MacArthur HS (Ill.)
Peoria Irish (AAU)
6-foot-3, 145 lbs.
Teams could always use pass-first point guards. They facilitate the offense, play steady defense and have this innate ability to make their teammates better. When fans and analysts see a "floor general," they know it immediately.
Marcus Bartley fits this prototype. The lanky Northwestern target–even in AAU games–rarely attempts to shoot. Instead, he runs successful offensive sets and dishes out assists whenever possible. On Saturday against Spiece Indy Heat, he stared down top prospect Trevon Bluiett and maintained his composure in the difficult matchup.
Bartley never dominates. Sometimes, it is more valuable to stabilize the action. With his teammates playing out of control and making futile efforts to drive on Trey Lyles, Bartley looked the part of a mature talent.
Bartley's length allowed him to disrupt passing lanes and secure a pair of steals. That may be one of his finest upsides: Despite being classified as "raw" and unfinished, Bartley demonstrates impressive energy on the defensive end.
Peoria Irish did not advance to the winner's bracket at the Spiece Run N Slam because of its difficult region. Spiece and Team Thad (Tenn.) both rolled past the Irish. Illinois commit Michael Finke struggled on the interior, and no one in particular stood out.
Still, the team set aside early disappointment to win the Silver Final in Fort Wayne. It speaks to Bartley's character, as his increased aggression was on full display. He caught defenses off guard by slashing through the lane—drawing fouls on several occasions. This also allowed him to kick the ball out and increase the team's perimeter efficiency.
It would be wrong to say that Bartley boasts incredible upside. Until he fills out his wiry frame, Bartley projects as a solid major-conference backup who can lead any offense.
Chris Collins–right after arriving in Evanston–engaged in his recruitment. When Jaren Sina de-committed and chose Seton Hall, this move allowed Collins to explore external options. With Dave Sobolewski the only competent point guard on his roster, Collins desperately needs help at the one-guard spot.
Bartley is seriously considering Northwestern. He's an intriguing prospect and serious candidate to join Collins' first class.
Marcus Bartley holds offers including Northwestern and Oklahoma State.