Otule Update/ Summer League Finale on Sunday

After suffering foot fractures during his freshman and sophomore years at MU, Chris Otule had a breakout red shirt sophomore season during the 2010–2011 campaign. With his foot troubles hopefully behind him, Otule is trying to take the next step. Marquette fans have been able to watch his progress at the Scion Dental Pro Am League which ends on Sunday Aug 7th at the Al McGuire Center.



DOS:  How has the summer gone for you?


Otule:  The summer has been going very well for me.  Itâ??s fun to play in the Scion Dental League.  You get to beat on some new players.  It gets tiring beating on your teammates over and over again.   It is a lot of fun out here.


DOS:  The NCAA limits teams to only two active D1 participants per team.  So your teammate is Junior Cadougan.  You have a very good team.  You play with former UW post Keaton Nankivil  Is it difficult for example playing team defense because you might have different team principles than say Keaton does?


Otule:  The Pro Am is definitely offensive oriented. Thatâ??s why you see some teams score 100 to 150 points.  But itâ??s just fun to come out here and play with people you see during the season like Keaton Nankivil. I guarded him last year and now itâ??s fun to play on the same team as him.  Itâ??s fun to play with different people on your team just different than the guys you usually play with.


DOS:  Jim McIlvaine said that it wasnâ??t until his junior year that he was able to get stronger with his lower body so he wouldnâ??t be pushed around as much.  The added strength gave him a strong base and balance so he was able to do more things down low and people couldnâ??t push him off balance.  It seems that you do have better balance.  Do you feel more confident that way in the post?


Otule:  Yes, very definitely.  I have spent a lot of work here with my time at Marquette in the weight room as well as the gym.  I have worked very hard with Ernest Eugene, our athletic trainer, and we do specific drills so I can maintain balance and build up my core muscle groups.  It is really paying off.


DOS:  It seems like this summer you developed a â??go toâ?? post move turn to your left with a hook shot and a power move. 


Otule:  Yes, everyone seemed to be playing me off my right shoulder so I have been working off a left-handed hook where I can turn off my other shoulder.  I want to have an alternative â??go toâ?? move.


DOS:  How tall are you and how much do you weigh?


Otule:  I am 6 â?? 11â?? and 265.


DOS:  When you came here, how tall were you and how much did you weigh?


Otule:  I was 6 â??10â?? and 260, but it was 22% body fat.  Now I am down to 10% body fat.  My muscles are much more lean.


DOS:  Robert Jackson came here from Mississippi State and he was 6 â?? 9â?? and 271.  He sat out a year and then he went down to 251 and then they built him up to about 265 but with good weight.


Otule:  Thatâ??s what the goal is for me.  Transfer as much body fat as possible to good weight so I can battle with the rest of big guys in the Big East.


DOS:  I always like to get the veterans take on the newcomers.  Have you played with point guard Derrick Wilson?


Otule:  Yes, I played with Derrick Wilson, Juan Anderson and Jake Thomas and I can tell you that each one of them will have a nice role and impact on the program.  Derrick is a very strong guy who can finish around the basket.  Juan is a very good rebounder and can finish strong around the basket. Jake is a lights out long range shooter. All of them can be easily incorporated in our program and will really help.


DOS:  I think Thomas has really been a surprise here at the Scion Dental League.  I knew he was a good shooter coming out of Racine St. Catherineâ??s, but his range has been surprising, very much like Travis Diener or Steve Novak.


Otule:  Oh, yeah, Jake can shoot it from anywhere.  You really need that because a lot of our style is to drive and to kick.  But we really need a good outsider shooter.


DOS:  Juan Anderson seems to be one of those versatile complimentary players.  Does many of the things that donâ??t show up in a box score like the nice pass that leads to the assist for a layup, sets the pick, plays the defense, understands the game, more of the little things.


Otule:  Yes, Juan is one of those guys who just does a lot of little things well.  And when he gets his body built up and gets a little meaner and stronger, he is really going to be a nice player.


DOS:  You are playing with last yearâ??s MVP of the Scion Dental League, Junior Cadougan, and it seems like heâ??s the MVP because in a league like this where there is only two familiar players per team, a guy who can pass is really valuable.  And Junior looks a lot more confident this year.


Otule:  Junior is a very confident player this year.  Junior and I have spent a lot of time working out together in the gym.  He makes everyone around him better. [ One night] in the league he had 39 assists which is unbelievable.  His goal is to make everyone around him better to win games.


DOS:  Has anyone who you are playing with really improved or is making the next step up in their game?


Otule:  Well, itâ??s really all the guys.  We are working out really hard together.  We get up in the morning to lift weights and then in the afternoon we scrimmage against each other.  Weâ??re all working out together.  Working together so youâ??ll see improvement from just about everyone.


DOS:  Devante Gardner seems to be moving a lot better this year.


Otule:  Devante has worked very hard getting his body stronger and losing weight.  He is not being so wobbly as I call it.  He is now rock solid.  You can see it in the summer league.  Heâ??s doing a lot better job getting up and down the court.


DOS:  He has a nice three-point set shot. 


Otule:  I donâ??t know if heâ??ll be able to use that in the games next year but he can really shoot it.  Iâ??m sure heâ??ll be able to hit a couple from certain spots given the opportunity.


DOS:  Over the last three years I have enjoyed watching you work hard and improve.  How are your feet holding up because you suffered some significant broken bones in your feet your first two years here?


Otule:  I am not worried about my legs at all.  I still do special exercises when I am working out.  I strengthen my legs.  I make sure that my body and legs get stronger and they are feeling really good.


DOS:  Thanks for the time.  Good luck and stay healthy.


Otule:  Thank you.

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