McFarland Makes Decision | Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

McFarland Makes Decision

Cuonzo Martin has been keeping tabs on Cardell McFarland for the better part of two years now.  It began during McFarland’s senior season at Evansville High School in Indiana when Martin, who was the Associate Head Coach at Purdue University at the time, made several trips to evaluate the talented combo-guard.  There was lots to like as McFarland put up some huge numbers that season including 21 points per game, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 58% shooting from the floor, and 44% shooting from behind the three-point arc. 

When the Indiana native decided to prolong his recruitment and attend Bridgton Academy for a post-graduate year, Martin continued to keep close tabs.  So when Martin landed his first head coaching job last month, it came as no surprise that one of his first priorities was to go after the player he had watched thrive for so long.  Late last week the coach landed his prized recruit as McFarland committed to Missouri State. 

McFarland was one of the most talented players on Bridgeton Academy’s team this season.  He is good with the ball and also has a quick first step which allows him to consistently get to the rim.  And while he has unorthodox shooting mechanics, he is capable of making shots from the perimeter, especially when he gets hot.  But what is most intriguing about him is his versatility as he can not only play off the ball as a scorer, but he also has the ball skills to play the point guard position as well. 

While McFarland will become the first New England prep product on the 49’ers roster, don’t expect him to be the last.  In fact, during his years at Purdue Martin always had the reputation of being a strong recruiter of the New England prep schools, especially Bridgton Academy.  Two years ago it was Bridgton’s Keaton Grant who signed with the Boilermakers and last year it was the sharp shooting Greg Hill, although he ultimately was forced to go the junior college route.  Now Martin has kept that pipeline going at Missouri State. 

With the Bears graduating four seniors, including one of their starting guards, look for McFarland to have a chance to compete for immediate playing time next season.