The first round of recruiting for Steve Wojciechowski saw a supremely talented class of players in route to Milwaukee for the 2015-16 season. Among them were names such as Traci Carter and Rice Lake's Henry Ellenson, the latter of who was on the radar for programs such as Michigan State and was a big splash for Wojo in bringing him to Marquette.
Ellenson and Carter however were not the only notable names recruited by Marquette. Along with them was Matt Heldt, a 6-foot-10 center from Neenah, Wisconsin.
Following the signing of Nick Noskowiak by Wojo, Heldt was the second player recruited during the signing period and whose commitment to Marquette was just the start of Marquette's successful recruiting class.
Listed at 215 pounds, Matt Heldt was considered to be the fourth or fifth best prospect in the Wisconsin with Henry Ellenson and Diamond Stone listed ahead of him. Nationally, Heldt was listed within the Top 20 centers by both ESPN and 247Sports. He has also been listed within the Top 200 prospects as well.
While rankings give a indication of the player that MU is bringing in, on the court Heldt definitely displayed his prowess in three years of play for Neenah High School under head coach Scott Bork and on the AAU circuit with the Milwaukee Spartans.
In his first season with Neenah as a sophomore, Heldt contributed to a tune of 13.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game all while earning First Team All-Conference, Second Team All-Area, and Honorable Mention All-State honors.
It was only just the beginning for what was to come for Heldt in his high school career.
As a junior, Heldt was a key contributor for a Neenah team that went 26-2 overall and 17-1 within league play. He contributed 18.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.3 blocks per game while garnering All-State honors from both the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (First Team) and the Associated Press (Second Team).
In his senior season, Heldt received first team All-State honors from the Associated Press and was Fox Valley Association Most Valuable Player. His average stats from his final season at Neenah were 19.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. Heldt also shoot 68 percent from the field as well.
To close out his career, he finished as Neenah's all-time leading scorer, in what was a stellar career for Heldt at Neenah.
During recruitment, Heldt had interest from nine other schools aside from Marquette. Among them was fellow Big East Conference member Xavier who extended an offer to the center most likely as pegging him to be the center for the Musketeers in the post Matt Stainbrook era. Heldt would however would sign onto Wojo's Golden Eagles in November of 2014, though expressed his commitment as early as July of that year.
For Wojo, the signing of Heldt as his second recruit was a significant capture at the time, given his versatility in the frontcourt. The head coach of Marquette expressed that he added much-needed size for the program and that Heldt possessed a high basketball IQ with an ability to improve tremendously.
Following the signing of Henry Ellenson though, where does Heldt fit into Marquette's plans?
Well, at the time of Heldt's commitment it was an insurance policy in case Wojo would be unable to land either Diamond Stone or Henry Ellenson. However, the best case scenario played out where they landed not only Heldt, but Ellenson as well.
Still though, Heldt's versatility adds significant depth on the roster for the Golden Eagles.
In all, Matt Heldt is a true center with excellent versatility at the position that is going to bring his abilities to the post to Marquette. He'll be a part of a Golden Eagles squad that is looking retooled and ready to go for the 2015-16 season.