"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

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Marquette receives commitment from JUCO Guard Darius Johnson-Odom

No it's not an April Fools joke, Buzz Williams has done it again. Only days after many MU fans were disappointed to lose out on Darius Smith, Marquette has received a verbal commitment from Darius Johnson-Odom, one of the most sought after JUCO guards in the country. Johnson-Odom had interest from many top schools around the country including Pitt, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Johnson-Odom averaged 21.6 points and 4.6 assists this year for Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, one of the top JUCO programs in the country. Originally thought to be a Class of 2010 prospect, according to Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports, Johnson-Odom recently received word that he is eligible and will have three years to play at Marquette.

Stay tuned to Cracked Sidewalks for further updates on MU's most recent commitment.

Todd Rosiak has an informative Q/A with Johnson-Odom -- who's been interested in MU for some time, and is holding his own academically.


Marc said...

I like this pick. Sounds like a athletic guy who's hungry to make an impact. Check out Rosiak's blog and read some of the comments..."ashamed of my alma mater"??? People are so quick to judge.

Tim Blair said...

This is a great get on many levels.....it enables Buzz to balance the classes, 3 yrs of eligibility is a bonus, the kid will be physically more mature, and he played at a big-time JUCO. Nicely done

John said...

It is kind of an interesting recruiting strategy by Buzz. It seems to make sense to have a player gain a year of experience and maturity in JUCO and/or prep school than say getting a committment from a Junior or Senior in High School. Not that we should only have JUCOs, but if that extra year before entering a DIV-I school give a better indication of their success in DIV-I, then it is smart recruiting.

goodlknx1 said...

I don't buy this whole argument about juco recruiting as so overwhelmingly smart. The best players that go D-1 vs the best players that go Juco are not even close in comparison. I'll take my chances on a McDonalds All-American before I take the top Juco kid any day. I understand what you're saying about experience but I'm no less concerned about this kid who seems to have had academic questions than if he went straight to D1.

Yes he may be a skilled combo guard but at what point do we stop taking guards and look for big men. Rumors are circling about McMorrow having chronic injuries. Hazel may not even be on the team next year. Otule has a long way to go before he's where he needs to be. Roseboro has only started applying himself this past year and probably also has a long way to go. I feel much more confident about our incoming guards and small forwards, but when will we learn that we need to get a good big man.

John said...

Weren't most of our HS recruits on the ballot for being McDonalds All Americans? Don't almost all committ before it is known they will be one? Can a extemely talented kid who doesn't qualify for DIV-I and must take the JUCO rout be a McDonalds All American?

bma725 said...

John, yes most do commit before they are named. These days, however, the committee tries to stay away from naming kids that are known academic risks with no shot at qualifying.

There hasn't been a McDonald's All American to go the JUCO route since 2000 when Jerome Harper did it, and overall there have been only five. Harper in 2000, Marcus Griffin in 1997, Anthony Cade in 1990, and both Ken Williams and Shawn Kemp in 1988.

Savwa said...

I'm all for more talent on the squad but this seems like an inordinate amount of JUCO kids. I know Crean didn't leave much in the cupboard after this initial season but I don't feel too great about going this route. Usually, the JUCO kids have character issues or academic issues. I was proud to see MU had 100% graduation rate, one of only a few in the tourney, this year.

Of course, I'd love to see a great team on the floor just hope they go about it the right way.

John said...

Savwa, are you basing your opinion on past Marquette JUCOs? If so, can you name them.

Savwa said...

I am just referring to the seemingly high amount of JUCO kids Buzz has brought in since he became the head coach. That I know of: Fulce, Butler, Buycks & Johnson-Odom. Is Monterale Clark a JUCO (I know he's not on the team yet)? I trust that Buzz cares about the kids and MU so I don't think he'd take risks on guys that could make him and the school look bad it's just a concern. Hopefully, these kids fully grasp the opportunity they're given and make the most of it in school and on the court.

EMoney said...

I'm concerned not because I'm afraid of the academic/character issues of JuCo kids, but because I fear that Buzz is missing too often on recruits that he is spending a lot of time on and confident that he can bring in.

Since the committment of Maymon/Cadougan, MU has gained 5 committments......3 JuCo's and 2 high school kids that aren't major prospects. This leads me to believe that since there isn't really a starting position available next season (and beyond), that top100-150 rated prospects aren't overly interested in playing at MU. I hope I'm wrong, but look at what happened after the 3-amigos class......Lazar Hayward.....that's it. Again, I hope I am wrong.

bamamarquettefan1 said...

While I may have been the Polyanna on the past two years, I do think next year could be tough. The Big East can't be as good as this past season, but it will still be unforgiving. As for JUCOs and Texas prospects though, I am pinning my hopes on just how good Jimmy Butler ended up being. I know that's just one case, but it may be we do need to bring in a little experience with a couple of JUCOs to work through the pressure we are bound to face after losing our top three guards.

bma725 said...

I think you have to remember that Buzz plays things much closer to the vest than Crean did and in some cases we have been in just as long if not longer on the players we got than on the guys we supposedly lost out on.

MU started recruiting Aaron Bowen the day Dale Layer was named to the staff, but we never heard of him until he committed so it seems like it was out of the blue.

MU was recruiting Monterale Clark under Crean and that continued once Buzz was given the job. Clark made multiple unofficial visits, but no one really mentioned him in the press so his commit seemed like it came from nowhere even though it lasted a few years.

Guys like DeAndre Kane and get continual MU mentions, but the recruiting has never been as serious as some of the guys that committed. Kane hasn't even come to visit because MU couldn't get it worked out...which is code for the University was not as interested in Kane as Kane was in MU.