Marquette officially signs 2015 recruiting class

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Marquette officially signs 2015 recruiting class

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It was a big day Wednesday for the future of Marquette men’s basketball as first-year head coach Steve Wojciechowski officially signed his first recruiting class.

Marquette’s class of 2015, which is rated as the fourth-best in the country according to ESPN.com, includes four recruits and is led by consensus top-20 recruit Henry Ellenson.

“I couldn’t be more excited for my first official class to include these four young men; Nick Noskowiak, Henry Ellenson, Matt Heldt and Haanif Cheatham,” Wojciechowski said. “I think they represent exactly what we want our program to be about. They are great kids who came from terrific families and were brought up with the right values. They want to be a part of the Marquette community both on and off the court and they have a passion for the game of basketball.”

Wojciechowski also credited his family, the university, his assistants and current and former players for making his first recruiting class a rousing success. He spent the first few minutes of his press conference thanking those facets of the program.

“We have an amazing group of people,” Wojciechowski said. “The school that we have here, combined with the people power that is in our program right now makes this place an incredibly attractive place for young people.”

Wojciechowski said his years of experience recruiting as an assistant at Duke were helpful in the process as a head coach. Even though his job title has changed, Wojciechowski said his recruiting strategy stayed the same.

“I didn’t try to change my approach in recruiting,” Wojciechowski said. “I tried to recruit these guys like an assistant – building interactions and relationships with them, trying to really connect with them and their families.”

Three of the four members of Marquette’s class – Ellenson, Heldt and Noskowiak – are from the state of Wisconsin. Wojciechowski said the state was a big target this year and will continue to be in future seasons.

“We will always have our eyes out for the players in the state. I think specifically, this is a great group of high school players in the 2015 class. To be able to bring in three kids who are ranked in the top-100 who are in your backyard makes it all the better.”

Ellenson is the biggest get of Wojciechowski’s inaugural class. Sizing up at 6-foot-10, Ellenson could provide an instant impact at the forward position. He was voted to the first team all-state and averaged 27.2 points, 13.1 boards and 2.7 blocks in his junior season at Rice Lake High School. Ellenson also represented the USA U17 basketball team last summer and averaged 8.7 points and 5.1 rebounds en route to the gold medal.

Wojciechowski had high praise for not just Ellenson’s talent, but his passion for the sport.

“Henry is a young man who has a chance to be the National High School Player of the Year,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s a terrific ball player, he represented himself and our country really well this summer and he’s taken on all comers and shown he’s belonged with the elite high school players in the country. The thing I love about Henry is that he truly loves the game and that bodes well for his success in the future.”

Noskowiak is a point guard from Sun Prairie, Wis. and is also considered as a consensus top-100 prospect. He averaged 23.7 points and was also named first team all-state in his junior season at Sun Prairie High School. He was the first of the four recruits to verbally commit to Marquette.

“Nick was our staff’s first 2015 commitment at Marquette and since that time has been a great ambassador for our program and representative for the university,” Wojciechowski said in a press release. “He is a versatile guard who can play both on and off the ball.”

Heldt brings some much-needed size to the program. The 6-foot-10 big man is rated 57th by FoxSports.com and 93rd by CBSSports.com. He averaged 18.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks during his junior season with Neenah High School. He was an honorable mention for the all-state team.

The lone recruit who isn’t from the state of Wisconsin is Cheatham, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The guard is rated as high as 69th by Rivals.com and is ranked in the top-100 by CBSSports.com, ESPN.com and FoxSports.com.

“From the moment I saw him I thought he was one of the best guards in the country,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s versatile, he’s got a great feel for the game and I think he’s incredibly easy to play with. We’re really excited about him I think he’s a guy who can be an impact guy and he to is a gym rat.”

Wojciechowski also said he would certainly look into bringing in other players into his already impressive class, but added that he was content with the group he has assembled.

“The four young men that we have coming in I think they’re all going to be very good players at Marquette. I think they’re going to represent the program and the guys who have worn the jersey and created the brand over time really well. I think they really want to be a part of our community here as well and I think that’s really important.”