"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, June 27, 2008

New Recruit for Marquette

In a somewhat strange development, it appears that Marquette has received a commitment from another player. The new player is Liam McMorrow, who is a 7', 260lb transfer from Durham College in Canada. But not only has McMorrow committed to Marquette, but he's already on Marquette's campus and checked into Humphrey. In fact, as confirmed by Mark Miller, McMorrow has started practicing with the guys at the AL (link has more info).

So what do we know about Liam McMorrow? He's big and he's a bit of a project. According to Mark Miller, McMorrow will have to sit out a year due to the transfer. He'll end up in the same class as Otule and will have three years of eligibility. In the MUScoop discussion thread, poster MU Chi_IL found a number of links on the internet about McMorrow.

Liam McMorrow, a six-foot-eleven newcomer, will help that defensive goal. Displaying good hands for the basketball and a soft shooting touch around the basket, he shouldn’t be limited to just a defensive role either. from the Durham College Chronicle

In one game, he pulled down 18 rebounds. In another game, he sank the two winning free throws, despite a season average of 55%. Finally, poster Pakuni found a youtube clip of McMorrow that really doesn't show a whole lot.

Color us floored (is that a color?). Not only did this guy fly under the radar, but he made it all the way to campus without so much as a peep. Have to hand it to Buzz for his stealth recruiting.

Personally, I'm a big fan of this signing despite the fact that he's still raw. Frankly, any legitimate big man these days is probably a one and done and they're signing with a school like Duke/UNC/Kansas. It's worthwhile to take 1-2 guys per year that have potential because of the hope that they'll pan out. Some of the best big men in the Big East, such as Aaron Gray and Roy Hibbert, were considered projects that developed. Plus, given that McMorrow will have a transfer year to work with Dale Layer and Tony Benford, there's a better chance of realizing his potential. Both assistant coaches have worked and developed quality big men in the past, unlike the previous coaching staff.

Here is how the classes now look according to the MUScoop Scholarship Table. There is only one spot available, and all belief is that it will go to fill the need of PG. Hopefully, another Canadian named Junior Cadougan, who was on campus visiting this week, will be that final scholarship slot.

Finally, because no Friday is complete without a random topic, please be careful. There are ninja in the woods!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BuzzBQ Review

My wife, 2 year old son, and 10 day old son made the trek down to Marquette for the 1st Annual BuzzBQ.

Great show by Marquette, as usual. Perfect night for it. Well attended. Bumped in to the usual internet suspects. The Rice family shared their table with us, and texted their son that one of the Cracked Sidewalks team was eating with them, thinking he'd be really impressed. The return text message suggested I should get a life. Harrumph. Where's the love?

Buzz and the team were out in force, signing autographs, mingling with the crowd. The local ESPN Radio team was there, interviewing players.

I made sure to bump in to Mo Acker, to wish him a happy birthday.

Great event, one they should consider doing every year.

Here are a few snapshots from the affair:

Monday, June 23, 2008

MU to Doc: Congrats

This appeared in Sunday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and in USA Today.

Kinda nice having Marquette having to take out full page ads congratulating Warrior alumni on winning NBA championships every other year.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Double dipping in NYC

Buzz Williams and his staff are involved with literally dozens of prospects for the 2009 class where he has two more scholarships to offer. The Big East Basketball Report updates us on two of those prospects, guard Omari Lawrence (think Tyshawn Taylor with a more refined offensive game) and small forward Kevin Parrom -- two of NYC's top prospects.

The pair, who play for the New York Panthers this summer, are expected to visit Marquette together on June 26.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Congrats to Doc Rivers, NBA Champion

For the second time in three years, a Marquette graduate is an NBA Champion.

Congratulations to Doc Rivers, head coach of the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Buzz goes JUCO again

Dwight Buycks, one of the top junior college players in the nation, verbally committed to Marquette University earlier today. A 6'3" combo guard out of Indian Hills Community College in Iowa, Buycks selected MU over a host of schools including Iowa State, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Missouri.

Buycks will join the Marquette program as a junior in the fall of 2009. The Milwaukee native played his high school ball at Bay View and originally committed to Bradley before academic issues led him to Indian Hills. With well-publicized concerns about the questionable academic profile of recent MU commit Jeronne Maymon, is Buzz Williams taking on yet another academic risk just two months into his tenure as head coach? 'Not so' reports Mark Miller at Wishoops, who reveals that Buycks is taking care of business in the classroom at Indian Hills, landing a 3.6 GPA in his first year there.

Last season, Buycks led Indian Hills in scoring at roughly 16 points per game while chipping in four boards and three assists. Buycks looks to be more of a scorer than a shooter -- he hit 46% of his shots from the field and a dreadful 26% from downtown.

With MU poised to graduate the Three Amigos after next season --- three 1,000 point scorers including the top two scorers in Marquette basketball history (perhaps) -- Buzz Williams is faced with making the most of a roster full of role players and high-ceiling freshmen heading into the 2009-2010 campaign. With that in mind and a gaping hole looming in the backcourt, Coach Williams had at least three options:

a) go to battle with David Cubillan and Maurice Acker as his featured point guards -- a recipe for a second-division Big East finish;
entrust a true freshman point guard with the reigns of a Big East program; or,
overload the junior class by going JUCO and hope for the best.

