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Around the Big East: men’s basketball recruiting

A look at players committing to Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, Providence and DePaul

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

While St. John’s pursues forward Josh Roberts and guard Luther Muhammad, both who have had official visits in Queens, a look at what some other programs are doing in the class of 2018:

Creighton has landed a commitment from Marcus Zegarowski, Michael Carter-Williams’ younger half-brother. Zegarowski is on the edge of the top-100, and is a skilled 6’1” point guard who can shoot from the outside efficiently - perfect for the Creighton attack. Zegarowski is from Massachussetts. Zagarowski looks to be another player who fits into Creighton’s recruiting culture.

Providence landed a four-star wing from South Carolina named Jimmy Nichols this week, who chose the Friars over South Carolina. Nichols, a 6’8” player who is just outside of the top-100 in most recruiting rankings, can shoot the ball and is known for versatility. Providence has done a solid job building a program that consistently lands tough recruits.

Seton Hall has added a transfer, Taurean Thompson, from Syracuse. Thompson was a top-100 player from Jersey City who picked Syracuse over Seton Hall; he has a strong body and skill enough to shoot beyond the arc. He was slated to be a major contributor and likely starter for this season’s edition of the Orange. Kevin Willard’s recruiting may have non-traditional moments (the hiring of assistants with connections, for example), but the Pirates land talent.

Butler picked an under-the-radar forward named John Michael Mulloy in the class of 2019. Mulloy played for Speice Indy in AAU ball and for Carmel HS in Indiana. Standing 6’9”, is listed as being a skilled passer with high basketball IQ and energy, which sounds like the stereotype of the “Butler Way” player. He picked Butler and new coach LaVall Jordan over Miami of Ohio, Toledo and Tulsa.

If that’s an early commit, what should we think about DePaul’s latest commitment? Amari Bailey, a 6’2” guard in the class of 2022 (entering eighth grade!), has chosen DePaul. His AAU coach, Tim Anderson, recently joined the DePaul staff.

Hopefully, Bailey’s commitment goes better than the commitment of 8th grader Cully Payne almost a decade ago; Payne spurned DePaul after a coaching change, struggled at Iowa, and ended up playing at Loyola Chicago to finish his collegiate career. (He is now an athletic trainer.)