Getting to Know Mbakwe - The Recruitment

On August 9th, power forward Trevor Mbakwe offered up a commitment to attend Marquette University and play college basketball for Tom Crean's Golden Eagles. The 6'7 Mbakwe is a strong and athletic power forward. He is a fierce defender who uses his 7'2 wingspan to grab more than his share of rebounds. This is the first of a three part series on Trevor Mbakwe's commitment to Marquette.

On Wednesday August 9th, power forward Trevor Mbakwe offered up a commitment to attend Marquette University and play college basketball for Tom Crean's Golden Eagles. The 6'7 Mbakwe is a very strong and athletic power forward who is a fierce defender who also uses his 7'2 wingspan to grab more than his share of rebounds.

With the very hectic and draining AAU season finally over, and now that Mbakwe has committed to Marquette, he can finally sit down and take a breath. "It's a great feeling. I have wanted to do this for a while, but I needed to be sure. It has been pretty hectic with messages from at least five coaches calling you all the time, so now I will try to relax a little."

Mbakwe was recruited by a large number of schools, and fielded scholarship offers from some of the biggest programs in the country, before setting his sights on Milwaukee. "Besides Marquette, I had offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Illinois, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin."

The major factor in Trevor's decision to attend Marquette was not a surprise. "The number one reason why I selected Marquette was Coach Crean. He gets the most out of his players and really does what it takes to help develop them. You look at Dwyane, Travis Diener and Steve Novak and what he did for them? Sure, Dwyane is great, but he developed his game. Then you look at Steve & Travis, no one would have thought that those guys could get to the NBA, but Coach Crean got them there. I really like the way that his players respond to him. They have that respect. And when you look at it, no one expected them to do anything and they finished 4th in their first year in the Big East. That says a lot about his coaching right there."

Like any program, assistant coaches play a major role in the recruiting process, and in this case it was a duo that helped seal the deal. "Coach Rab (Jason Rabadeaux) and Coach Seltzer were very involved in my recruiting, they were just great. Coach Rab was always there and honest with me. Coach Seltzer came in kind of late in the recruitment, but he did a very good job of establishing a relationship with me and my family right away."

Like many parents with children going through the hysteria of college recruiting, Anna did what she could to try to steer her son through the process. "We sat down and made a list of questions for each of the schools, and thought that whoever had the best answers for these questions was the school that was the best fit, and Marquette just did an excellent job."

The style and approach used by Tom Crean and his staff to recruit Trevor was brutally honest as compared to others, but to Trevor's mother, that was a good thing. "They were always honest. When they told you something you believed them, especially because there were times they were telling you things that you didn't want to hear. Most schools just tell you how great things are, the Marquette coaches told us everything. I really appreciated that."

Trevor had explained how much the work done by assistant coaches Jason Rabadeaux and Bennie Seltzer factored into his decision, but there was a moment when the newest member of Marquette's staff really hit home with his mother. Anna Davis-Mbakwe explained, "Things were going along fine and then there was one day that really caught me off guard. Coach Bennie Seltzer was talking to me and I made a comment and he responded by saying, "Well at the end of the day, you're only as good as your word." I couldn't believe it. My grandfather said that to me all the time, in those exact words. He used to tell me things all the time while I was growing up and he would always end with those words. I had not heard anyone say that since my grandfather, and here was coach Seltzer saying it to me. I can't explain how that made me feel."

Marquette Coach Tom Crean and his staff recruited Mbakwe long and hard and in the end their efforts paid off. Trevor Mbakwe fills a rebounding and low post scoring need that the Golden Eagles will need after Mike Kinsella and Jamil Lott graduate next year!


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