Five-star available center Marques Bolden enters home stretch of season, recruitment

Marques Bolden, one of the best available five-star prospects in 2016, is entrenched in the Texas state playoffs, while also shuffling his college recruitment. What's the latest? Bolden breaks it down with Scout.

Decorated 2016 recruit Marques Bolden is coming down the home stretch of his high school career, but also his college recruitment.

The DeSoto (Tex.) High standout has led his team to a 30-2 record and into the third round of the Texas state playoffs.

“I’ve been playing pretty good,” Bolden, who is rated as a five-star prospect, told Scout. “We’ve picked it up a lot of a little. Some of our games were close at the end of the year, but we’ve picked it up a lot lately.”

“I’ve been playing pretty good individually,” he added. “I’m just trying to stick to the easy stuff and try to help the team win. At first, during district I was trying to expand my game and do a lot more.”

While Bolden, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound center, has been focused on his senior season, he’s also been juggling his recruitment.

“It’s going pretty good,” he said of the recruiting process. “I’ve been talking to Duke a lot lately, but it hasn’t picked up because they understand that I’m in the playoffs. The schools are respecting that and not all over me.”

Bolden recently made an adjustment to his list of schools, cutting Kansas, who added a pledge from bruising center prospect Udoka Azubuike.

“Basically it’s Duke, KentuckyTCU and Oklahoma,” Bolden said.

Bolden has taken official visits to Duke, Kentucky and Oklahoma. He’s also been to TCU, but his trip there, which isn’t far from his home, was an unofficial visit. Bolden told Scout he didn’t think he would set up any visits.

While Bolden hasn’t admitted that his decision would likely come down to Duke and Kentucky, it seems to be the school of thought.

The Blue Devils, who have pledges from Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson and Javin DeLaurier, have prioritized Bolden as their center target in 2016. Duke’s last visit to see Bolden was on January 19th, when their whole staff watched him at DeSoto.

What sticks out to Bolden about Duke?

“Really just the opportunity to come in and play,” Bolden said. “I know that they are losing a lot. Really just playing and learning from a great coach like coach K. There’s a lot really that sticks out about them.”

Kentucky, who currently has the top rated recruiting class with pledges from De’Aron Fox, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel, Bam Edebayo and Sacha Killeya-Jones, keyed in on Bolden as well.

Bolden is drawn to the Wildcats because of the job they’ve done developing post players.

“Really just the success they’ve had with their bigs,” Bolden said when asked about the Cats. “They make it look so easy.”

“You saw what Devin Booker said about them, right? He said it was basically the blueprint to the NBA because it’s basically how it’s going to be, with all the good players on one team and you have to learn how to be yourself, do what you can do and just play with a bunch of unselfish guys.”

A date hasn’t been established for his college decision, but Bolden, who ranks as Scout’s No. 12 overall prospect, would like to finalize a decision prior to the start of his busy all-star game schedule, which includes participation in the McDonald’s All-American game, Nike Hoop Summit and the Jordan Brand Classic.

“I don’t really know,” he said about a decision date. “Probably next month. I don’t want to go into the games uncommitted, I’ll be committed by Hoop Summit game. I’m not trying to go into those [games] uncommitted.”

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