"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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The NCAA Tourney, money and the coaching carousel

More to come later today but for your morning coffee here are a handful of must-read articles about the Marquette Warriors as they head into the NCAA Tournament.

It has been a while since we've done a simple media update but it has also been a long time since the Marquette program was featured prominently in the Wall Street Journal. Check out the Journal's feature on the "big play goggles" that are now so often part of players' antics on the court. Darius Johnson-Odom, Vander Blue, Buzz Williams and Marquette graduate Wesley Matthews are all either quoted or mentioned.

Marquette's players started to mark three-pointers with goggles for their Jan. 10 home game against Notre Dame after Wesley Matthews, a Marquette alumnus now with the Trail Blazers, called Johnson-Odom, a Marquette junior guard, and told him about the latest trend in Portland. "He made sure that we did it," Johnson-Odom said.

Also this morning, Todd Rosiak offers a closer look at the Xavier Musketeers, one of the most consistent and successful programs of the past decade. Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin reports that the Warriors are confident entering the NCAAs thanks in part to the brutal Big East conference schedule.

Speaking of the Big East, Marquette is one of the financial beasts of the Big East, generating nearly $14M in revenue from its basketball program, well above the conference average of $9.6M. Check out this interesting article in Forbes from earlier this month.

Finally -- and perhaps most interesting -- Buzz Williams' name is now popping up in connection to other jobs in the annual Spring Speculation Season. Given Williams' significant regional heritage it is no surprise that Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World focuses this morning's entire column on why Buzz Williams is the best choice to take over the Oklahoma Sooners program. Meanwhile several reporters, including ESPN's Andy Katz, have indicated that Arkansas is interested in Buzz though the Razorbacks are expected to push hard for former Nolan Richardson assistant Mike Anderson, the current head coach at Mizzou.

Madness, I tell you.

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