"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

Friday, May 30, 2008

Good thoughts for Earl Tatum

Cracked Sidewalks Central got an email today about Marquette Great, Earl Tatum.

His daughter reports:

The family of William Earl Tatum would like to inform you of his recent hospitalization due to a mild stroke. Earl is strong willed and determined to get better. He would like to tell all to "Take care of yourself, watch your blood pressure and cholesterol levels".

It would lift his spirits if you could call or send a card. He is just beginning the road to recovery. Please keep him in your thoughts.


Jenay Tatum (daughter)

My wife previously worked with Earl's wife, and I've met Earl a number of times as he sat a few rows down from me at the Bradley Center. Great guy, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Spend a moment and shoot some good thoughts towards Earl and the Tatum family.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More on Maymon

Just a few more updates from around the web regarding yesterday's commitment from Jeronne Maymon.

  • Sportsbubbler has the video of the press conference from yesterday.
  • Rosiak was on a roll yesterday with three blog entries. The first one was linked yesterday, the second is a Q&A with Jeronne's dad, and the third covers some first impressions of Maymon based on a game against Milwaukee Vincent.
  • 620 WTMJ has a radio interview with Jeronne
  • The Wisconsin State Journal has an article on the commitment from yesterday too. Here's a fantastic quote from his mom:

    Now that Maymon has his basketball future mapped out, his mother — and others —will make sure his academics don't keep him from getting there.

    "He could fall and hurt himself and be out of the running as a basketball player," Latanya Maymon said. "Then what are you going to be? A big, dumb jock? I refuse to have a big, dumb jock; I want him to have more substance than (that)."

  • Finally, don't forget to check out Jeronne's wiki page for a comprehensive overview. There is a ton of information on his game, style of play, additional links, and even a few video clips.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jeronne Maymon to Marquette

Jeronne Maymon, a highly ranked 6'6" 235 pound forward from Madison Memorial High School, committed to Marquette this morning per IWB from the Scout.com board. Dave Telep also has the story up.

The Madison Capital Times has a story about the commitment. Rosiak's blog is also on the case with an update as well. Mark Miller has a great article at Wissports.net.

With Maymon (ranked #58 in the junior class by Scout.com) Buzz has now secured two top 100 commitments for his first two spots in the 2009 recruiting class. Last year, 6'7" Erik Williams from Cy Springs High School in suburban Houston committed to Marquette.

The combination of Maymon and Williams is intriguing and provides a glimpse into the roster re-build underway at MU. For more than a decade, the Warriors have been vulnerable to opponents that were more athletic on the blocks and on the wings. It seems that Buzz Williams had enough of those mismatches. With Maymon, likely a 3/4 combo forward in college, and Erik Williams, more of a small forward/wing player, Buzz Williams is fast building a roster of versatile, athletic players at positions where MU failed to land high-ceiling talent in the past.

Nicely done, Buzz. Stay tuned for more information and coverage regarding this highly talented player.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

23 minutes of Buzz

This clip comes from Dennis Krause's show on Time Warner Sports Channel in Milwaukee .. for the many who aren't in the area. The first couple segments aren't too fascinating, but you get a pretty good feeling for who Buzz is in the remaining half.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Maymon sets date for announcement

The first major recruiting milestone of the Buzz Williams era arrives on Tuesday, May 27 when fast-rising junior Jeronne Maymon from Madison is expected to announce his college choice. The 6'5" Maymon has offers from Baylor, Iowa State, Marquette, Tennessee, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Green Bay, USC, Temple and Providence.

Maymon's announcement sparked an IM discussion yesterday between Henry Sugar and NYWarrior -and it went like this:

Henry Sugar: Maymon sets the date, huh?

NYWARRIOR: just back. when?

Henry Sugar: tuesday!

NYWARRIOR: wow. sounds like Buzz might get him since he just had the unofficial at MU.

Henry Sugar: I posted on MUScoop that it's win-win

NYWARRIOR: it is. better than waiting until March 9, 2009

Henry Sugar: If he picks Marquette, then we get a fast-rising and uber-talented player.

If he picks Iowa State, Baylor, or some random school, then he won't be in conference anyways. Plus, there won't be any questions or concerns about his dad's involvement or grades.

Marquette doesn't lose either way. Giddyup!

