- Scott Powers, Reporter
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Simeon rising senior guard Kendrick Nunn has yet to trim his list of colleges, but a recent visit to Marquette left a strog impression on him and his family, Nunn’s father said on Thursday.
Nunn, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, is ranked the No. 55 player in the country and second in Illinois in the Class of 2013 by ESPN. He averaged 15 points for Simeon last season and was previously committed to Texas A&M.
Nunn made recent visits to DePaul and Marquette. His father, Melvin Nunn, said their visit to Marquette went especially well.
“Marquette is definitely in there,” Melvin said by phone on Thursday. “Everything Marquette has – their players, they succeed, you’re talking about players, you’re talking about a relationship already there. They’re already in a position to get to that Elite Eight, the Final Four. That recruiting class they got coming in already, it’s already up there for 2013. We’re really, really considering Marquette in that top three (schools.)”
Melvin said his son was considering about 8-10 schools right now and hoped to trim the list to 3-5 schools in July. Nunn is currently considering DePaul, Illinois, Marquette, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Providence, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Melvin thought where Marquette had an advantage over a lot of the schools was it had already proven itself as a winning program.
“You can say DePaul can become a Marquette,” Melvin said. “You talk about Marquette being in the top 15, top 20 in the last 3-4 years. I don’t see them moving out of that any time real soon with the players they already got and the players they already have committed from 2013.
“You really look they’re already in that position, and you’re not even there. It’s someone you should be considering if you want to be in that position when you’re a freshman in college. It’s the same thing when we chose Simeon. Do you want to go to a second-tier school or go to a school to help them continue to go on top? That’s what we’re looking at when picking a school.
“Do you want to have to be the person who has to turn it around? Do you want that pressure?”
That’s also why Illinois could be a difficult sell for Nunn. Melvin said he wasn’t sure new Illinois coach John Groce would have the pieces in place to succeed in a few years.
“It’s something you have to think hard about, especially when you have a choice,” Melvin said. “I think Groce can get it done. If we decided not to go to Illinois, it’s not because we don’t like Illinois, we don’t like Groce. I just don’t know when they can get it done and with who. It’s going to take some 2013 players, some 2014, some 2015.
“We’re talking about three years after he started there. He’s used to winning now.”
Melvin said he was a fan of Groce and Marquette coach Buzz Williams. He likes how both of them coach and develop players.
Nunn was invited to the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 this week, but he decided not to attend because he would have been able to go for two days. He will join the USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Friday in preparation for the FIBA U17 World Championships.
Melvin said they would discuss recruiting when Nunn returns from the world championships.