Markolf refuses to use his injury as an excuse, however, and has been very happy with the recruiting process as it has unfolded, "I still started every time, and played three quarters of every game, even while I was going through rehabilitation," Markolf said.
Still, Markolf admits the injury kept him from playing to his full potential, "My back was stiff every game, and the injury really limited my mobility," the Churchill High School product said. Markolf said he averaged about 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots per game.
The injury also limited his ability to play in some of the summer tournaments, which has, in turn, limited his exposure, something that Markolf does not really regret, "I was resting my back, and I feel really good now. I would say it is almost completely healed."
Markolf's potential has attracted a number of college coaches, including Kentucky's Billy Gillispie, that began recruiting him while he was at Texas A&M, and then made a trip to his school to tell him that he still wanted him at Kentucky.
Markolf has been careful and methodical about his recruitment and genuinely has no one or two schools that have emerged as clear cut favorites. He plans to trim his list soon and make a final decision by November. He does say that he would classify four schools as having his highest interest. Those schools are Kentucky, Baylor, Iowa State and Wisconsin. All four have made offers. Ian also has interest in Stanford, Auburn and Texas A&M.
Markolf says proximity to home may play into his thinking "some" but does not anticipate that it will be a deciding factor, "I am more interested in the school's academics and their program, as well as how I could fit into that program.
Unlike many young players today, Markolf is not focused of immediate playing time, "Sure, I'd like to start as a freshman. I think everyone wants to come in and play right away. But I recognize that most teams have players already and so if I have to come in off the bench that is fine. I just want to work on improving my game and making my contribution to the team. I really pride myself on being a team player, so I just want to play my part in helping the team win."