'We don't look for stars': Marquette's recruiting philosophy under Shaka Smart

"We wanna bring in the best guys we can for Marquette whether they're from Mars or from Milwaukee."
Marquette Smart's Start Basketball
Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 12:05:52-05

When it comes to recruiting, Shaka Smart has a philosophy on stars and top 100 recruiting lists.

"We don't look for stars," Marquette Head Coach Shaka Smart says. "I don't know how many stars Dwyane Wade had but it wasn't enough. I don't know how many stars Jimmy Butler had. Actually, I do. I was an assistant at Clemson. I tried to recruit Jimmy Butler, and he became over time who he is now. So we look for guys that want to turn into something bigger and stronger and better and more confident than what they are right now."

Smart grew up in Oregon, Wisconsin, just outside of Madison. So what's his philosophy on in-state recruits?

"We wanna bring in the best guys we can for Marquette whether they're from Mars or from Milwaukee," Smart says. "That being said, it is a priority for us to do a good job recruiting locally. And not just locally in the state of Wisconsin but you know, Chicago's right down the block as well. But at the same time, we're not going to take a guy from one of those areas that's a lesser fit for our program than someone from Philadelphia or from Boston or Springfield, Missouri. We'll go where we need to go. You know, they've gone to Chicago to get Bo. They've gone to New York to get George Thompson. They've gone to Georgia to get Jae Crowder. Wherever you need to go, we'll go. There are good players in this state. There are good coaches in this state. And I can promise you this, there will be more guys from Wisconsin on our team in time. And again remember, it's a two-way street. The guys that have great careers, you don't have to twist their arm to come play at Marquette. If there's a guy from down the street, that wants that and he wants to be here, and he wants to play in Fiserv Forum in front of some of the greatest fans in the country, and be a part of a really exciting style of play where we care about each other... then yeah, c'mon, we want you."

Clearly, Marquette is more about the growth of the athlete and the ideal fit for the Golden Eagles.

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