Monday, November 05, 2007


November 5, 2007

VERBAL COMMITMENT ALERT: Chris Otule (C), Fort Bend Bush HS in Richmond (TX)

For the second weekend in a row a weekend visit for Marquette ended with a verbal commitment for a player in the class of 2008. This weekend Chris Otule, a 6'10 C from Texas made the trip to Wisconsin and Otule Commits (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) to Tom Crean and Marquette.

Projected 2008-2009 Roster:

Seniors: Wesley Matthews (WG), Dominic James (PG), Jerel McNeal (SG), Dwight Burke (BF)
Juniors: David Cubillan (G), Lazar Hayward (G/F), Maurice Acker (PG)
Sophomores: Scott Christopherson (G), Patrick Hazel (F), Joseph Fulce (SF)
Freshmen: Nick Williams (SG), Tyshawn Taylor (G), Chris Otule (C), Trvor Mbakwe (PF),
Early 2009 Commitment: Erik Williams (F)

note: Trevor Mbakwe is expected to take a medical redshirt for the 2007-2008 season.

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Marquette finally landed that elusive center when they went deep into Texas once again and pulled a commitment from fast-developing big man Chris Otule. Otule visited the Marquette campus this weekend and chose to commit to the Golden Eagle program over offers from Baylor, Rice and Nebraska. Otule is an athletic specimen for a 6'10 player, but has a ways to go yet in his basketball development. As a junior at Fort Bend Bush High School, Otule came off the bench and averaged about 5 PPG and 7 rebounds a contest. The Richmond (TX) native will have quality intstruction this seasn as Ronnie Courtneytakes over as coach at Fort Bend Bush after a six-year stint as head coach at Division I Texas Southern University.

Otule is the third Texas player to commit to MU over the past three weeks, joining Class of 2009 wing Erik Williams and Class of 2008 wing Joseph Fulce, showing the dividends assistant coach Buzz Williams is paying for Tom Crean.

last week the good news for Tom Crean was provided by fast-rising St. Anthony's guard Tyshawn Taylor. As a member of Bob Hurley's tremendous corps of guards, Taylor was playing mostly under the radar as one of five Division 1-A guards on the squad last season with Miles Beatty (GW), Travon Woodall (Pitt), Mike Rosario (Rutgers) and Jio Fontan (Fordham). Taylor had a very strong spring and summer on the AAU circuit, teamming with Mookie Jones and Kevin Jones to help lead the Westchester Hawks. It was with his AAU program that Taylor showed off his ability to play point guard and with excellent athletic ability and a 6'3 frame, his recruitment took off with that versatility. Taylor can put a lot of pressure on a defense with his ability to get out in transition and get to the rim. Taylor had scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Kansas, and had been offered a scholarship by North Carolina last Thursday, who also lost out in the Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech) sweepstakes with Marquette.

Taylor and Otule join Joseph Fulce and Nick Williams in the 2008 recruiting class. Fulce is a 6'6, 210-pound wing from Plano, Texas that is very familiar with at least one member of the Marquette coaching staff. Out of high school, Fulce committed to Texas A&M where he was recruited by Buzz Williams, an assistant at the time under Billy Gillispie. However, academic concerns derailed his attempt to join the Aggies and it was off to Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia. In one season there, Fulce averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds and re-opened his recruitment. In last seasons late signing period, Fulce signed with the University of New Orleans, who was coached by Buzz Williams. However, later in the spring, Williams resigned from New Orleans and opted to join the staff at Marquette as an assistant coach. Fulce was released from his letter of intent over the summer and has enrolled Tyler (TX) Junior College. He will come to Marquette as a sophomore next year and have three seasons of eligibility left.

Williams of Mobile (AL), is a rock-solid 6'3 shooting guard who can really dial it in from the perimeter when he has it going. Williams also has shown the feel for the game to take midrange jumpers when the opportunity arises and knock them down.

The commitment from Otule was important because at this point, seldom-used Dwight Burke is the only player taller than 6'7 scheduled to be on campus for 2008-2009, which is a concern for the staff who has been putting an emphasis on interior toughness, defense and rebounding this preseason.

As for underclassmen, in addition to Erik Williams, another recruit from Texas who committed while visiting for 'Marquette Madness', Diamond Taylor and Joey Brooks from the class of 2009 were on campus recently and Jamil Wilson of Racine Horlick is the Golden Eagles top target for 2009. Recruiting for 2008 is most likely closed at this point, in fact, the Golden Eagles currently have 14 players commited to scholarships for the 2008-2009 season, one over the NCAA limit.

As always, for more information on Marquette recruiting and their program, visit Cracked Sidewalks on the blogger network which is a blog dedicated to Marquette basketball.


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