hard into the 2013 class.
While there are sure to be other players, some under-the-radar, Williams is looking at in this class, these are the names of five players who recently have been linked to the Golden Eagles publicly.
Kendrick Nunn, SG, Simeon Career Academy (Ill.)
The 6-foot-2 shooting guard is ranked No. 55 in the class, and Marquette has again shown up on his radar. The former teammate of will be-freshman Steve Taylor, Marquette was expected to be out of the running for Nunn when Williams secured a commitment from Duane Wilson. Isaac Chew presumably recruited Nunn at both Missouri and Illinois, and is again doing so at Marquette.
The lefty has a bit of Manu Ginobili in him, and it goes beyond the hand with which he shoots. Nunn has excellent range from beyond the arc, stops on a dime on pull-up jumpers and uses a “Euro-step” (changing directions with his steps after he picks up a dribble) to near perfection getting to the basket.
Nunn visited Marquette on Monday and, according to 2013 point guard Duane Wilson, enjoyed what he saw. He currently holds scholarship offers from some of the top schools in the country, including Illinois, Memphis, Missouri, N.C. State, DePaul, Florida State, Nebraska and interest from Kansas, North Carolina and Syracuse.
He seemed intrigued by UCLA in his interview (above link) and is hoping Kentucky will show interest this summer. As it pertains to Marquette, Nunn could find time in the rotation before logging a major role his sophomore season, when Vander Blue graduates.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, SG, Huntington Prep (West Va.)
According to WisSports.net’s Mark Miller, the Golden Eagles are recruiting Rathan-Mayes “hard,” and have offered the 6-foot-4 guard. Ranked No. 21 in the class by ESPN.com, Rathan-Mayes is a pure scorer. Last year, he averaged 14.0 points, 4.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game. He has improved on finding teammates, but his best traits are scoring from all spots on the floor. He has good bulk and, while he isn’t lightning quick, his size helps him get to the basket.
While Aki Collins was the lead recruiter on Todd Mayo, another Huntington Prep product, the pair’s relationship stemmed from years past rather than the prep school. It’s safe to assume Marquette has good relations with the coaching staff at Huntington, which should help in Rathan-Mayes’ recruitment.
He is a pure shooting guard who loves to find his shot at this stage. His upside is as good as anyone on this list, and would be a welcome addition to Marquette.
Kendal “House” Harris, PG, Berkner H.S. (Tex.)
Miller also tweeted that Marquette is hard after Harris, a combination guard from Williams’ favorite state to recruit. Rated as the No. 94 overall recruit in the class, Harris has over a dozen scholarship offers from around the country, including Marquette, LSU, Gonzaga, Southern California, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and North Texas.
Harris took an unofficial visit to Marquette in 2011, and he seems to be shooting up recruiting rankings and garnering high major interest as of late. An injury forced him to miss the spring and summer evaluation period last year, but he has taken great strides since then. Evan Daniels of Scout.com evaluated Harris at the Pangos All-American Camp this June, and said Harris “aggressively attacked the basket looking to score. He knocked down a (three) to go with a handful of finishes at the rim.”
He has the size to play both point and shooting guard, but a quick look at some of his film shows his best attributes are attacking the basket and finding open shooters on the perimeter, just like fellow Texas point guard Junior Cadougan.
With Duane Wilson and Derrick Wilson already on board, it would be interesting to see where Harris fits. Williams has always said he will take as many ball handlers as he can get, and the Marquette coaching staff must feel comfortable in his ability to play off the ball. There are plenty of high major teams recruiting the him, but Marquette seems in play on him as much as any other school.
Marquise Pryor, F, Orr Academy H.S. (Ill.)
The latest recruiting information I can gather on Pryor is that Pryor, like Harris, has shot up the recruiting rankings and schools are taking notice. Along with Marquette, who Illinois Prep Bulls-eye tweeted had Pryor in for a visit earlier this week, Kansas State, Baylor, DePaul, Illinois, Northwestern, Illinois-Chicago and Northern Illinois are also recruiting the 6-foot-7 wing. That was as of October 2011, and in June 2011 ChicagoHoops.com added Southern Illinois, Loyola and Arizona State were also recruiting Pryor. ESPN.com adds Colorado State, Kansas State and Oakland.
Without knowing too much about the schools currently on them, Pryor seems to fit the mold of a Buzz Williams blue collar post. He seems more focused on working on his post game, a strong suit of his, but would need to work on range to truly fit into the Marquette mold.
Ranked by ESPN.com as the 20th best recruit in Illinois for 2013, Pryor plays with the Mac Irvin Fire AAU squad, the same as former point guard Reggie Smith and incoming freshman Steve Taylor. If Marquette is serious about Pryor, that connection will help in the process.
Thomas “Tommy” Hamilton Jr., C, Whitney Young H.S.
Another Mac Irvin Fire product, Hamilton was recently offered a scholarship by Marquette, according to a source who told Prep Bulls-Eye. The 6-foot-9 center is not ranked nationally by ESPN.com, but Rivals.com has him as the No. 45 prospect in the 2013 class.
That same source told Prep Bullseye that Marquette is in the top three for Hamilton, along with Arizona and Michigan State. He is a skilled post player with excellent ball handling for his size.
Hamilton dealt with two injuries last year that temporarily stunted his progression. He is finally playing again, and working to get back in shape at the same time.
It’s exciting to think where Hamilton will be a year from now and, as any post player, would be a great coup for Williams and the class. Marquette could lose Chris Otule, Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson after the 2013-’14 season.
For an unofficial list of 2013 recruits who list Marquette, here are links. The accuracy varies, as some players have added, and others have dropped Marquette since the last time the lists were updated.