Tuesday, October 28, 2008


October 28, 2008

Over the weekend, Marquette launched their 2008-2009 season for their fans by hosting a 'Marquette Madness' event, debuting this year's team and new coach Buzz Williams. With all the excitement around the program for the weekend, it was also a great opportunity to bring in some top recruits for them to get a feel of the atmosphere that is Marquette basketball.

Since taking over at Marquette, coach Williams has been working hard on the recruiting trail. With a senior class in place that includes Wes Mathews, Jerel McNeal and Dominic James, Williams knows that recruiting will keep the NCAA Basketball Odds of reaching the NCAA Tournament in the Golden Eagles' favor, and using 'Marquette Madness' as a recruiting tool is a wise move.

One recruit that made the trip was New York City forward Shane Southwell. The class of 2010 prospect out of powerful Rice High School and the NY Gauchos program made the trip to the midwest with his mom for the weekend's events.

"Marquette was great, everybody showed me love especially Wesley Matthews and Dwight Burke," Southwell told the NBE Basketball Report.

While a kid from NYC may not be too familair with the Milwaukee-based program, the history of the Marquette program is impressive and the era of Al McGuire definitely catches one's attention when shown off to a recruit visiting. With mega-NBA star Dwyane Wade also on display as well and a supportive fan base, there is a lot for a recruit to take in.

"The lasting impression or highlight was looking at walls and seeing all the NBA players and the history of Marquette," Southwell explained. "Another highlight is how great the fans are."

Being just a junior, Southwell seems in no hurry to make a college decision. He has interest from several other schools in the Big East and powers from other conferences as well. The Golden Eagles definitely rate high on this junior's list.

"Marquette is probably the leader right now if I was senior, but its still a lot of time left and my dream school is Memphis," indicated Southwell.


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Saturday, October 25, 2008


October 25, 2008

VERBAL COMMITMENT ALERT: Brett Roseboro, 6'9 power forward from Quakertown (PA)

In a commitment that catches many by surprise, Brett Roseboro has given Marquette head coach Buzz Williams a verbal commitment while making an official visit to the campus this weekend for 'Marquette Madness' weekend. MU Gets Commitment from Forward Roseboro (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), who stands just over 6-foot-9 and is definitely a position of need for the Golden Eagles.

Projected 2009-2010 Roster:

Seniors: David Cubillan (G), Lazar Hayward (G/F), Maurice Acker (PG)
Juniors: Patrick Hazel (F), Joseph Fulce (SF), Jimmy Butler (G/F)
Sophomores: Chris Otule (C), Liam McMorrow (C)*
Freshmen: Erik Williams (F), Jeronne Maymon (F), Dwight Buycks (JUCO G), Junior Cadougan (PG), Brett Roseboro (PF)

* sitting out 2008-2009 season per NCAA transfer rules and will have three years of eligibility beginning in 2009-2010.

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Since April 1st, Marquette seems to be a team in the news more than anyone else in the Big East. Although the original jolt on April 1st was probably bad news with Tom Crean leaving for Indiana, since then, the news has mostly been positive and the transition from Tom Crean to Buzz Williams seems to be going pretty well.

Brent 'Buzz' Williams has proven to be a hard worked on the recruiting trail and it seems that everywhere you turn you have a player listing Marquette as a school of interest. College basketball odds are greatly impacted by your recruiting efforts as recruiting is the lifeblood of your program. Williams has gone north of the boarder, down to Texas, locally and now to Pennsylvania for recruits in the class of 2010.

Brett Roseboro is a 6-foot-9, left-handed C/BF out of Quakertown (PA) High School. One the summer circuit, Roseboro showed to be a very fundamentally sound basketball player with good hands and nice footwork in the pain to score with several post moves. For his size, he has the ability to show himself quite agile and nimble. for more on his play this summer, you can check out his player profile at CAAInsider.com: Brett Roseboro.

One week after getting Canadian 7-footer Liam McMorrow in a surprise addition to wrap up the 2008 class, Buzz Williams closed on another Canadian native as Christian Life Center Academy's Junior Cadougan verbally committed to MU in early July.

