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Recruiting: Who exactly is Wojciechowski targeting?

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Recruiting: Who exactly is Wojciechowski targeting?

Henry Ellenson and Markus Howard are the biggest names Steve Wojciechowski has brought to Marquette.

Henry Ellenson and Markus Howard are the biggest names Steve Wojciechowski has brought to Marquette.

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

Henry Ellenson and Markus Howard are the biggest names Steve Wojciechowski has brought to Marquette.

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

Henry Ellenson and Markus Howard are the biggest names Steve Wojciechowski has brought to Marquette.

Need a refresher on who Steve Wojciechowski is targeting in recruiting? Here are all the potential future Golden Eagles to keep an eye on this year.

2017

XAVIER TILLMAN — Tillman, a 6-foot-9 forward from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is one of Wojciechowski’s biggest targets in the class of 2017. The 75th-ranked recruit per ESPN announced last July that he will be deciding between Marquette, Michigan State, Purdue and Florida, but a source indicates that Marquette and Purdue have the highest odds of landing Tillman.  He has scheduled official visits for all four prospective schools. The Tillman tour will stop at Marquette Sept. 23.

THEO JOHN — John has the potential to be an instant contributor to the Golden Eagles down low, an area where the Blue and Gold are in desperate need of relief. The Champlin Park, Minnesota, native displayed his ability to make an impact without the ball in his hands at the NY2LA Summer Jam on a star-studded Howard Pulley AAU squad. John, who’s also eyeing Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, Purdue and Illinois, will arrive for an official visit to Marquette Sept. 1. His trip to MU will be the second of three visits in a three-week span.

JAMAL CAIN – Cain, who narrowed his list of destinations to Marquette, Michigan, Florida State and Georgia this summer, would give the guard-heavy Golden Eagles a relatively taller scoring option. However, Michigan appears to be the clear favorite for the Melvindale, Michigan, native. ESPN and Scout do not rank Cain but Rivals considers him the 74th-best 2017 prospect.

CHASE JOHNSON — Johnson, a relative unknown prior to this year, epitomizes the impact a strong summer between a prospect’s junior and senior years can have on scholarship offers. The level of schools interested in him quickly shifted from schools like High Point and Longwood to kingpins like Virginia and West Virginia. Johnson is not ranked by any of the major recruiting websites.

HASAHN FRENCH — French, whom ESPN ranks as the 36th-best power forward, would be a huge addition to Wojciechowski’s 2017 recruiting class. The PSA Cardinals standout brings an authoritative presence in the post despite standing at just 6-foot-7. French announced earlier that he will be deciding between 13 schools including Marquette, Minnesota, VCU and Georgia Tech, among other high-majors.

JORDAN NWORA — Nwora, one of the stars from the much-coveted adidas Nations tournament at the beginning of August, is one of the biggest winners of this year’s April and July evaluation periods. Strong performances for the NY Rens, one of three AAU programs to compete in the elite Nike EYBL circuit, and in the adidas Nations tournament has generated interest from basketball juggernauts like UConn, Florida and Xavier. After spending months unranked by ESPN, he snatched the 91st spot in the newly-released rankings.

PHILIP FLORY — Flory, who verbally committed under Buzz Williams’ tenure but then decommitted less than a year after Wojciechowski’s arrival, is ranked fourth in Wisconsin by ESPN. After taking unofficial visits to Vanderbilt and Memphis in June 2015, he hit a few major setbacks, including a foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2015-’16 season. He has not generated serious interest since then as no Division I coach follows him on Twitter.

KIMANI LAWRENCE — Lawrence, ranked 54th by ESPN, joins a long list of small forwards that Wojciechowski is courting. What distinguishes Lawrence from the rest of Wojo’s targets is his potential on offense. The Providence, Rhode Island, native has already visited USC and Arizona State but has not stopped at Marquette since receiving their scholarship offer July 11.

NOJEL EASTERN — Eastern, a point guard in a 6-foot-5 shooting guard’s body, has the talent to become a major contributor at a high-level Division I program, warranting the team’s decision to offer him a scholarship this summer. However, any interest reciprocated by ESPN’s 74th-ranked prospect would be bewildering. Marquette will have a big enough challenge this season balancing minutes for Duane Wilson, Markus Howard and Traci Carter at point, let alone with another point guard.

JACOB EPPERSON — Epperson, a 6-foot-11 Australian center, emerged onto the recruiting landscape this July during the NY2LA Summer Jam. There, he caught the eye of several high-major coaching staffs including Marquette. The AUSA Hoops AAU star has a knack for defending the rim and making plays for his teammates.

DONNIE TILLMAN — Tillman, ranked by ESPN as the 54th-best small forward and by Scout as the 30th-best power forward, would give the Golden Eagles some much-needed size. If Theo John and Xavier Tillman opt to attend elsewhere, Donnie would be a suitable addition. Currently, Cuonzo Martin and the California Golden Bears appear to be the favorite.

LEVI STOCKARD — Stockard, a three-star big man from St. Louis, would give Wojo another much-needed option down low. Stockard also has offers from Xavier, DePaul, New Mexico, Cincinnati and Kansas State, among others. Scout and ESPN did not include Stockard in their most recent rankings.

