Bartley's NU recruitment heats up

After his Saturday morning AAU game with Peoria Irish (Ill.), Marcus Bartley talked about his recruitment with Purple Wildcats.

FORT WAYNE, Ind.— The words "true point guard" perfectly summarize Marcus Bartley's game.

Bartley, a 6-4 point guard with Peoria Irish AAU (Ill.) tested his mettle in his team's 91-62 loss against Trevon Bluiett and Spiece Indy Heat.

Despite what looked like a sloppy effort from his team, Bartley helped to regulate the pace. He, without question, has the intangibles necessary to succeed.

Bartley hesitates to assert him as a scorer. Rather, the local prospect facilitates the action for his teammates. Especially in the first half, he created open looks for Illinois-bound power forward Michael Finke and perimeter threat Shea Feehan.

"I felt pretty good," Bartley said. "We could've battled more at the end, but it was all right. We've got to come back strong next game."

Against a team that boasts Bluiett, Trey Lyles and James Blackmon, open shots don't necessarily fall. Still, Bartley stressed the importance of facing challenges in AAU competition.

"It's really important," he said. "This gives you a chance to measure yourself, and see what you need to work on."

Bartley is an interesting case, with his size working as both an advantage and disadvantage. His length and height (6-4) makes him an excellent and crafty defender. But listed at 150 lbs.–with a wiry frame–he needs to bulk up to convince some coaches of his worth. Bartley is convinced that it will only be a matter of time before he can bulk up, saying "it'll all come together."

Northwestern recently offered Bartley after Collins watched him play, which added to his growing list of interest.

"I'm starting to get more high-major looks, so it's nice to see the hard work pay off," he said. "I'm ready to keep working."

Bartley ranks among the favorites to join the 2014 class. His strong leadership could make him an ideal building block for Collins and Hardy in future seasons.

The staff is working diligently to land Bartley's services by building up their relationship.

"Coach Hardy and Coach Collins talk to me about everyday life," Bartley said. "They want me to help lead the class."

Bartley might not stand out in games against Spiece, but he'll put in the effort to develop his skillset. The foundation is already in place.

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