Cadougan is a native of Toronto, but has been attending prep school in Humble (TX), averaged 21 points a game last season before breaking his foot in December. The 6-foot point guard is a tough lead guard with a stocky frame and recently had a very impressive NBA Top 100 camp. Marquette was wise to get him on campus and seal the deal with him as his stock was beginning to tick upwards rapidly.

While Williams had been busy with the class of 2008, he has also secured two commitments for 2009 from local players earlier, including Dwight Buycks, who thought he was headed to the Division 1-A ranks out of Milwaukee's Bay View High School as he was verbally committed to Bradley. However, academics caught up to him and forced him to head to Indian Hills CC to complete a couple seasons at the JUCO level. After just one season at Indian Hills, the interest in Buycks became intense, especially from the new Marquette staff led by Buzz Williams and Buycks has offered an early commitment to the Golden Eagles.

The 6'3, 185 lb guard led Indian Hills is scoring last season, nearly 16 points a game, as the JUCO power finished in 6th place at the NJCAA national tournament. Buycks was also generating interest from schools such as Tennessee, Memphis, Kentucky and Illinois.

The uptempo atmosphere of the Marquette offense was a big attracting to Buycks, as well the location and a chance to come back closer to home was equally important.

Earlier this spring, for the second year in a row, and third time in the last four, Marquette lands the state of Wisconsin's player of the year. This time it is Madison Memorial's Jeronne Maymon Committing to MU (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). As a junior, Maymon averaged 21 points and nearly 12 rebounds a game and he turned it on during the state playoffs, leading Memorial to a 2nd place finish while he averaged 30.0 points, 14.6 rebounds, 4.7 blocks, 3.7 steals and 3.0 assists per game for the Spartans in the WIAA state basketball tournament. Maymon visited Marquette May 20th and has been the top target of coach Williams and his new staff since he was hired in April.

NBE Basketball Report writer Doug Ferguson saw Maymon perform with the Illinois Bobcats at the GBOA North AAU tournament and was very impressed with his play. Here is the recap and detailed scouting report on Maymon included: GBOA North AAU Report.

Buycks and Maymon join Erik Williams, from Cypress Springs (TX) High School, as players in the Marquette class of 2009. Although Maymon and Williams are listed as combination forwards, they compliment each other perfectly. Maymon is a physical bruiser who is likely to play power forward and Williams is long, lean and athletic and could play more of a role on the wing. Williams was a recruit that coach Buzz Williams reeled in as an assistant and he will honor his commitment as earlier in April Erik Williams Reaffirmed Commitment to MU (Milwaukee J-S). The 6'7 forward had heard from Tom Crean since he moved on to Indiana, but his comfort level in Buzz Williams was the deciding factor to stay with his commitment.

The commitment of Roseboro, on paper, fills the last available scholarship for Marquette among the class of 2009. However, he was not the only 2009 visitor for 'Marquette Madness' as Chris Colvin from Chicago's Whitney Young HS was scheduled to visit as well. Colvin has long been on the MU radar, however, with a verbal commitment from point guard Junior Cadougan already, it is unclear how Colvin would fit into the mix in this class. Jamil Wilson, one of the top players in the state out of Racine (WI) has long been a target of the Golden Eagles since Tom Crean was the head coach. Wilson has MU on his short list, but many feel Michigan State is the team to beat here. 2010 forward prospect Tobias Harris of Long Island and NYC forward Shane Southwell are also high on the MU recruiting radar and were among the expected guests for Marquette Madness. Other underclassmen visitors for the event-filled weekend included 6-foot-1 class of 2010 guard Lavonte Dority from Foreman High School in Chicago, 5-foot-10 class of 2012 guard Antonio “Bobo” Drummond from Central High School in Peoria (IL) and 6-foot class of 2012 guard Cameron Harvey from St. Joseph High School in Westchester (IL).

