The Iowa Men's Basketball program will have two scholarships to give in the fall and or spring of 2004/2005, and one of their primary targets at this time is Marcus Walker of Archbishop O'Hara High School of Kansas City, Missouri.
He is a 6-foot, 165-pound guard with solid ball and passing skills and the ability to score the ball. He went off for 54-points in one game last year and had another game where he scored in the 40's.
We recently spoke with his high school coach Todd McGuire about his star player and to get an update on Walker's recruitment. On a side note, McGuire's mother lives in Des Moines and his son attends Iowa.
Q: Have you seen Marcus' recruitment really pick up since the end of last season?
"It has been phone call after phone call. Iowa has been very consistent with their interest, as have Arkansas and Missouri. Purdue is coming into play now, with Coach Painter showing interest."
Q: Has Marcus been playing any AAU ball this spring?
"I just spoke with Marcus and he saw something on the Internet that he wanted to show me. I guess over the weekend he played against a guard that was highly ranked, and Marcus put up 36 points on him."
"He plays for Rocktown, a Kansas City based AAU team. I have not always been the biggest fan of that, but I think its been great for Marcus' exposure. When it comes to the recruiting process, it has really helped him. That is where your college coaches get out and get a chance to see the kids."
Q: Who are the main suitors right now that Marcus is considering?
Q: Has Marcus given you any indication regarding a time frame for his decision?
"Marcus is to the point where he wants to go with the teams that have been consistent in recruiting him. I had mentioned to him that he might want to wait until after the summer (shoe) camps, but Marcus told me that he feels a sense of loyalty to the teams that have been in on him from the start. Iowa, Marquette and Missouri have always been there. Memphis has, too. He is a very loyal person."
"Marcus has a good head on his shoulders, and we are working on making him a rounded student athlete. He just wants to have an opportunity to go on to college and play. Marcus is thinking about fashion design. He is looking beyond basketball. If he stays healthy, he could make money off of the sport, whether it be the NBA or Europe or wherever, but he is looking long term. He is a charming kid to be around, I have been fortunate to have him. He is a gentleman and a class kid. I don't know if I will ever coach a better player than him."
Q: He scored a lot of points for you in a few games last year. What type of player is he and where does he project at the college level?
"Most of the schools are looking at him as a point, but they know that he can score, too. But he is more of a guy that looks to pass the ball. We got way down against Kearney (his 54-point game), but we had some players in foul trouble, and Marcus took it upon himself to score. He only averaged four assists per game, but some of his teammates down in the paint had a hard time finishing and hanging onto the ball. But every coach that we talk to likes his penetration skills, but they know he can score."
Q: Where did Marcus' interest in Iowa come from?
"Well, he went up there to a camp last summer, and he really was impressed with the coaching staff, especially how Coach Alford took the time to work with him on his shot. After his sophomore year, if there was one area where he needed work, it was his shot. Coach Alford took some time to work with him on that, and he came back really excited about Iowa and spoke highly about them. Plus, he loved the campus. He is looking to go back there in early June. I didn't know that he was that interested in Iowa until he told me, and my son is going to school there."
"But I want Marcus to go wherever he has an opportunity. He is wide open right now. I just tell the coaches that he will work hard for them if he goes there, and I want to see him get his degree. Whether it's Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas or wherever, I just want to see him get a great opportunity."