Henry Sugar: If Maymon picks Marquette, then Buzz has a recruiting class that is better than any of Crean's, except for the three amigos class. But that's only two players, and then Buzz can fill the remaining spot or two with a PG and/or whatever

NYWARRIOR: agreed on Maymon. if Buzz gets him, he's rolling heading into the open recruiting season. I've said it before, he'll easily out-recruit Crean's efforts at MU. Though I think u are selling TC's class of Wade, Merritt, Blankson,Townsend and Sanders short.

Henry Sugar: fair. it's a rankings grade. only Merritt made the RCSI top 100

NYWARRIOR: right,but…

Henry Sugar: yes, yes. Wade, of course... Blankson... maybe

NYWARRIOR: still, Buzz will outrecruit Turncoat Tommy. the rest of 'running the program' is what to watch for. Buzz is set up well to recruit. For the 2009 season -- this team will be really f!#@%ng good. …yet he has an uneven roster with many gaps to fill. so -- gaps to fill on a roster in a winning program = opportunity for freshmen to play immediately. that = high ceiling talent in 09-10.

NYWARRIOR: oh, and … Latavious Williams… man!

Henry Sugar: one can dream, right?


Henry Sugar: Check out the scholarship table. http://www.muscoop.com/index.php?page=8

Henry Sugar: have to figure Buzz will lock down a top 100 PG. He is in on a lot of names.

NYWARRIOR: he will, he has PT to offer in a winning program.

Henry Sugar: 09, that year will be led by Lazar, Trevor, and maybe Fulce/Butler

NYWARRIOR: eh, MU better have a lot more than that.

Henry Sugar: yeah... lots of PT for guards, PF, C, PG

NYWARRIOR: right. early PT on a team that could still be good. and MU will be good when those kids are being recruited, so MU will present well on the camp circuit

Henry Sugar: plus, I believe in Buzz' ability to recruit

NYWARRIOR: me 2. esp under these circumstances, Bully Hurley notwithstanding

Henry Sugar: right... you have to figure that if Hurley isn't around then TT still comes to Marquette


Henry Sugar: just no crying, Buzz

NYWARRIOR: that didn't help Mike Davis much

Henry Sugar: I really hope that his coaching is okay

NYWARRIOR: me 2. but heck, hardly any MU fan seemed to think TC was a good coach.

Henry Sugar: I thought TC made good game plans, not adjustments

NYWARRIOR: yup. he had 300 sets to run! Why let your players feel the game and be instinctive? sigh

Henry Sugar: his in-game was poor. if the opponent continued with their standard plan, TC could plan for that. If the opponent made adjustments, TC failed to counter

NYWARRIOR: btw, dont count out Baylor on Maymon

Henry Sugar: meh - if Maymon picks Baylor, then at least we know

NYWARRIOR: right. better to know now. TC got into trouble when he allowed kids to string him out . then he ran outta options and took fliers on players - like Trend. For what?

Henry Sugar: TC had a hard time closing the deal. I'm hoping Buzz is a better closer. suspicion is that he is

NYWARRIOR: i agree. and he's smart, i think, to target a kid who wants to decide early, a kid he obviously targeted from day 1. good strategy for a MU --after being strung out in the past and left with dregs in some cases

Henry Sugar: for sure. wow - I thought the summer was supposed to be slow.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jerel McNeal undeclares for the draft

Rosiak has the news.......Good decision by Jerel. Buzz Williams rejoices as expectations go way up for the '08-'09 Warriors.

Full Details on 1st Annual Warrior Day Golf Outing

As we first reported several weeks ago, this summer Marquette great Bo Ellis will host the first annual golf outing to honor his late daughter, Nikki, a 2000 Marquette graduate.

The 1st Annual Warrior Day Golf Outing will be held on Monday, July 28th at The Bog in Saukville, Wisconsin. The golf outing in Nikki's memory will benefit the Nicole Ellis Foundation, a 501(C)3 corporation. All proceeds will benefit the American Liver Foundation, Marquette Men's and Women's non-revenue sports, and the proposed Hank Raymonds Educational Center.

Supporters are asked to provide a $350 donation which includes 18 holes of golf with a former Marquette Warrior basketball player and a host of other perks. If you can't make the golf outing, that's fine too -- $100 donations will be accepted for the dinner, which includes a silent auction and raffles.

The list of former MU greats participating in this event is remarkable, and includes (among many others):

Folks, it's time to jump in and join this great cause, and to support Bo and his family, who have been such a big part of the Marquette community for many, many years.