It is tough to say how much the last commitment for 2008 will impact the Marquette program. It is going to take some time to find out as Liam McMorrow, a 7-foot center from Toronto, Canada, has committed to the program. McMorrow is already on campus at Marquette and will join Chris Otule, Jimmy Butler and Joseph Fulce as the new faces in Buzz Williams' program. McMorrow will sit out as a transfer in 2008-2009 and work at developing into a Big East caliber player over the next 15 months before seeing live action at the college level.

McMorrow played just one season of organized basketball, avaregd 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in 20 league games for Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario. McMorrow had been a hockey and lacrosse player for most of his life, but a late growth spurt has him on the basketball court now.

In the middle of all the chaos follwing Tom Crean's departure and the sorting out of the aftermatch, MU Moved Quickly and Signed Jimmy Butler (Milwaukee J-S) to a letter of intent as the Spring signing period opened. Butler, a 6.6 JUCO swingman from Tyler (TX) Junior College. The 6'6, 215 lb Butler was a teammate of November signee Joseph Fulce at Tyler this past season.

Butler was Tyler's leading scorer this past season, averaging 18.2 PPG and also added 7.7 rebounds a contest. Butler, like Fulce, will have three years of eligibility at Marquette and was also looking at Kentucky, Iowa State and Mississippi State.

Fulce also re-affirmed his commitment to Marquette, which was never in much doubt as he has long been linked to coach Buzz Williams. Fulce is a 6'6, 210-pound wing from Plano, Texas who, 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 where he was once again recruited by coach Williams, this time to Marquette, where he will have three years of eligibility left.

Fulce, McMorrow and Butler join fast-developing big man Chris Otule in the incoming class as it currently stands. Otule 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. Another native of Texas, the Richmond (TX) product played this season for Ronnie Courtney at Fort Bend Bush. Courtney took over the high school program after a six-year stint as head coach at Division I Texas Southern University.


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Friday, October 24, 2008


October 26, 2008

Marquette fans and players were rocked April 1st of 2008 with the news that Tom Crean was leaving the Golden Eagles to take over the head coaching position at Indiana University. What seemed like a cruel April Fool’s joke was real, and it left the Marquette fan base reeling.

With the Final Four coming just days after Crean’s departure, the Marquette administration got the wheels in motion quickly to find Crean’s replacement. After a couple flirtations with some of the bigger names that many speculated would be available, Marquette decided to look within and Brent Williams, better known as Buzz, was promoted to the head coaching position.

Williams had spent just one season on the MU staff under Crean, but he quickly established himself as a top recruiter with strong ties to Texas from his days as an assistant at Texas A&M and other Lonestar State stops. Prior to his season at MU as an assistant, Williams was the head coach for one season at New Orleans, trying to help the program recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that wet their program back. After a 14-17 season at UNO (9-9 in the Sun Belt), Williams resigned as the task to rebuild the Privateers had many factors working against him. Tom Crean was glad to add him to his staff shortly after.

Williams walks into a pretty good situation with the Golden Eagles as they return four starters from last season’s 25-win club that advanced to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. It is the last go-round for the ‘Three Amigos’ in the MU backcourt, they will look to make it work with a new head coach.

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Caught in the middle of a coaching change, Buzz Williams had to go to work quickly to add players in the spring recruiting period and hold together the class that Tom Crean, with his help, was putting together. While the class lost talented guard Tyshawn Taylor, who opted out of his letter of intent and eventually ended up at Kansas, and Nick Williams, who followed Crean to Indiana after being releases from his LOI, Williams was able to add three recruits from Texas to the squad.

Tyler Community College forwards Jimmy Butler and Joseph Fulce, along with Richmond (TX) native Chris Otule, a 6-foot-10 center, signed on with Marquette. Butler averaged nearly 18 points and 7 rebounds in his freshman season at Tyler. A full qualifier out of high school, Butler will have three years of eligibility at MU. Fulce was recruited to Texas A&M when Williams was an assistant, but he failed to qualify. After a stop at prep school, Fulce committed to New Orleans in hopes to play for Williams there. After Williams left UNO, Fulce opted for Tyler CC and, finally, he will get to play for coach Williams at Marquette. Fulce will also have three years of eligibility. Otule is a developing big man that improved by leaps and bounds in his last year of high school.

