MU signs big man Gardner

With an already full roster for next season, the Marquette men’s basketball team signed yet another recruit for the 2010-’11 season Monday afternoon in Davante Gardner of King’s Fork High School in Virginia.

Gardner, a 6-foot-8, 280-pound forward,  joins an incoming class that includes Wisconsin high school standout Vander Blue, Pennsylvania Class AA Player of the Year D.J. Newbill, Junior College Player of the Year Jae Crowder, top-100 prospect Jamail Jones and a star point guard from Chicago, Reggie Smith.

Speculation will soon follow as to who the odd man out will be on next season’s roster, but for now the Golden Eagles will enjoy the addition of another important part of an already stellar recruiting class.

Gardner, a three-star player according to, limited his choice of schools to Marquette and South Florida, eventually choosing to come play for Buzz Williams and the Golden Eagles.

“The coaches there at Marquette knew from the three-point line on both ends of the floor exactly what he could do, and they think he can be very successful there,” King’s Fork Head Basketball Coach Josh Worrell told  “Granted, they believe he’s going to need to lose some more weight.

“They won quite a few games this year with a 6-7 big kid that played in and out. They needed that one inside presence, and they let Davante know ‘You’re the big guy we’re recruiting and the one big guy we’re recruiting.’”

For a majority of last season, the Golden Eagles didn’t have an active player over 6-foot-7 and Gardner brings an inside presence that has been glowingly absent in years past.

The ‘Big Ox,’ as he is called, was selected to the 1st Team Group AAA All-State Team by the Virginia High School Coaches Association following an impressive senior season in which he averaged 22.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.