What a difference 7 weeks can make.

April 1: Tom Crean left for Indiana. The shock and awe was compounded when two very good recruits G/F Nick Williams and PG Ty Taylor ask to be released from their LOIs. MU's new AD Steve Cottingham and the Admin were on the spot. Three of the top 'name' coaches Bennett, Miller and Grant were not interested. The players are in shock and angry. Will DJ leave? Will Jerel? Now that is a tough week.

Add rumors that Mbakwe and Christopherson were looking elsewhere...very hard anti Crean feelings on the fan message boards...The Stanford loss? What was that? I can't even remember the good times back then in March.

AD Cottingham assesses the situation...sees what head coaches are available...talks to ADs...other coaches...learns more about Buzz Williams...and likes more and more about what he hears...alums are expecting a big coaching name...this is Marquette...The Big East...there is hurt...shock...expectations...

Cottingham and MU go with Brent Williams...there is an underwelming reaction from fans, some trustees, alums, local media and national media...New Orleans? Post Katrina was a tough place to raise a family. However, there was positive reaction from others across the country who knew Williams...some continuity...he recruits…he was responsible for 75% of MU's 2008 class. He has been here for 9 mos.

April 8...Buzz is hired...

Basketball banquet April 10...Williams does a great job...before a record crowd of 550 ...DJ announces he is staying...Mbakwe decides to stay....Fulce and Otule are still coming..so is Erik Williams....hey, we bottomed out! ..and we are on the upswing...

Uncertainty...can Williams recruit? Can he run a program? Can he hire an adequate staff? Can he coach? Can he coach in the Big East? Can he coach in the Big East after the triplets leave. Can he recruit a 2009 class that can replace three 1000 pt scorers....those three are the heart and soul of the program?

Buzz quietly adds a terrific staff of asst coaches and administrators...at the site, we see a huge jump in the number of prospects that are now considering MU...in the South...Southeast...East and Midwest... Buzz is quoted as saying that the key to his coaching success at MU will be the next 2 recruiting classes….he has to replace Wes, Jerel and DJ…that is his main focus.

May 27th...MU gets an oral commitment from Maymon.

Some deep thoughts… Tom Crean did MU a huge favor by leaving MU when Brent Williams was on his staff…Brent's staff is unassuming [so far], very organized….and it looks like they are extremely effective….as MU has expanded its recruiting to the south….Texas, LA, Ark, NC, and solidified relationships in Ill, Minn and WI…

To Tom Crean and his family…thank you for the yrs of service and dedication to the program…thank you for staying 9 yrs…MU has come a long way since '99. ..and thank you for hiring Brent Williams.

To Steve Cottingham…I always told Bill Cords that he was the leading indicator I looked to when judging the state of the program. If I saw Bill's name in the paper or on the message boards, it was a Bear market for MU sports. No name in the paper and it is a Bull Market. I think Steve has become the same type of AD and I hope it continues. Quiet and competent leadership. Stay in the background. Keep MU compliant. Promote the non revenue sports but basketball stirs the drink. All our games are on TV. How the heck did that ever happen? Utilize the conference marketing opportunities to promote MU and the athletes.

Brent Williams has found 2 top forwards, Erik Williams a 2G/SF and Jeronne Maymon a SF/PF. Both could be top 50 players next March. Maymon has to hit the books … he and his family have recognized this fact and they have a summer and school yr to improve the grades....and that is a good thing.

What a different seven weeks can make.


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