Toughness paying off for Marquette

Marquette has had a lot of success the past few years on the court with their culture of toughness. Now the elite talent is beginning to follow.

Over the past few years the Marquette Golden Eagles have been very successful on the court under the leadership and guidance of Head Coach Buzz Williams. Marquette has built a reputation of being one of the toughest teams in the country, and that has translated to wins. Now that may indeed be translating to uncharted recruiting success.

The names are familiar to college basketball fans, Jae Crowder, Darius Johnson-Odom, and Jimmy Butler. All three were drafted by the NBA and all three were excellent college players. However all three weren't household names coming out of high school.

That might signal the past in Marquette recruiting because in the present and going forward to the future it looks like more and more highly touted prospects are making their way to Milwaukee to play their college basketball, the latest of those being four-star prospect Jajuan Johnson.

Now with the addition of Johnson, Marquette has a class that currently ranks No. 5 in the country.

While that might be on the surface somewhat risky to go away from a system that has worked in the past, Williams and his staff are being smart. While they are going for a different type of player to fortify their program, they are indeed staying true to their roots.

One common theme in this Marquette class is toughness. The term toughness has absolutely defined the Marquette program since Williams' promotion to the top spot in Milwaukee.

Johnson is a kid from the city of Memphis where you have no choice but to play with toughness and heart on the court. He showed that all summer long with the Bluff City Legends, and that is just the start of things.

The city of Milwaukee is a place where only the strong survive, and three other commitments Duane Wilson, Deonte Burton, and Jameel McKay all come from the city. McKay especially is someone who defines what that basketball culture around Marquette and in Milwaukee is all about.

McKay is one of the highest motor kids around. He plays full-go all the time, and is someone who controls the glass, scores inside, and simply out works opponents. Not very far behind him is Burton. Burton is an elite athlete who loves to use his strength to be physical on defense, attack the rim, and control the glass as a rebounder. On top of that he has the ability to play multiple positions which is something that Williams and his staff love.

Finally there is Wilson, a true tough floor general who plays on and off the ball and went up against the best at his position without backing down for the past two years on the EYBL circuit.

Overall Marquette has done an excellent job of staying true to who they are and what has made them excellent, but at the same time upping the talent level. It isn't easy to do that, but Buzz Williams just found a way and he has a top five class that defines his personality headed to campus.

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