Marquette’s 2013 recruiting class has the potential to be its best in years. Three consensus top-100 high school players, as well as another four-star and a three-star recruit, make up the verbal commitments joining the Golden Eagles next fall.
Scout.com ranks the group seventh in the nation, and other national media outlets – Rivals.com (7th), ESPN.com (9th), FoxSports.com (9th) and CBSSports.com (10th) – all place Marquette’s 2013 class in the top 10. Read Trey Killian’s profiles of the rest of the recruits here.
Throughout coach Buzz Williams’ tenure at Marquette, junior college transfers have logged big minutes. In 2011-12, Jae Crowder, who transferred to Marquette from Howard College in 2010, became the first player to be named Big East Player of the Year in team history.
Recruit Jameel McKay hopes to continue that trend, as the Milwaukee native will join the Golden Eagles this fall for two years of eligibility after committing to Marquette last June. The 6-foot-8 power forward also considered Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Memphis and Missouri.
In his freshman year at Indian Hills Community College, a school that produced former Marquette guard Dwight Buycks, McKay achieved first team junior college All-American honors.
He led the Warriors to a 33-4 record, a district title and a ninth-place finish in the NJCAA national tourney, scoring 14.6 points per game and grabbing 7.7 rebounds per game. His accolades earned him a four-star ranking by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.
Indian Hills coach Barret Peery described McKay as a “long and active athlete” who “gets a lot done around the rim” in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last June.
“He plays a high-energy type of game,” Peery said. “He’s a multiple-position defender. He can really run in transition as well as (guard) multiple spots. He’s doing a better job on the perimeter with his ball handling and being able to shoot the ball some. He’s a really high-energy, high-activity, high-motor guy.”
Williams believes McKay is cut from the same cloth as players like Crowder and Buycks and has definite potential to follow in their footsteps.
“If you follow our program at all, everyone knows that I cheer really hard for those who haven’t had a direct path to their goals,” Williams said. “Jameel is on that list, and I love his story. I love his demeanor, and I am thankful he has made a decision to come here. He has been coached very hard and won at every level throughout his career.”
McKay told JucoRecruiting.com that his impression of Williams as a coach was a main deciding factor in his decision to join the Golden Eagles.
“He’s one of the only coaches who has been able to bring in JUCO transfers and move them on to the next level,” McKay said. “I felt very comfortable with him. He got his start in junior college basketball and that made me feel comfortable.”
In the interview, McKay also cited his desire to move closer to home, allowing his family more opportunity to see him play.
Aside from his drive to reach the next level, Williams said he sees an underlying desire to win in McKay that was present in Marquette’s former JUCO transfers.
“Above all his personal goals though, Jameel wants to win more than anything else,” Williams said. “We have had unprecedented success with transfers, and one of the core reasons is (that) they have a thankful heart for the opportunity, but an unyielding desire to have team success. Jameel fits into that category perfectly.”