DOS: You recruited a player from Tyler Junior College named Joe Fulce, 6-7, 210 F from Plano, TX. Tell us about him. He was on your recruiting radar when you were at Texas A&M as an assistant, is that right?
Buzz: Yes sir. He signed at Texas A&M. He was a part of the '06 class that has all the best players that A&M currently has – Donald Sloan, Brian Davis, all those kids that I signed at A&M. Joe was a part of that and then he went to prep school which was the year I was at New Orleans and he was going to come to New Orleans with me. And then when I left to come here, he wasn't going to go to New Orleans and so he has not been admitted into school there, so I put my assistant at that time at New Orleans, became an assistant at Tyler Junior College because that's where he's from, where his wife lives.
So Joe played this year for Coach Mike Marquis at Tyler, then lost three games, lost their last game in triple overtime by two to a team that they had won both games against earlier in the year by an average of 32. Joel lead that league in rebounding at 11.8, finished one vote shy of being the MVP of that league. I grew up in that league – that was the league I was a manager in, so I am really familiar with that league. There has only been one freshman in the history of that league who was MVP and that was Omar Thomas who played for my assistant when my assistant was the head coach in that league. Joe had a really good year. He's another guy though whose strength is probably going to dictate how well and how much he can help us next year.
He's really long, really can run, really can rebound out of his area, can make open shots. I wouldn't call him a shooter, but he can definitely make open shots, but his strength, because he's kind of just a guy, he's a player, he's not really a prototype 3, he's not a prototype 4, he's just a guy who can make a lot of plays. But how many plays can you make at the elite level when your strength prohibits you from doing that. So, he's a guy who when he gets here in the summer, he is going to have to change his body and spend a lot of time in the weight room.
DOS: How tall is he?
Buzz: He's a legitimate 6' 7" and he'll by far have the longest reach on our team. I would say his reach is probably longer than Trevor's and Trevor's is plus 8 inches.
DOS: Tom Crean compared Fulce to a younger version of Shawn Marion as far as the way he runs and the way he carries himself.
Buzz: That's what all of his coaches have always called him. His friends call him the "Matrix," I mean all of them. I've known Joe since I was at Colorado State. So, I've known him since he was a freshman. He and I are really close. And I don't get into who he compares to. I'm not smart enough to figure that out, but I think he'll be able to help us.
DOS: How does he fit into the team?
Buzz: Well, I think within how we play and within how our coach coaches our team, I think Joe fits in really well because his skill set is such that he can make open shots. He can put it on the floor without kicking it out of bounds. He can pick and pop. He can pick and roll and his length is going to allow him to do some things within the framework of what we do here. And that's what I told him in the fall. I told him I thought he really fit in here and I was basing that off of we had been doing in Vancouver. We had been to individual workouts. We were getting close to the start of practice, so I was somewhat assimilating myself to what it is that Coach Crean wants from his guys as it relates to what Joe and his skill set brings to what our team needs and I do think that it is a good mix. I do think that it is a good match.
DOS: Thanks, Coach