Marquette fires Illinois-bound volley on Chicago recruiting trail

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It’s no secret that numerous Big Ten and Big East college basketball programs make recruiting Chicago for talent a heavy priority. In the sometimes no holds barred, highest-bidder environment of college coaches though, Marquette’s reported snagging of assistant coach Isaac Chew, after he had been on the job at Illinois for a month, is particularly notable.

Marquette coach Buzz Williams is known as one of the most persistent coaches on the recruiting trail, which apparently also extends to his assistants. Chew seemed to be set as the Chicago guy for Illinois, but that only lasted a month. Now, Williams has a potential force in Chicago in Chew, who originally went to Illinois from Missouri a short time ago.

What was originally lauded as a solid recruiting asset for new Illinois coach John Groce has now turned into a back to the chalkboard moment, as Groce will need to hit a home run to replace Chew in the coming weeks. There’s an accurate clamoring that Illinois needs to be strong recruiting Chicago for the long-term success of their program. July’s evaluation period is just over a month away, and one would figure that a move will need to be made to be fully staffed for that onslaught of events.

With one Chicago-based newcomer on the roster next season in the top player in Illinois in 2012, forward Steve Taylor, and scholarship offers out to a handful of other players in Illinois, Williams no doubt has made the area a priority. With Chew, a former high school player in the Windy City, on the way to bolster his own constant recruiting efforts, Marquette is in good shape going forward recruiting-wise.

Kellon Hassenstab runs Hoopniks.com. Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.