When Carl Landry visited his family in Milwaukee recently, his brother Marcus was ready.
"Since we've been young it's always been him taking it easy on me. Just letting me have my way," Marcus Landry said during a press conference held Friday afternoon at Milwaukee Vincent High School. "But this last week when we was here, I showed him a little something."
A year and some months from now, Marcus will have the opportunity to show his brother something again. This time, however, it will be on a Big Ten basketball court. Marcus Landry would not have it any other way.
"I've been thinking about that ever since he left high school," Marcus said.
When Carl Landry was entering Vincennes Junior College two years ago, Marcus, then a sophomore at Milwaukee Vincent High School, began to think about his college aspirations. At that early juncture, his goal was already to play basketball for the University of Wisconsin.
When his brother committed to Purdue last year, Marcus had visions of donning the Badgers' cardinal and white jerseys dancing in his head.
"I kind of knew it would be the place that I wanted to be," Marcus said. "I don't know why but I always seen myself there at Wisconsin."
Marcus' dream of playing for Wisconsin began to come true in April when Badger coach Bo Ryan paid Marcus a visit at Vincent and offered him a scholarship.
"It was just a feeling that's unexplainable," Marcus said. "When someone offers you a scholarship, a lot of other people don't get this opportunity to have a scholarship, so I consider myself being blessed."
Landry also received scholarship offers from Marquette, Iowa, Purdue, Illinois and Connecticut. There would have been more, but Landry told other potential suitors he was not interested.
"Early on he indicated to us he wanted to stay in the Midwest," Vincent head coach Tom Diener said. "He wants his family to see him play. And he likes the idea of playing against Carl."
Diener said Friday that Landry was the most heavily recruited player he has ever coached. A substantial claim considering the Division I talent that has flowed through Vincent. Last season, Vincent alums Boo Wade (Wisconsin), Terry Sanders (Marquette) and Quemont Greer (DePaul) were all collegiate starters. Carl Landry, meanwhile, was one of the top junior college players in the country. Another Vincent alum, Deonte Tatum, recently committed to transferring to Hawaii from Indian Hills Community College in Iowa.
"Marcus, in my opinion, is a McDonald's All American," Diener said.
The Vincent coach has some perspective on that statement. He coached the North team at the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival in June, a four-team tournament that was meant to include the top 48 players in the country.
"I would have for sure put him in the top 20 and probably in the top 10 or 15," Diener said. "His upside is tremendous. He's just going to get better and better."
In addition to his basketball talent, Diener cited Landry's work ethic, character, strong family and his 21 on the ACT as reasons college program nationwide were recruiting him.
"We declined interest from some of the major schools. So it never got to the point where they offered. But were they going to offer? Yeah. I think every school in the country was going to offer."
Diener singled out North Carolina, Duke, Arizona and Kentucky among Marcus' high-profile potential suitors.
But Landry and Diener told them thanks, but no thanks. The only school that remained in the mix from outside the Midwest was Connecticut.
"The UConn thing; they won the national championship," Diener explained. "Hey, the national champions are recruiting you hard. So he kind of held on to that."
Despite his strong interest in Wisconsin from the beginning, Landry carefully considered his decision. Connecticut, Iowa and Purdue were his other finalists. Marquette was simply too close to home.
"I really liked Marquette. Coach (Tom Crean) is a good coach and everything," Marcus said. "To me Marquette is a good school and I think I could fit in there as well. But I just need a little space to being away from home. Just a little bit."
He has found the space he wanted all along, just 75 miles to the west.
"The bottom line is he made an educated decision," Diener said.
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