Tom Crean hones in on several Wisconsin preps

MU fans know that coach Tom Crean has established himself as a great recruiter with a fine eye for talent. He continues to search from coast to coast for the special players that will carry the Marquette program into the future. However, in the coming years he may not need to look very far.

Steve Novak was the last scholarship player to commit to Marquette that was from Wisconsin. The 2003 recruiting class did not have anyone from Wisconsin, nor does the class of '04. Next year's senior class does have two possibilities in Wesley Matthews from Madison Memorial and  Marcus Landry from Milwaukee Vincent, but the classes of '06 and '07 are loaded with homegrown talent and Tom Crean has already targeted, AND OFFERED scholarships to several of them.

In fact, Marquette Coach Tom Crean has already tendered scholarship offers to at least six Wisconsin high school players from the classes of '06 and '07, including…..

Class of 2006

J.P. Gavinski - Wisconsin Dells, Fox Valley Skillz

Anthony Green - Beloit Memorial, Fox Valley Skillz

Trevon Hughes - St. John's Military Academy, Fox Valley Skillz (Orig. from NYC)

Jerry Smith - Wauwatosa East, Playground Warriors

Class of 2007

Scott Christopherson - Melrose-Mindoro, Fox Valley Skillz

Keaton Nankivil - Madison Memorial, Fox Valley Skillz

Marquette coach Tom Crean has also been very active in his recruiting of 6-10 Mitchell Carter from Milwaukee King, but I do not believe that he has offered a scholarship to Carter, as he is still monitoring his progress. Here are my thoughts on the players listed above, please note that I cannot comment on Carter as I have yet to see him play.

Class of 2005

Marcus Landry – 6-7 SF, Milwaukee Vincent, Wisconsin Playground Warriors

What impressed me the most about Marcus was his "turnaround J", as the night I watched him he hit that shot time and time again. Has a much better outside shot than I had anticipated. Very good defender. Has great hops and goes to the hole with authority, but at times he also displays a very soft touch with his shot inside the paint.

Wesley Matthews – 6-5 Combo Wing, Madison Memorial, Madison Knights

Wesley Matthews certainly showed his toughness and desire during the state tournament as he played through a very painful injury, a broken thumb. Matthews is an explosive player that can penetrate the hoop or stop and hit the pull-up jumper. He has great hops and also plays very good defense. He has great range on his jumper. He can score in a variety of ways.

Class of 2006

J.P. Gavinski – 6-10, Wisconsin Dells, Fox Valley Skillz

Prior to seeing him I had heard different reports on Gavinski's game, so I went in open-minded and was impressed. He is left handed, but showed that he can hit the soft "baby hook" with either hand at will. Very soft touch and does know how to work for position under the boards, but needs to bulk up and add weight. He is a ‘young' sophomore, so I am sure a weight and conditioning program could turn him into something special.

Anthony Green – 6-4, Beloit Memorial, Fox Valley Skillz

Excellent shooter with great form. Can handle the ball very well and has excellent hops. Can take it to the hole in traffic, and also has a nice pull-up jumper. Has a very fluid/smooth flow to his game. All of the tools are there to be a special player.

Trevon Hughes – 6-1, Delafield St. John's, Fox Valley Skillz

He is an excellent ball handler with superior court vision and passing skills. He can take it to the rack and dish in traffic. He needs to work on his jump shot – he does have nice form, just needs to be consistent. That will come with hard work. Seems to be able to turn it on and off when he wants with ease.

Jerry Smith – 6-3, Wauwatosa East

One of those players that can simply "do it all". Runs the court with ease and seems to love driving to the hole in traffic. Great upper body strength already, which allows him to finish time and time again. Handles the ball very well, so he can play both guard positions, but seems to be more comfortable at the '2' spot. Very good outside shot.

Class of 2007

Scott Christopherson – 6-1, Melrose-Mindoro, Fox Valley Skillz

This kid can flat out play. Only 6-1 but can drive the hole and finish with authority. Goes to the hole with power. Deadly outside shooter. He is also not afraid to mix it up down low to fight for the boards. Physically mature despite just having turned 15. Reminded me of  Travis Diener, but may be more athletic. Keep your eyes out for this one in the years to come.

Keaton Nankivil – 6-8, Madison Memorial, Fox Valley Skillz

He is very athletic and strong for a freshman. Already 6-8, but I was old he could grow 2-3 more inches. Goes strong to the hole, great hops and fights hard for position. A dominant interior player, already a "man among boys."

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