The final newcomer is mystery transfer Liam McMorrow. The 7-footer is not your ordinary transfer as he comes from Durham College of Oshawa Ontario where he played just his first season of organized basketball as a freshman. McMorrow will sit out this season as a transfer and continue to develop his basketball acumen and hopefully be a major payoff for Williams down the road.


Judging by the numbers, Marquette did not lose a lot of firepower through graduation nor attrition following the coaching change. Seniors Ousmane Barro, Lawrence Blackledge and Dan Fitzgerald have moved on and a pair of freshmen, Trevor Mbakwe and Scott Christopherson, have left for different opportunities. While none averaged more than Barro’s 5.5 points or 5.5 rebounds, there is a hole created in the Golden Eagle frontcourt that adds a major question mark to this year’s team.

Net Impact:

It is a large unknown to what kind of impact Butler, Fulce and Otule will have this season. With seniors Dominic James, Jerel McNeal and Wes Mathews entrenched at the guard positions in the three-guard attack, with Lazar Hayward at the forward position, Butler and Fulce are likely to provide depth this season, but will be asked to step in quickly after the departure of the senior guards this season.

Otule enters a frontcourt picture that is much more unclear. Mbakwe was expected to play a big role in this year’s team and his sudden departure just before school was to begin left the coaching staff shocked. The timing of the departure meant no replacement could be added and with the graduation of Barro, Blackledge and Fitzgerald, there is not a lot of height or depth in the MU frontcourt.

2008-2009 Backcourt Outlook:

There is no denying that the strength in this Marquette squad lies in the backcourt with an outstanding trio of starting guards in seniors Dominic James, Jerel McNeal and Wes Mathews. The trio also has capable back-ups Maurice Acker at point guard and sweet-shooting combo guard David Cubillan. The new additions of Jimmy Butler and Joseph Fulce add depth to the wing as well.

James is the engine that runs the Golden Eagles. Despite struggling at times the last two seasons with his shooting ability, James is still a factor that needs to be accounted for with his blinding quickness and uncanny athletic ability. Last season James averaged 13 points, 4 assists and nearly 2 steals a game. His assist to turnover ratio was better than 2:1. While his numbers have decreased each year since his elite freshman campaign, some of that is due to the development of the talent around him, especially backcourt mate Jerel McNeal.

McNeal is known as one of the top perimeter defenders in the country. Last season he showed he could be a dominate scorer as well, leading the Golden Eagles with a 15 point per game scoring average and he continued to fill the state sheet adding 5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals a game. McNeal finished the season averaging 23 points a game in the last six contests, which included five postseason contests. That run concluded with a 30-point performance in their 2nd round NCAA Tournament loss to Stanford and had McNeal flirting with the prospect of entering the NBA draft. Now he is back and ready to continue his ascension towards one of the league’s elite players.

The final member of the ‘Three Amigos’ guard trio is Wes Mathews. The do-everything, 6-foot-5 wing also saw his production drop noticeably from the previous season. One thing Mathews continues to excel at is getting to the line and he led MU with 167 trips to the stripe and continues to be a near 80% shooter on his free throws in his career. Mathews is a player that seems to do everything well, but you always feel there is a little more to his game if he was willing to be more assertive offensively.

Acker and Cubillan are a pair of junior guards that are perfect compliments to the three seniors ahead of them. Acker is a true point guard that began his college career at Ball State and after sitting out a season as a transfer student, worked his way into the mix and was playing well at season’s end. Cubillan is a designated shooter off the bench who can strike from three-point range with regularity. A shoulder injury, however, might limit his work this preseason and could linger into the season. Butler could work his way into the mix with a strong offensive potential and ability to score from long-range as well.

2008-2009 Frontcourt Outlook:

Lazar Hayward is not your ideal frontcourt stalwart for a Big East team. If you have followed Hayward’s career, that is definitely something you would have never thought of as he was finishing a high school career in Buffalo and headed off to prep school. However, to Hayward’s credit, he has developed into a forward capable of battling inside in the Big East and still has the skills to cause match-up problems with his diversified game.

