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Jamal Ferguson: Not Forgotten
Yes, Ferguson has become the seemingly unknown recruit. But make no mistake; you'll soon know who he is.
The 6-foot-4 wing from Norfolk, Va. signed his National Letter of Intent Wednesday morning, joining forward Steve Taylor, center Aaron Durley and junior college guard T.J. Taylor in Marquette's 2012 recruiting class.
Fittingly, Ferguson reportedly was the first of the four to sign his letter.
Ranked No. 137 overall by Rivals.com and the No. 22 small forward in the nation by Scout.com, Ferguson will have four years of eligibility with the Golden Eagles.
Assistant coach Aki Collins, Ferguson's main recruiter, first saw Ferguson while he was recruiting current sophomore Davante Gardner in Virginia.
"I liked his athleticism," he said. "I just liked his ability rebounding the basketball, his ability to finish in transition, and knowing how Buzz likes to play, he's a guy that can play multiple positions and help us on the defensive end as well."
Williams echoed the same sentiment of his newest versatile athlete.
"He's another switchable," he said. "He doesn't really have a position. He needs to get better at everything but is not bad at anything. As he continues to get stronger, I think he'll have a presence for us on both ends."
Despite committing to Marquette relatively early in the recruiting process, Collins said Ferguson took his time in deciding and eventually landing on the Golden Eagles.
In the midst of committing during the midway point of his junior season, Ferguson finished his third year at Maury H.S. with averages of 19.0 points and 7.0 rebounds and was named first team all-district and co-MVP of his team.
Ferguson also was being heavily recruited by fellow Big East school Georgetown, but Collins said an unofficial visit helped end any concerns he had.
"He came out here and saw (campus) and watched us practice," Collins said. "And he just really felt like this was a good fit for him. So once we got over that hurdle, because you have to deal with proximity with a kid from the East coast, once we got over that hurdle and seeing Davante, the success he'd had out here at Marquette, that's helped with Jamal as well."
The period in between committing and eventually signing was lengthy, but Collins said Ferguson "never wavered from his commitment to Marquette."
Offensively, Collins described Ferguson as such: "He's an attacker," he said. "I think he needs to work on his jump shot, but I think he can handle the ball and slash to the rim and work on the offensive glass. I think the next step in his development is becoming a better perimeter defender."
As is the case for all freshmen under Williams, Ferguson will earn his minutes by getting after it on the defensive end, something Collins reiterated.
"I don't know what his reach is, but he's very aggressive on that end of the court, so his length and ability to get after it defensively will give him a chance," he said. "And that's for all freshmen. If you're ready to work on the defensive end, you'll get playing time early on."
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