For full registration details and the complete list of participating MU alums, please click here for the official .pdf -- thanks to MUScoop for hosting the document.

We'll keep you posted on the event.

EDIT: Added wiki links for each former player

More Updates - Recruiting and Attendance

More Marquette Updates from around the web

Attendance - edited
Our beloved Marquette was 14th in attendance for the 2006-2007 season according to the official NCAA report. The NCAA has not yet released official figures for the 2007-2008 season.

According to the Marquette Athletic Department's unofficial numbers for the past season, MU will again rank #14 in the country at 16,239 (which is a record attendance figure at MU). This number is still #3 in the BIG EAST behind Syracuse (#3 nationally behind Kentucky and North Carolina) and Louisville (#5 nationally).

Thanks to MU for clarifying this point with us earlier today.


  • According to Mark Miller at wissports.net, Providence College and new coach Keno Davis have offered a scholarship to Jeronne Maymon. Maymon was planning on taking an unofficial visit to Marquette yesterday.
    • Updated - According to Mark Miller, the visit went well. Maymon's father commented
    • “It was great meeting with Buzz Williams and the other coaches,” Tim Maymon said. “Things went well.”
  • Updated - From the same report by Mark Miller, Marquette has now extended a scholarship offer to 2010 Randolph player Kyle Kelm. Kelm is a fast rising, 6'9" player that reminds some of Steve Novak with his ability to shoot from distance. Kyle plays for the Wisconsin Swing 16U squad that won the Wisconsin State AAU championships recently. According to Mark, this is Buzz' first scholarship offer to a 2010 player. Make sure you check out Mark's link for more information, including quotes.
  • AJ Walton is a name that is now popping up on Marquette's recruiting list. The 6'1" point guard from Little Rock is a top 100 player in 2009. He also has Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Baylor on his list. AJ's favorite player in the NBA is Dwyane Wade. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, which recently named him their Mr. Basketball, has a nice article about Walton.
  • A new name on the list for Marquette is Latavious Williams. Coach Buzz Williams is strongly after the "All-Williams" team, but since Latavious Williams is a five-star, #13 overall ranked power forward in the class of 2009, we guess that helps too. A K-State blog says that Latavious lists Marquette in his top five. Chances are probably slim for Marquette, but it's always nice to see us listed as contenders with five-star recruits.
Several dedicated volunteers have really made an effort to keep the Recruiting Wiki updated. Bookmark the link, check it out on a regular basis, and even take a few minutes to provide updates yourself (since that's the point of a wiki)

edit: updated information regarding attendance figures and included additional information regarding Kyle Kelm and Jeronne Maymon from Mark Miller.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Daily Update

Just catching folks up on the various bits of Marquette information spreading across the airwaves:

It's fair to categorize Marquette's hiring of Buzz Williams to replace Tom Crean as a major surprise

    • McClellan calls the hire a "Good Hire" (not great), but the co-author Andrew Skwara calls it "Questionable". Read the link for additional information. Just like the original article sparked a six page thread on MUScoop, the new article is likewise generating further debate.
  • Rosiak's excellent blog covered Crean's MU Salary yesterday. Crean earned $1.85 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007 and was by far the highest paid faculty member at the school. The article has additional details, including comparisons with other coaches.
  • In some good news, the Chicago Tribune has a front page story about McNeal, titled "Marquette's McNeal intent on taking his shot at NBA". Just like Dominic James last year, the situation is really a win-win for McNeal. He gets to test out the process and receive NBA feedback, and his worst case scenario is returning for his senior year.
  • Buzz Williams was the featured guest on the Dennis Krause show yesterday afternoon. According to GoMarquette.com's release, the show will be broadcast over two dozen times in the next week. You could also watch it on the internet (requires IE)
  • Finally, Time Warner Sports is re-broadcasting classic Marquette games throughout the summer. The station will broadcast a different Marquette game every Friday night, with an encore presentation on Sunday evening. The schedule features only Marquette victories (which is nice), and includes competition such as Pitt, Cincy, Louisville, Duke, South Carolina, and "It's Indiana, It's Indiana". This week's game is Louisville at Marquette (2/20/97). Check the link for more details.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Recruiting Updates

Just a few quick updates regarding recruits.