Hello Dwight Buycks.

Buycks joins high school forwards Jeronne Maymon and Erik Williams in the class that will enter the Marquette program in 2009. If the current slate of committed scholarships holds up, the 2009-2010 roster should look something like this:

Seniors: Hayward, Acker, Cubillan
Juniors: Buycks, Hazel, Fulce, Butler, Mbakwe
Sophomores: Otule
Freshmen: Erik Williams, Jeronne Maymon

Buzz Williams has two more scholarships to offer for the 2009-2010 class.

Additional Media Reports

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Updates

Just some quick updates for a Friday morning

... his incredibly consistent productivity, both at the high school level for coach Steve Collins at Memorial and on the travel-team circuit this past spring for the Wisconsin Gators Elite and the Illinois Bobcats.
  • Read Mark's full article for more information. Oh, and #2 on the list is Jamil Wilson.
  • ESPN has updated their 2009 Player Rankings. BMA725 has a nice summary of Marquette targets on MUScoop. It's nice to see a lot of top 100 names associated with Marquette.
  • In somewhat late news, a nice summary from NBE Basketball Report suggests that Marquette may soon see four unofficial visits. Names listed for unofficials with Marquette include Tobias Harris, Donald Williams, Kevin Parrom, and Omari Lawrence.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An early perspective on Marquette's 08-09 season

......courtesy of the Big East Basketball Report. Here's the summary:

It will be an interesting season for Marquette, their overwhelming experience will help balance the inexperience of their head coach. Having three guards with so much time under their belt will be a big asset for Buzz Williams and should help Marquette remain in contention among the top half of the Big East. Now, if they could just find some consistent and solid interior play to help match-up with more teams, this group might be able to get farther along than they have since joining the Big East.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Marquette basketball's money man

Here's a must read 'profile' on Dick Strong, the heavyweight businessman/Marquette basketball fan and benefactor. Why is it a must read?

"How big is he (Strong)? This would explain why Marquette is not Loyola or DePaul."

Don Walker of the Journal-Sentinel has the report

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Meet the Buzz Family...

Pip on Fox6 does a 4 minute piece on Buzz and his family.

Sorry about the "STORM CENTER" border. The weather in Milwaukee has been crazy these past 48 hours. 6-8 inches of rain will do that.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wiki Top 10+

Another installment of the Wiki Top 10+:

One major development on the wiki over the past month is the explosion of recruiting information. 4-5 volunteers have been inspired, and have been editing the wiki with frequent updates about Buzz's prospects.

With that in mind, the Top 10 pages are riddled with new stuff from the off-season fishing expeditions:

Here are a few other pages of interest:

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Buzz Williams casts a wide net on the recruiting trail

Marquette needs a point guard for the 2009 class -- this we know. Point guard and center are the remaining priorities for that class, which already boasts a pair of Top 100 forwards in Erik Williams and Jeronne Maymon.

So, who will it be at the point?

For now there's quite a list of players from all over the country who have been mentioned with MU. In the past we've talked about Johnny Lacy as one potential option. Need a few more names? Try A.J. Walton, Darius Morris, Darius Smith, Michael Dixon, Junior Cadougan, Chris Colvin, Sheldon Cooley, Eric Bledsoe, Xavier Thames, Naadir Tharpe, Justin Crosgile, Marshall Henderson, and Nick Russell.

With the summer evaluation sessions kicking off soon -- the annual Rumble in the Bronx is next weekend over at Fordham -- we'll learn soon enough who emerges as The Priority for Buzz Williams. Let's see who actually visits.

2008 Update
Even before we get to the 2009 class, Buzz Williams might not be done with 2008.

With Varez Ward recently committing to the University of Texas, MU is focused on 6'5" guard Donald Williams per Rivals.com. Williams, a shooting guard from Temple Hills (Md.) Progressive Christian Academy, is down to St. John's and Marquette after ruling out UNO and UAB. Williams was recently named the Select MVP at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions event.

Williams' coach is playing the Bully Hurley card, saying he prefers the Johnnies for his player on the basis of playing time. Hey, some coaches have an affinity for programs in the basement (and given the mass exodus from the MU backcourt after next season that can hardly be a long-term concern).

MU has one remaining scholarship available for next year's roster, and expects Williams to visit Milwaukee next weekend. Williams will visit SJU this weekend.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

2008-2009 Schedule Notes

In one of his many quality updates during the month of May, Todd Rosiak offered up a few notes on MU's schedule for the coming season in a recent post -- here are the early highlights from the out-of-conference schedule:

Nov. 22 -- MU hosts UW-Milwaukee (aka, The Bud Haidet Classic)

The Chicago Invitational at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois:

Nov. 28 -- MU vs. Northern Iowa
Nov. 29 -- MU vs. Dayton (remember when Brian Gregory was in line to be MU's next head coach? LOL)

BTW, per Rosiak, both games in the Chicago Invitational assume MU wins a pair of home games to reach the 'final four' of this event.....no details yet on that aspect of the schedule.

Dec. 6 -- MU hosts Bucky

Dec. 16 -- MU vs. Tennessee in Nashville as part of the SEC-Big East Invitational. MU gets a chance to abuse The Necklace in the Vols' home state.

Of course, all known games are on the Marquette Wiki, which has the known schedule and roster for 2008-09.