MILWAUKEE — Marquette received National Letters of Intent from three of its four verbal commitments, as the school made its third signing official on Thursday.
Sandy Cohen, Ahmed Hill and Marial Shayok all officially signed with the Golden Eagles, while Illinois prep forward Malek Harris did not sign with Marquette due to his recent suspension from his high school team.
Sandburg High School in Illinois suspended Harris for his senior season for violations of the school’s honor code. Marquette cannot officially comment on Harris’ status until he signs a letter of intent, something the consensus top-100 recruit still could do in the spring.
Marquette’s 2014 recruiting class is ranked among the nation’s best for the second straight year. After putting together a consensus top-10 recruiting class for 2013, Buzz Williams has the Golden Eagles’ class of 2014 ranked 15th by ESPN and 16th by Scout.com.
A local product from Seymour High School, Cohen is a 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard ranked as the 84th best recruit in the country by ESPN, 85th by Scout.com and 97th by Rivals.com.
“We are thankful to add Sandy to our class,” Williams said. “The longer I do this, the more important it becomes to me, that the guys we bring into our program are humbled by the opportunity and really excited for the chance and haven’t become spoiled by the process. Sandy is the perfect example of that.”
Cohen, who committed to Marquette in July, averaged 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds as a junior and was named honorable mention all-state by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. His stock rose significantly after putting together an outstanding summer.
“He has a very upbeat personality and it has been a joy throughout the process getting to know Sandy, his family, and coaches,” Williams added. “We are excited to add to our roster another player from our state who represents who we are on and off the floor.
“He is a late bloomer in some respects, but because of his demeanor, he has leadership qualities he doesn’t even realize yet. As his career unfolds, those will be incredibly important to us. He had a quick ascent nationally over the last six months and I believe he is just scratching the surface of what he will be.”
Another consensus top-100 recruit, the 6-foot-5, 190-pound Hill signs with Marquette from Aquinas High School in Augusta, Ga.
“We are excited to add Ahmed to our class,” Williams said. “We have spent the last two years developing a relationship with Ahmed, his mom and those closest to him, and we are extremely grateful for their trust throughout this process. I believe he is a great example of whom we want representing our program on and off the floor.”
Hill is ranked as the 51st best recruit in the class of 2014 by ESPN, 69th by Rivals.com and 73rd by Scout.com. He helped Aquinas High School to the semifinals of the Georgia High School Association Class A private state tournament as a junior, averaging 30.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.
“He has experienced success since early in his career and has been given the opportunity to compete across the country against the best, and from the ups and downs of it all, has learned how important it is to compete and improve each day.
“We have been able to see that improvement over the last two years and I anticipate that will continue during his time here. His personality is somewhat reserved, but internally, he is driven to be the best he can be in each facet of his life, and that is a quality we want in all of the people in our program.”
Shayok, a three-star recruit according Scout.com, was Marquette’s fourth verbal commitment in the class of 2014. He took an official visit to Marquette in early October and committed soon there after.
“We are thrilled to add Marial to our 2014 class,” Williams said. “Every recruit in every sport has a story and I am humbled to have been able to be a part of this one. There were no prior relationships in his sphere of influence, and so it made it an old-school type of story.”
Shayok averaged 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during his junior season at Blair Academy in New Jersey.
The 6-foot-6, 205-pound forward played his previous seasons at St. Patrick’s High school in Ottawa, Canada.
Shayok helped Blair Academy to the New Jersey Prep A tournament finals, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a 64-45 semifinal win.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know his family and his high school coaches, and believe because of the foundation they have laid for him, we will reap some of those benefits,” Williams said. “He is a switchable in how we play on both ends and I expect him to have an impact from the start.”