"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Dale Layer named assistant coach at MU

Buzz Williams went with experience and familiarity to fill the final assistant coaching spot on his bench when he welcomed former Colorado State head coach Dale Layer to Marquette.

Layer, head coach of the Rams from 2000 - 2007, led CSU to one conference title and compiled a 103-106 record overall. Buzz Williams served on Layer's staff in Fort Collins for four years. Layer spent this past season as an assistant at Liberty University and has been in the coaching business for 30 years.

Read all the details here at GoMarquette.com

So, Buzz Williams will go to battle with Tony Benford, Dale Layer and Aki Collins. These coaches are an interesting mix given that their strong national footprint as coaches does not include the significant Midwestern flavor that characterize most Marquette coaching staffs.

With this hire, Williams has a decidedly veteran assistant coaching staff considering Layer and Benford combine for more than 45 years on the sidelines. Throw Collins' New York City heritage and recent work at a Jesuit university, and the make-up of the staff appears strong - with only the one glaring weakness:

  • Can this group of coaches successfully recruit the Midwest?
Perhaps they don't need to -- well, let's not go that far.

Recently, MU's roster has been built with recruits from outside of MU's home region. Still, recruiting well close to home -- ie, MU's own back yard and Chicagoland -- will be one aspect of the next six months (until National Signing Day) fans will track closely.


Gene Frenkle said...

I can honestly say I'm pleased with the make up of this staff. You have a nice balance of skills and hunger, along with where they have recently focused from a recrutiing standpoint.

Personally, I think they can succeed w/out the midwest ties. Since the coaches will be physically located in the midwest and close by, it'll give them an opportunity to make plenty of short trips to visit coaches and get to know all the deal-makers in the region.

I'd much rather have guys learning/meeting the midwest in MU's case. That versus having only mid-west guys who don't have any ties to the south or east coast would really hurt MU, I think.

So far, so good for Buzz and his staff. And getting Butler and banking the scholarship is a good move too I think. Doesn't relieve the pressure he's under for 08/09, but things are positioned nicely for success...I'm hoping anyway.

Thinking said...

One correction: Colorado State is in Ft. Collins, not Colorado Springs.

Packer Pat said...

The Midwest will take care of itself and the BE makes a contender will all local talent.
I'm sure Buzz will be hands on with the recruiting in our own backyard. I heard he brings potted plants to recruits' mothers so that should help as well.

I think he put together a good recruiting staff. Hopefully he can coach unlike the last guy.

Zach said...

Over the past few weeks I think it is a fair assumption that we all as Warrior fans have taken numerous blows to the gut regarding our basketball team: the loss of Crean, the backing out of Williams and Taylor (Williams going to IU salt on the wound), Jerel declaring (most expected it), and more recently the loss of Hibbert and Creeks to IU . Taking into aspects the situation of Marquette as of today I have a strategy for Buzz in '09.

Over the past few years Crean has developed the ability to pull kids in from across the nation with the publicity offered in 2003 by Wade and the Final Four appearance. I think that it is far to assume that the press garnered from the accomplishment, although not completely lossed with Crean's departure, has been vastly tinted as we get farther away from the magical year. Looking towards next year with a realistic eye we should finish in the middle of the Big East behind Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Villanova.

My suggestion for the upcoming year is for Buzz Williams to shift to a more conservative approach with recruits. Although Marquette was on the brink of becoming a nationwide school (well maybe a school focused on Texas, New York, Chicago, and Wisconsin), I think it is imperative for Buzz to understand that he no longer has that appeal to eighteen year old men. It is obvious by the last few weeks that the major pull for kids coming to Marquette from across the nation was to play under Tom Crean, the guy who taught Wade. With Crean being gone I think that it would be foolish for Buzz to think that he can stand with bigger name schools with no track record or major incentives to come to Marquette (I know but we're in the big east, we have a good practice facility, we'll have playing time in 2009 - I agree with that one at least - but don't most schools have that and a good coach?).

If Buzz wants to get any of the recruits from the 2009 class he needs to stay within the State and focus on the very talented class in his own back yard. Right now Marquette is looking at Jamil Wilson, Johnnie Lacy, and Jeronne Maymon to name a few from Wisconsin. With Madison having most of its scholarships given out and MU offering four spots on a team with plenty of playing time Buzz has alot to offer kids who live in the state.

If it was up to me personally I would have an assistant coach or somebody at every basketball game Jamil Wilson plays in next year and Buzz should personally talk with Wilson on the phone or in person on a consitant basis. If he is half as good as they say he is he will quiet the critics who have risen since Creans departure. Does that seem a little extreme? Sure. But name the last five star recruit Marquette was able to get from inside the state. Moving on to Johnnie Lacy he shows an athleticism with small size drawing parallels to a certain Dominic James (o and he has a better three ball). Yes Jeronne Maymon plays the same position as Lazar and possibly Jamil but he is showing interest in Marquette and at this point any addition would be welcomed.

I think the only recruit that this idea doesn't apply for is Donte Hill. Right now Hill remains under the radar as a big shooting guard that will grow into a big name in the upcoming months. Marquette is the early favorite for this 6-3 guard and we offer a place where he can come in and play right away.

So lets take a few assumptions with my strategy. Being honest with ourselves Jamil will probably chose someone else (although i think my idea gives the best chance of us keeping him here). Lacy appears to have Marquette at the top of the list and I don't see him as that much of a reach being in Milwaukee. If Wilson commits elsewhere I see no reason why Marmon would not want to stay close to family and play great minutes right away at Marquette. Lastly I think we have a fairly decent chance at landing Hill if he manages to stay under the radar enough because if a bigger team comes in I think he is as good as gone (the only other real competition at this point is Clemson). With this idea we could land two four star prospects and a rising three star with a possible scholarship left over for another big man.

The product of the '09 recruiting class would give us a roster of

PG- Johnnie Lacy (s), Maurice Aker, David Cube
SG- Donte Hill (s), Jimmy Butler
SF- Erik Williams(s), Joseph Fulce
PF- Lazar Hayward(s), Jeronne Maymon
C- Chris Otule(s), Trevor M

Honestly that lineup reminds me alot of four years ago with three four star prospects entering and a really good Senior leading the charge for one year. This would make us one of youngest teams in the league but we would also be able to reload with three more scholarships for the '10 recruiting class (which also looks promising with Madison having already given away all of their scholarships).

If Buzz wishes to establish himself in a extremely competitive conference to recruits he first must prove to be able to effectively recruit in his own state. Yes we are also big in Chicago but I believe that Buzz has a fresh start to set precedence in being able to get instate talent and not letting it go to Madison or out of state.

tvbrain said...

Crean's making friends fast

Tony said...

Need my news fix.