MAKHTAR GUEYE — Gueye, whom ESPN ranks as fourth in Massachusetts and 20th among centers, has fielded offers from basketball-first schools like Marquette, Creighton, VCU and UConn. While his name does not pop up among #mubb tweets as much as fellow 2017 big men, he has the potential to make major contributions to the team and could challenge will-be-junior Matt Heldt for the starting center spot.

2018

TYLER HERRO — Herro, the Greenfield, Wisconsin, native and Whitnall star, has been one of Wojciechowski’s biggest targets for the 2018 recruiting class. Even the powers in the Woodland Conference like Greendale and New Berlin Eisenhower have had to contort their game plans to limit Herro’s scoring knack.  Coming off a state semifinal bid with the Falcons, the offensive specimen is expected to lead the Falcons to a Woodland East title in 2016-’17.

JOEY HAUSER — The younger brother of Marquette freshman Sam Hauser, Joey has arguably generated the most buzz out of all current Marquette targets. His performance at the NY2LA Summer Jam this summer was impressive enough for Tom Izzo to personally offer the Stevens Point, Wisconsin, native after one of the games.  He already has the tools to contribute offensively to a Division I program, but one could hardly tell from his humility.

AYO DOSUNMU — Often overshadowed by Herro and Hauser in Marquette’s 2018 wishlist, Dosunmu can hold his own against any guard Marquette is targeting for 2018. His high offensive potential was on clear display at the NY2LA Summer Jam, where he scored 30+ points twice in one day alone.  While MU is in his name, Wojciechowski will have stiff competition for ESPN’s top-ranked Illinois prospect: Florida State, Northwestern, Illinois, SMU and several oth

COURTNEY RAMEY — Ramey, a 6-foot point guard from Webster Groves, Missouri, was previously considered a mid-major point guard before some superb performances this summer attracted Texas, Florida, Iowa State, Ohio State, Marquette and several other high-majors.

TORRENCE WATSON — Watson, who has offers from Kansas State, Missouri, Creighton and other area schools, received an offer from Wojciechowski July 11, the same day his AAU teammate Ramey received Wojo’s offer. Watson’s scoring prowess from outside strongly complements Ramey’s ability to distribute the ball, leading to strong productivity from Team Ramey’s backcourt recently. Scout and ESPN do not rank Watson.

RACE THOMPSON — Thompson, a 6-foot-8 power forward, brings a strong offensive presence to the post. As a result, Thompson has a litany of offers; he listed Marquette, Minnesota, Kansas State and Iowa State as the schools pursuing him the hardest in a Scout interview, but has also fielded offers from several other high-majors. Unfortunately for the Blue and Gold, his family has strong family ties to the University of Minnesota: his father, Darrell Thompson, still holds several Minnesota career rushing records and is a radio analyst for football games.

QUENTIN GRIMES — Grimes would be an elite addition.  ESPN, who ranks Grimes 29th nationally, even compared him in his scouting report to Deron Williams. He would be the first top ten point guard to choose MU since Junior Cadougan, whom ESPN ranked 10th among point guards in 2009.

SIMI SHITTU — A star on Canada’s U17 team, Shittu excels at defending the post while running the floor.  As expected for the eighth-best prospect per ESPN, Marquette will have their fair share of competition for Shittu: Syracuse, UConn, Texas and Oklahoma are among the other schools looking to land him.

PRENTISS HUBB — Hubb, a 6-foot-3 guard from Washington, D.C., already has offers from half of the BIG EAST.  Consistently praised for his intangibles and shooting, Hubb has the potential to be an excellent scoring-first point guard. ESPN ranks Hubb as the 14th-best point guard in the class.

TIM FINKE — Finke, a 6-foot-6 wing from Champaign, Illinois, is ranked across the board as a top-75 player and the second-best in Illinois behind fellow MU target Ayo Dosunmu. Finke has already earned offers from Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon and several other juggernauts. Illinois appears to have an early advantage, as Finke’s older brother is currently on the team.

JALEN SMITH — Smith has as much potential as almost any Marquette 2018 target. The 6-foot-9 big man’s upside has already wooed Syracuse, Villanova, Virginia, Arizona and other notable programs. Scout ranks the Baltimore native 13th nationally and seventh at his position.

JEENATHAN WILLIAMS — Williams is certainly not the most-talked about 2018 recruit, but could still make an impact on the Golden Eagles. The New York City product fell under the radar until the Nike 100 camp this summer. Since then, Williams has sparked interest with several programs including Marquette and took an unofficial visit to Syracuse Aug. 27.

2019

MATTHEW HURT — Hurt has captured national attention despite entering only his sophomore year in high school. His height and huge skill set has enticed Florida, Kansas, five different Big Ten schools, Arizona, Virginia and a plethora of other powerhouses. Marquette will be facing a taste of their own medicine as his older brother, Michael, is a freshman at Minnesota.

NOBAL DAYS — Days, a local kid from Racine, Wisonsin, has been on Marquette’s radar for a while. When he was in eighth grade, he already received information from Marquette, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and a few other schools, per the Racine Journal Times. The 6-foot-9 sophomore in high school currently holds offers from Marquette, Illinois and DePaul.

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About the Writer
John Steppe, Executive Sports Editor

John Steppe is the executive sports editor for the Marquette Wire. He is a junior majoring in journalism and double-minoring in digital media and Spanish....

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