"...to a waiting Maymon who passed up an opportunity for a highlight reel finish by laying the ball softly off the glass and in with nary a defender in sight."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Above Expectations

The most recent Cracked Sidewalks post about the Buzz hiring seems to have re-opened a nerve in the comments section here at Cracked Sidewalks and on MUScoop. Personally, I was also fairly critical about the decision to hire Buzz, but I said my piece and then waited to see what happened. My position was not one where I wanted him to be the wrong choice, so that every setback (like the Tyshawn Taylor situtation) was judged harshly. However, it was also not one where Buzz received automatic acceptance that he was the right person for the job. My position?

Prove it.

I've seen some suggestions that Buzz deserves 2-3 years to grow into the job. I totally disagree. In my opinion, Buzz gets exactly one year to prove that he's the right choice for a program coming off of three straight NCAA appearances / Top 25 finishes. One. Year. Buzz managed to convince Cracked Sidewalks punching bag Steve Cottingham he was the right choice, but I want to see him prove he's a Big East coach this year.

Buzz gets graded this year based on six areas:

  • Roster Continuity (5%)
  • Coaching Staff Selection (5%)
  • Representative of Marquette (10%)
  • 2009 (or 2010) Recruiting (25%)
  • Regular Season Success (25%)
  • NCAA Success (30%)
I think that the percentages are fair, but certainly the opinions of CS readers are welcome. Thus far, only two of those areas are even complete, and a third (Representative of Marquette) has only limited information. However, I have to say that Buzz has been Above Expectations in all three areas.

Roster Continuity - (4 out of 5)
When we look at what the worst case scenario could have been (losing all four recruits for this year, Erik Williams, Scott Christopherson, Trevor Mbakwe, and Dominic James), I've got to say that Buzz did a pretty good job here. Once Crean left, Nick Williams was never going to set foot on Marquette's campus. Plus, Jimmy Butler was an upgrade over Scott Christopherson. The only area that could have been better would have been if Tyshawn Taylor stuck with MU. There was some definite ugliness, but in reading the outstanding Blog from Rosiak, I believe that Buzz handled the situation pretty well and kept the high road.

Coaching Staff Selection - (4 out of 5)
Unlike his employer, Buzz took his time filling out his coaching staff (gratuitous dig!). With a realistic view of things, I think he did pretty well. Tony Benford is experienced, well regarded, and has worked with big men in the past. "Aki" Collins is unproven, but appears to be the hungry young coach with East Coast connections. It's a bit odd that Dale Layer is now working for his former employee, but that's their relationship. Layer also brings experience to the bench and the recruiting trail. Add to that the positions for Autry and (almost certainly) Monarch, and the staff has real promise. I think the only thing really keeping this from being a five is if Buzz had hired someone like Josh Pastner.

Representative of Marquette - (4 out of 5)
I keep thinking about a quote from Billy Gillespie about Buzz (which you can find on his Marquette home page).

Everyone likes him. If they don't start out liking him, he forces them to like him.

I've heard several interviews with Buzz, and I've got to say that I like the guy. If you haven't listened, check them out yourself on his home page. There's a refreshing honesty and candor about him. Certainly, there's considerably less coach-speak than the previous coach, and I don't think I've heard him say phenomenal once. Heck it even seems like Murff is warming up to Buzz.

In summary, the proof will be when we start getting to 2009 recruits and when the season kicks off. Until then, Buzz has been Above Expectations. Keep on proving it, Buzz!

Cottingham details 'the process'

OK, let's start with the good stuff.......Bob McClellan from Rivals.com pulled together an article on Buzz Williams -- the piece effectively recaps the 'how we got here' and 'here's what we know about Buzz' storylines.

Of course, we also have to put up with Marquette AD Steve Cottingham's defense of his unwillingness to conduct a thorough, national search to fill the institution's most visible job. So, in honor of FireJoeMorgan.com, we're going Ken Tremendous on Cottingham.

"I think the general public might see it that way (as a risky hire)," Marquette athletic director Steve Cottingham told Rivals.com.

Despite being an inside job, the Politburo would have seen it as a risky hire. Hiring a coach embroiled in a legal battle with his previous employer -- a job he left under questionable circumstances after a losing season -- is risky. For a university that believes its men's basketball program is a key part of its strategy to attract interest from prospective students and dollars from alums, the hire was risky by any measure.

"My view is it's a much greater risk to hire somebody based on the popular opinion."

Please ring that gong, Chuck Barris.

Would everybody who thought that MU should hire a coach based on popular opinion raise your hand? (no hands go up in our virtual world).

