First the bad news. One of Marquette’s top targets for the 2017 class has committed elsewhere. Jordan Poole, a local product from Milwaukee’s Rufus King High has decided to take his talents across the pond and over to the University of Michigan. Poole is ranked as the 92nd best player in the nation per 247sports. Poole was considered a Marquette lean for a while, getting 247 crystal ball predictions to Marquette by Wisconsin basketball insider Mark Miller and recruiting guru Jerry Meyer. That changed when Poole took his unofficial visit to Ann Arbor last weekend for the Michigan-Michigan State showdown. Apparently, witnessing Michigan commit the biggest choke job of the season didn’t affect his opinion of the basketball program. What was especially discouraging about this departure was that Poole’s AAU team, Wisconsin Playground Elite, is coached by none other than Duane Wilson Sr. It is reasonable to speculate that Marquette’s depth at guard could have been a factor working against Coach Wojo.
Now for more optimistic news. Another local product has come home to take an official visit to Marquette. Darrlyn Willis, originally of Madison Memorial High, is on campus this weekend. Willis fully qualified out of high school but elected to attend a junior college to work on his game. Last season was his first at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, MS. Willis was the best player for Pearl River last season, averaging 13.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 1.5 bpg. Pearl River missed the NJCAA playoffs after losing their conference championship game in OT…a game in which Willis was injured. The 6”7 200 forward does almost all of his damage in the post. He has a blue collar approach to the game. He battles bigs in the post and is a ballhawking rebounder. He can step out to shoot a mid range shot but it is not his game. Willis would bring something next year’s (and this year’s) team is missing. A rebounding specialist with a high motor who is not afraid to do the dirty work in the post. Willis has taken two official visits already, one to Wichita State and another to Mississippi State. He also plans to take his remaining two officials. In a recent interview, Willis did mention liking Wichita’s coaching staff and being intrigued by how much playing time is available at Mississippi State. Hopefully, he likes Wojo even more than Gregg Marshall and can be convinced that either Henry is going pro or that there will still be plenty of minutes off the bench for him next season. Some home cooking from mom couldn’t hurt either.