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Marquette signee Hauser handles recruitment with rare humility, brings versatility

Photo courtesy of twitter.com/jjhouz24.

Photo courtesy of twitter.com/jjhouz24.

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Joey Hauser’s road to signing his National Letter of Intent with Marquette last week was unconventional in an era of recruits garnering celebrity-like attention. Instead of announcing official visits and publicly narrowing his list of schools like most recruits do, he took a much simpler approach.

After a few phone calls and a long drive back from a summer basketball tournament in Kansas this July, Hauser tweeted his verbal commitment without any warning.

That humble approach epitomized Hauser throughout the recruiting process and his on-court persona.

Ranked 37th at the time by 247Sports, Hauser could have easily waited until the fall to commit, drawing in bigger schools like Kansas or Duke. Kansas head coach Bill Self expressed interest the previous week, per a source. Michigan State, who had sent coaches to Hauser’s games for over a year prior, was also in the running.

However, Marquette was the only school to have at least one coach at every game of the second evaluation period, July 19 to 23. K.C. Schmitt, Hauser’s AAU coach at Iowa Barnstormers, views this as part of a trend in the recruiting landscape.

“If you’re anywhere in the top 30, most schools are getting to be that way. You’re so wanted that schools want you that bad,” Schmitt said. “But it was nice to see Marquette go all out for Joey. “

Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski has recruited hundreds of prep standouts in his two-decade long coaching career, but the Hauser family stands out for dealing with the taxing process.

“They should write a handbook on how to deal with attention in the recruiting process,” Wojciechowski said. “They have done it as well as any family that I’ve ever recruited in 20 years of recruiting high-level players.”

Scott Anderson, Hauser’s high school coach at Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH), had a front-row seat to the 6-foot-8 forward’s recruitment. Anderson has brought the Division I state championship trophy back to Stevens Point in each of Hauser’s first three years.

“He handled it really well,” Anderson said. “That’s never an easy thing for a 17-year-old, 18-year-old kid to go through that kind of stuff.”

“He’s a fun-loving kid,” Anderson continued. “He can also keep things inside at times, so he dealt with it in his own way.”

Many Wisconsin fans ridiculed him for his choice of schools on Twitter, but Hauser kept quiet and let his athletic ability speak for itself.

“Sometimes people that have this kind of success and have had that kind of recruitment showered on them want everybody to know about it,” Anderson said. “But he doesn’t do it that way. Let your play do the talking. Let the scoreboard do the talking.”

One of the calls before his commitment was to his brother Sam, a sophomore forward and one of the team’s leading 3-point shooters.

“He called me on the phone and asked me a couple things and then he said he’s coming here,” Sam said. “And I was like, ‘Oh wow, that’s awesome.’ Caught me off guard a little.”

On the court, Joey’s quickness and size will give Wojciechowski some lineup flexibility.

“He’s one of those few guys around the country in his class that I think can really play with anyone,” Wojciechowski. “He can play on the perimeter if you have a bigger lineup, he can play on the interior if you have a smaller lineup and he has the skillset to exploit both of those types of matchups.”

This versatility shined in Adidas Uprising, the top Adidas summer basketball circuit that draws elite talent from all over the country.

“One guy that worked for Adidas out in Las Vegas told us he’s basically like granite,” Schmitt said. “He’s big, he’s smooth and he’s polished. And that’s very, very rare to find that.”

Sam has seen Joey’s danger in the post firsthand. The brothers won two state titles together at SPASH.

“He’s pretty creative down there, pretty crafty and he’s really tough to guard because he’s 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9 and can handle the ball like a guard,” Sam said. “So that’s going to put a lot of teams into tough positions.”

“That’s important to how we play (at SPASH),” Anderson said. “We really don’t talk about positions and never have. That’s what makes him such a great fit for our program and our style.”

In the meantime, Joey Hauser and Anderson will pursue a fourth state title to finish his high school career.

“They aren’t going to hear me talk about going for a fourth one,” Anderson said. “It would be kind of neat to put a fourth one on there, but this is maybe the last time I’ll talk about that is with you right now.”

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