No, Mr. Cottingham. Marquette fans wanted to see the institution engage in a competitive evaluation and hiring process that didn't include "hire the last assistant remaining in the program" as a key criterion.

"There wasn't a risk in hiring Buzz because we know what he can do and know what he's going to do."

Seriously, Cottingham said that. You can't make this stuff up. To recap, here is what we knew about Buzz Williams at the time of his hiring:

  • Buzz Williams did not have to defend his resume or approach to building a program against a slate of competitive candidates.
  • Buzz Williams quit on the folks at the University of New Orleans and was engaged in a protracted legal battle with them.
  • Buzz Williams led UNO to a 14-17 record as head coach.
  • Buzz Williams played a brief, minor role in building the MU program.
  • Buzz Williams would have been an assistant coach at any other D1 program in the nation for the 2008-2009 season.
  • Buzz Williams seems to have been an effective recruiter as an assistant coach.
  • Buzz Williams might be just fine in the end. Or he might not.
"It would have been easy to settle for a name on somebody else's list."

I think Cottingham mis-spoke here. What he meant to say was, "It would not have been easy to conduct an aggressive, national search. Such a search would have taken time and forced candidates to demonstrate their competing visions of Marquette basketball. Those candidates could have challenged this institution's perspectives in what would have been a very healthy dialectic. Ultimately we just didn't need that kind of distraction."

Cottingham admits other coaches were approached. He declined to reveal any names.

Approached? Stalked? Left messages for? Sigh.

It took Buzz Williams more time to hire his first assistant coach than it did for MU to hire its 16th head basketball coach. And per Internet reports, Williams actually conducted an aggressive national search to build out his staff (I didn't think MU allowed such a thing!). Bravo, Buzz.

"We did our job in terms of looking at people we thought would be interested and would be the right fit"

Looking at people but not interviewing people, apparently.

"That's all part of doing your due diligence."

Due diligence? This process was reminiscent of the fella who marries the first girl he kisses, only to realize later that playing the field for a while might have resulted in out-kicking his coverage.

"Buzz emerged pretty quickly as a strong candidate."

A haunting refrain reappears near Cottingham's noggin as a Pop-Up Video bubble , "Hire the last assistant remaining in the program."

"Recruiting is a huge part," Cottingham said.

Of course!! Nobody else that MU might have considered as a head coach can recruit -- only Buzz Williams can recruit. It's all making sense now.

"Even during the season, it became clear to me he'd be a high-major coach," Cottingham said. "I just didn't expect it would be at Marquette."

On this point we agree. Nobody else did either.

Marquette Student Storms into Jeopardy Finals

Well, you know it's the off-season at Cracked Sidewalks when we're talking game-shows.

But Marquette's own Danielle Zsenak (aka Chainsaw_McGee) is kicking ass and taking names on Jeopardy's College Championship. She's been on three nights, and trounced her opposition each night, including last night's day-1 Championship round, summarized by MOWarrior:

The guy from Harvey Mudd controlled the buzzer for the Jeopardy round, and had a sizeable lead going into Double Jeopardy. Double Jeopardy round saw McGee surge, and the guy from Mississippi State establish himself. Going into Final Jeopardy Chainsaw McGee had 15,000 points, Harvey Mudd in the lead with 17k or thereabouts, and MSU guy in 3rd. Final Jeopardy category was something like "Famous Journals," with the question: "This arctic explorer reported evidence of earlier Norwegian explorers at the pole." MSU guy gets it right: Robert Scott. His wager puts him at about 17k or so, I forget exactly. Our girl gets it right too. Her wager: All in. 30k. Harvey Mudd guy misses.

Chainsaw McGee didn't miss a single question the whole game. Very disciplined game, perfectly played. She's leading after round one of the Finals. What a wonderful representative of our school.

Tonight is the final night .. In Milwaukee, it's on at 6pm, Channel 58. Check your local listings.

Talk about it, and with her, on this thread.

Watch a Jeopardy video of Danielle here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Filling the void at the point: An update on Johnny Lacy

Johnny Lacy, a 5'10" whirling dervish of a point guard from Milwaukee, turned in an impressive performance at the King James Classic recently. According to HoopsReport.com, Lacy was one of the top performers in the camp where he ran the point for the Playground Elite squad (the same squad that MU target Jamil Wilson runs with). Per HoopsReport.com

We saw Lacy play in an event in Milwaukee last month and we came away highly impressed with both his quickness and shooting ability and after seeing him a second time this weekend in Akron, we are completely sold on this guy.
Lacy currently lists MU, Tennessee, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Cincy.