Last season Hayward averaged nearly 13 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds a game. While the 6-foot-6 forward may have been traditionally more comfortable on the wing prior to coming to Marquette, he has made big strides in his game to play a position of need and battle some of the big forwards of the conference. He will have to continue that role this season and might be asked to rebound even more as the help for him is slim.

The only returning player with meaningful experience is 6-foot-8 senior Dwight Burke, who averaged less than three points and rebounds last season in 12 minutes of nightly action. Sophomore forward Pat Hazel totaled 48 minutes of game action last season, 14 coming in Big East action, and newcomers Chris Otule and Joseph Fulce round out the front court personnel.

Otule has the potential to be a solid big man in the Big East, but the 6-foot-10 freshman is still quite raw. He might be forced into action early on to team with Burke in the post. Fulce is a smooth athlete that is really just suited for the wing. Even playing in a role that Hayward has assumed will be new for Fulce who is more of a long and lean wing than a player looking to mix it up in the Big East.

2008-2009 Team Outlook:

Well, ready or not, the Buzz Williams era is upon the Big East. For the most part, it is going to look an awful lot like the Tom Crean era to start as the Golden Eagles will be perimeter heavy and, actually, might even be a little less productive in the frontcourt than they were under Crean the last couple years, which was the main item holding Marquette back from advancing higher in the Big East hierarchy.

Luckily, college basketball is a guard’s game and your college basketball odds are heightened by excellent guard play. However, in the Big East, nearly everyone can boast of a good group of guards, at the very least, and many a night, a Big East battle is won in the paint and on the class. The Marquette backcourt will win more than their share of games, rising stars in Jerel McNeal and Lazar Hayward are a good place to start and excellent senior seasons from Dominic James and Wes Mathews should be expected, too. However, in order to move up in the rankings, or to even solidify their placement just outside the top four, the Golden Eagles are going to have to improve their play in the frontcourt. They are going to have a tough time rebounding against other Big East clubs and, being that they are not the most dangerous outside shooting squad, the lack of second chance opportunities might be the difference in several games.

Still, with a backcourt as good as Buzz Williams has to put on the floor, this is a top 20 team that will make their presence known come March Madness, there will be some bumps in the road along the way with a new coach to answer to on the bench in games, but this group has been through a lot in the Big East in their first three years, they will adjust and could be stronger near the end of the season.

2008-2009 Big East Prediction: 11-7


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Monday, October 13, 2008


by Zach Smart

Jeronne Maymon enjoyed the fall ball action in New York, though he thought his team and his play could have been better. "Playing down here is totally different. These fans..I like the yelling, screaming, they get into it. People are jacking at us because they believe we should lose. It's a big test, but we always step up to the challenge. I was happy to come down to New York. This is a real good experience with all the scouts and the street credit you get."

Maymon had 24 points in helping lead the Unique All-Stars to a first-round upset of Mount Vernon. The All-Stars lost a tight one in the quarters.

The Mount Vernon game lived up to its billing/intriguing subplot, as Maymon and Mount Vernon's Sherrod Wright (UConn, Rutgers, St. John's, Providence and West Virginia have all shown interest) went eyeball-to-eyeball.

"We were going back and forth, he was doing a lot of good things. We were just trying to contain him, which we did so we obviously got the win. But, my shot was off, we weren't making any free throws, we were missing layups. A lot of stuff went wrong with my game, but I think I still maintained a decent appearance.

Maymon reflected on his recent visit to Marquette, the Big East school which he's given a verbal commitment.

"They play is tough, they are real aggressive. I was getting by, holding my own but they play real physical. After that, it's almost like I'm used to the type of (physical) play down here."

The penchant for physical play that Maymon has displayed in the Big Apple will come in handy in the Big East with the Golden Eagles and keep Buzz Williams' squad in the thick of the March Madness Betting action for seasons to come.


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