"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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Buzz Williams for Big East Coach of the Year? Without a doubt in the first half

The Big East conference season is only half over, but if it ended today Buzz Williams should be your runaway winner of the Big East Coach of the Year award for 2012. His team sits in 2nd place with a top 15 national ranking despite a season ending injury to his starting center, Chris Otule. The team's only two losses were on the road to league leading Syracuse and a heartbreaking loss at Georgetown.

The only other coaches with an outside shot might be Mike Brey, who has taken a Notre Dame team thought to be undermanned to 3rd in the standings. South Florida's Stan Heath has also raised a few eyebrows with the performance of his Bulls, but do they have the staying power to remain in the upper half of the league the balance of the season?

Offensively Buzz has the team running very efficiently. The Warriors currently are in the top 5 in the conference for Free Throw Attempts per game (3rd), Turnover % (5th), FG % (5th), Effective FG % (2nd), Assists per FG made (1st), scoring offense (2nd), Scoring margin (2nd), 3-PT FG % (1st), Assists (1st), Turnover margin (4th), Assist to Turnover ratio (3rd), and 3-Pt FGs made (4th).

Though his teams can sometimes get off to agonizing slow starts, Buzz hasn't panicked this season. The team has maintained their composure and found a way to comeback in virtually every one of their slow starts (sans Vanderbilt). He has successfully manipulated his lineup to incorporate talent sets that seem to fit the situation without disruption to the team or flow of the game. Specifically the use of Vander Blue, Todd Mayo and Junior Cadougan to maximize efficiency on offense and defense has been key of late.

MU has nine games to go with what looks like five sure fire wins and four others that are winnable, but will be tossups. Is 14-4 realistic? The recent injury to Davante Gardner will force Buzz to be even more creative during the second half stretch if they hope to hit that record. MU finishing with 14-4 would virtually guarantee Buzz as Big East Coach of the Year for 2012.


Beaver said...

Any information on Gardner's injury? I know he got banged up during the Nova game, but didn't realize he was injured.

muwarrior92 said...

He is on crutches. Rumors are that it might be a hyper extended knee, but nothing official yet.