Talk about Lacy here on MUScoop.com.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Catching up with Robb Logterman

Ever wonder what became of sweet-shooting Robb Logterman? Dave Wedeward from Janesville's GazetteXtra.com wrote this fine profile of Robb, tracking all the way back to his days at Janesville Craig up to the present day.

Turns out that Robb will be inducted into the Janesville Sports Hall of Fame next Saturday. Congrats, Robb.

Friday, May 09, 2008

James enjoys the Buzz, media updates

Jeff Goodman of FoxSports catches up with Dominic James -- who has nothing but good things to say about Buzz Williams, Trevor Mbakwe and Chris Otule (along with a shot at Tommy Irsay).

Goodman also reports that 2008 combo guard Varez Ward will visit Texas this weekend -- no word on any interest regarding MU.

Mike DeCourcy writes up an incongruous review of the Buzz Williams hire....strangely TSN says MU made a decision 'in a panic', but ultimately rates the hire as a solid 'B'.

In honor of Buzz......Buzz 'I Hate New Media' Bissinger that is, Deadspin is worried about Dwyane Wade these days. Dating Star Jones? Are you kidding me.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Um, hi....we're back

Life (er, work) has a funny way of interrupting your hobbies, hence the dearth of material here for the last several days. Capitalism has a funny way of demanding increasing amounts of your time. Anyway, we're back. For those of you who follow the threads on MUScoop and other sites, some of this might be redux -- but let's get caught up with Marquette hoops.

Marquette has offered 2009 stud Jeronne Maymon of Madison Memorial High School. Mark Miller of WSN Boys Basketball has the details here. Maymon, a 6'6" combo forward, currently sports offers from MU, USC and Iowa State with many more to follow. Maymon is off to a fast start this spring on the AAU circuit, turning in a series of eye-catching performances.

Darrius Morrow signed with ECU. Recruiting successfully requires patience and vision more than a hunger to settle for the 'best (only?) player available'. I'm glad to see that Buzz Williams appears to have exhibited that with Morrow.

6'10" Kyle Rowley reclassified to 2008 and signed with Northwestern. Good luck, Kyle.

According to the Big East Basketball Report, MU is after 2009 PG Justin Jordan of Fort Wayne.

Marquette University's athletic programs delivered academically once again. According to MU, each of th university's 14 athletic teams exceeded the NCAA's required Academic Progress Rate (APR). Congratulations, MU. If you want to see what happens when a university does not take care of the academic side of life, check out the SHU situation. For a history on MU's position with the APR over time, read our post on the subject from last year.

Steve Yanda of the Marquette Tribune ran a provocative article about the university's proclivity to favor the internal hire over a competitive, national search. Here's my key take-away from the article:

In February, Cottingham was named Marquette's athletic director after a 14-month interim stint during which he conducted the search for a permanent replacement. Though Cottingham stated throughout the search process that he was not interested in the full-time position, he eventually concluded he was the best person for the job.

Of the 60 candidates who applied for the full-time position, none were interviewed. As a private institution.
Talk about it in this thread at MUScoop if you're interested.

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.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Buzz Williams update, new potential recruit emerges

According to this report from a K-State blog penned by a reporter from the Wichita Eagle, it appears that MU is in pursuit of 6'2" combo guard Varez Ward from the Patterson School in Lenior, NC. Marquette is in good company with Ward -- Texas, Arkansas, K-State and FSU have also offered according to his coach.

Also today, Rosiak files this report on the outlook for Buzz Williams first year on the sidelines at MU -- somewhat of a very early season preview. In addition, Buzz Williams sat down with Todd Rosiak for a thorough overview of the program in this blog entry. Among the most interesting nuggets:

  • Regarding the last open scholarship -- Williams indicated it could be used for either the 08 or 09 classes;
  • Williams expects Butler and Fulce to be 'ahead of the curve' as compared to true freshmen next season;
  • David Cubillan will have surgery on his left shoulder soon. He recently had surgery on his right shoulder and has not had an individual workout yet this off-season.
  • Williams took the high-road on the Tyshawn Taylor situation. Smart.
  • There are no updates on McNeal's NBA process in the report
  • Varez Ward is not mentioned in the Rosiak update.
BTW, here is a YouTube clip of what appears to be Varez Ward from his junior year in high school --against Nick Williams' LeFlore Rattlers, no less.