On Monday night, the Kansas Jayhawks picked up their first recruit in the 2017 class in point guard Marcus Garrett, per his high school coach and multiple reports. What kind of player are the Jayhawks getting?
Strengths: Garrett has elite size for a point guard at 6’5. His basketball IQ makes him fully capable of running an offense, but his size and athleticism allows him to slide over to the two and maybe even the three. He can defend Big 12 point guards and shooting guards from day one and he has the potential to develop into an elite defensive guard. He has a great feel for the game, and is an adept passer and ball handler. Garrett has learned to use his length to get to the rim and score.
Weaknesses: Garrett has to improve his jump shot to be a KU caliber player since he doesn’t have the quickness to blow by most defenders at the Big 12 level. A jump shot capable of keeping defenders honest would go a very long way in making Garrett a complete offensive player. He also has to keep developing his body. At only 180 pounds, he can get pushed around by bigger wings.
Bottom Line: Garrett will help KU right away, just as a ball handler and defender. He can defend most Big 12 guards from day one, and has a chance to be a perennial All-Big 12 defender. Garrett is an underrated talent because he does not play for a shoe company-affiliated travel team so he gets less exposure than other recruits. KU may have gotten a steal here.
It’s no secret that KU needs a large recruiting class in 2017. With the Jayhawks possibly losing four guards to graduation and the NBA draft Garrett is a solid first addition to the class. There’s really no downside to adding Garrett, since he is a complimentary piece to KU’s number one guard target, Trae Young. In fact, Young and Garrett would fit together very well. Both can handle the ball, but Garrett is more of a slasher, while Young is a terrific shooter. It could be a terrific backcourt for years to come for the Jayhawks.
But even in the event that Young doesn’t come to Kansas, Garrett would also fit well next to Malik Newman and Devonte’ Graham should he return to school. Garrett’s uncle Matthew Watts told rivals.com that Self sold his nephew on playing in three guard lineups, meaning that Kansas is still going to be recruiting all of the other elite guards in the 2017 class.