Marquette’s recent history with top-25 recruits

It’s tough to overstate the importance of Henry Ellenson’s commitment to Marquette. While the MU media books are filled with high ranked high school All-Americans, the more recent history has been quite barren in that regard.

Since the 1977 championship and Al McGuire’s retirement, Marquette has only recruited three top-25 high school players, and only two of those were consensus top-25 players. It has also only had three All-Americans straight from high school (with Walter Downing transferring from DePaul). There has been plenty of team success in that time frame, but the record still shows that in the post-McGuire era, Marquette has not been a landing spot for elite recruits, making Ellenson’s commitment that much more impressive.

As for those top-ranked high schoolers that did make it to campus, the hype didn’t always match the results. So before anyone goes buying 2016 National Championship tees, it would be wise to continue reading and take a trip down memory lane.

Vander Blue (No. 22/ Rivals; No. 48/RSCI) 2009

Courtesy of NY2LA Sports

What the press said about him:
“I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the importance of the commitment of Vander Blue to MU.
In him, Buzz Williams not only lands the premier high-school senior in Wisconsin, a combination guard who will add both size and versatility to the Golden Eagles’ backcourt, but the second-year coach also shows he will definitely need to be respected with regard to recruiting and attracting the top talent within the borders of the state.” Journal Sentinel

Todd Rosiak’s report 

Scout Profile: (#27 Overall, #4 SG)
Rivals Profile: (#22 Overall, #6 PG)
ESPN Profile: (#31 Overall, #7 SG)
Member of 2010 U18 USA Basketball National Team

There’s no need to look deep into the archives for this one. A polarizing player among the MU faithful, Blue’s offensive ability didn’t begin to catch up with his defensive mojo until his junior year. He was named to the Second Team All-Big East, averaging a team-high 14.8 points per game. He saved his best for last, coming on strong in March, scoring the Big East title clinching bucket on a buzzer beater against St. John’s. He followed that with another game-winning runner in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Davidson and promptly had the game of his life against Butler to help Marquette advance to its third consecutive Sweet 16, the best run since Al McGuire’s teams in the 70s.

Lloyd Moore 1982

Courtesy of MUScoop Wiki

 What the press said about him:
“Lloyd Moore, who re-wrote Calairton High School’s basketball record book every time he scored a point or grabbed a rebound this season, added a proper prologue to his story when he finally told the world he’ll be going to Marquette University … The 6-foot-9 Moore, who averaged 30 points and 19 rebounds a game this season, had narrowed his list of schools to Marquette, Duquesne and Pitt before making a decision.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Parade All American
Adidas All-American
Street and Smith’s 30 best high school stars

“There may not have been a bigger miss in MU history. Coming out of high school, nearly everyone thought Moore would be great. In addition to the Street and Smith ranking, he was an Adidas and Parade All American as a senior and many predicted that Moore would be the next great MU big man. Instead, he was the biggest bust in MU history, both literally and figuratively. He tore a ligament in his knee prior to his freshman campaign which resulted in an extended absence. When he returned he was so out of shape that he managed to only play in 15 games, where he averaged less than 2 PPG and 2 RPG. He transferred prior to his sophomore year, and was a decent player at Rutgers for two years before he was dismissed from the team for failure to keep his weight under control.” Cracked Sidewalks

Kerry Trotter (No. 17) 1981

Courtesy of

“Trotter starred at Omaha Creighton Prep, where he was a two-time all-state selection and was Nebraska’s first — and only — player named to the McDonald’s High School All-American team. He averaged 26.8 points a game his senior season in 1982, which is widely regarded as the year of the most-talented senior class in Nebraska history.” DataOmaha

Parade All-American
Nebraska High School Hall of Fame Inductee in 1998

Ended his Marquette career in the top 10 in assists and steals and was one of 16 players to score 1,000 points and pull down 500 rebounds. Played entire career overseas.

Doc Rivers (No. 8) 1979

Courtesy of Marquette Athletics

 What the press said about him:
“This year, the Warriors have another one who will join that list, another one destined to become one of Marquette’s greats.
He is Freshman guard Glenn Rivers. Remember that name, because you’ll be hearing it quite a bit the next three years.” Lakeland Ledger

McDonalds All-American

Parade All-American
Street and Smith All-American
Named one of 35 greatest McDonalds All-Americans


Glenn “Doc” Rivers’ was a three-year starter from 1980 to 1983 for the men’s basketball team and led MU to NCAA Tournament twice and NIT once. Highlighted by his half-court heave to defeat No. 5 Notre Dame in 1981, Rivers put together arguably the best freshman season in Marquette history. At the time of his induction he still held freshman records for scoring, scoring average, field-goals made, field-goals percentage and steals. One of the toughest defenders and best distributors of the basketball Marquette has ever seen, Rivers ranks among the school leaders in steals and assists. Rivers was a first team Converse All-American in 1982 and was an honorable mention Associated Press and United Press International All-American in 1983. Drafted in the second round of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, Rivers averaged 10.9 points, 5.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds over his 13-year playing career. On February 14, 2004, Marquette retired Rivers No. 31 jersey. (From MU Scoop Wiki)

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