Buzz Williams on 6-10 C Chris Otule

Before MU flew off to the NCAA Tourney in Anaheim, CA, I had a chance to go 1 on 1 with Asst Coach Buzz Williams regarding MU's 6-10 recruit, Chris Otule. Here is part 1 of our two part series.

DOS: I'm here with MU Assistant Coach Buzz Williams and we're going to talk some recruiting. Buzz, one of the key guys you recruited this year was a 6' 10" center out of Houston, Texas, Chris Otule. Can you tell us a little bit how you found him.

Buzz: Being from the state I know a lot of people there, so I've known Chris since he was a freshman in high school. His high school coach during his senior year was the former head coach at Texas Southern, Ronnie Courtney. I've known Coach Courtney since I was a kid and when Coach Courtney went to Bush High School where Chris is at, once he got settled, I just called to see how he was doing and I told him to just watch Chris and tell me what you think. I was an assistant coach at Texas A&M when Chris was a sophomore and he wasn't good enough but obviously he's big.

He's 6' 10 and about 250. When he was a junior obviously last year when I was at New Orleans, I wasn't recruiting so it wasn't like I had a very good vibe for where he was at. He had a really good summer in 2007, but I didn't get to Marquette until the middle of the first evaluation and so when I did get here, I spent a lot of my time trying to figure out who Marquette was recruiting at that moment in time, tried to familiarize myself with the East Coast AAU programs because that's the best time to see a lot of teams at one time. I saw Chris play once and then I went back and saw him play again and stayed in touch with Coach Courtney. Then in the fall, we were recruiting some other kids not necessarily in the '08 class and I told Coach Crean, I said, "Heh, why don't we go by here and just watch this kid. I want you to get a feel for what you think about him." And we kind of took it from there.

I think that Chris's best basketball is ahead of him in that like most big kids, he's delayed in his development in regards to having a feel for the game but he has improved. They went to the third round of the (Texas H.S.) playoffs and it was the first time that that program had ever even went to the playoffs. Coach Courtney is an excellent coach so he got better everyday in practice and he got more confident in who he was as a player and he got better as the year went along, so I think he has a high ceiling.

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