Not only did the commitment surprise Marquette fans, but also some national recruiting analysts who were not familiar with the 6'4 combo guard from Strawberry Mansion, PA. Having seen him perform at Marquette's Elite Camp over the summer, I had formed my own opinion, but felt it would be best to have this question answered by those who know him best, His high school and AAU coaches. Stan Laws, the coach at Strawberry Mansion and Larry Waiter, the coach of the Positive Image Traveling Team.
For starters, Strawberry Mansion plays in the Philadelphia Public League and is currently 16-0. Newbill is averaging 29 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals per game, and leads the Public League as well as the City of Philadelphia in scoring.
Strawberry Mansion High School
Strawberry Mansion, PA
I most definitely see D.J. as a Big East caliber player. The Marquette coaches told us the Big East is a beast and you have to bring it every night. That's exactly what D.J. does. Being a hard-nosed player from Philly, D.J. has been taught how to bring it every single day in practice as well as the games.
He needs to improve his physical strength to compete with the big, physical players in the Big East. He also needs to improve his quickness, and he is working on that right now with a strength coach. His ability to run a team is another area he can improve on for the next level.
I get on him all the time to take more three-point shots because he doesn't take enough of them. He'll make two or three a game because he likes to get closer to the basket for a higher percentage shot. He has a great mid-range game. His ability to create off the bounce is his best attribute.
On the defensive side, the best thing I can say about D.J. and his defense is that he wants to defend. He has the toughness to make opponents uncomfortable with the ball.
Positive Image Travelling Team
I have coach so many players over the years, college players, Big East players and NBA player. Guys like Brad Wannamaker and Mike Cook from Pitt, Malik Rose, Hakim Warrick and Rasheed Wallace. Of all of the players I have coached, DJ Newbill is the best mid-range shooter that I have ever coached. He played the point on our team, but he is capable of playing multiple positions. He has a very good basketball IQ, which makes me comfortable putting the ball in his hands. He is a good listener, like to learn and is very approachable in the huddle during timeouts.
When he came into our program, we had an experienced team so he had no pressure, but he came in right away with the ‘willing to take the last shot' mentality. In our program, we really try to develop the kids for college, and he was very receptive to that style. I really stayed on him, and watching someone like him get bigger, mature, grow and develop into the type of player that the other guys follow, it really makes me feel good about coaching.
He will need to get stronger, but his body will be ready to play in the Big East. We have a strong relationship with our alumni, so many of those players come back during the summer to play, so he has played against college players and pro players, and has an idea of what to expect. He will need to work on his quickness and his three point shot.
His overall attitude is great. He isn't cocky, but he's confident. The way he is, people just like him. He won't get into trouble because he knows what's ahead of him. He has very good mannerisms, and he just smiles all the time – every where – he's always smiling, and that is something I have told him will take him a very long way.
With comments from Stan Laws and Larry Waiters like those above, it is easy to feel great about Marquette's newest edition, DJ Newbill.