Alright, fine. It's time.
Buzz Williams, Marquette Head Coach
Career Record: 83-53 (69-36 at Marquette, 14-17 at New Orleans).
Accomplishments: In three years at Marquette, he's advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times and coaches Marquette against North Carolina in the Sweet 16 tonight.
Before He Was a Head Coach: Though Mizzou fans (including this one) may still very much enjoy disliking the hell out of Buzz Williams for his amazing lack of professionalism at the end of the 2009 Mizzou-Marquette game in the NCAA Tournament, the same tenacity that led to his negative qualities, has inspired plenty of positive ones as well. Williams is the very definition of a self-made coach -- He was a grad assistant at Navarro College and Oklahoma City University while finishing his undergraduate degree, then he moved on to UT-Arlington, then Texas A&M-Kingsville to finish up his masters. He took coaching jobs wherever he could get them. He spent a year as an assistant at Northwestern State, then he spent four at Colorado State. He hooked up with Billy Gillispie at Texas A&M for two years. THEN he spent a single year as head coach at the University of New Orleans ... then ended up on Tom Crean's staff at Marquette. After just a year, Crean left for Indiana, and Williams was improbably named his successor. He has been an underdog his entire career, he has acted like it, and he has capitalized on it by seemingly outworking everybody else. (And something tells me the underdog thing would catch on very well with Mizzou fans.)
Ties to the Midwest: His education and early career were based in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana, so he knows the Big 12 area rather well.
Ties to Missouri: Well, a) Missouri is also Big 12 Area, and b) he made enough of an impression on Missouri fans for a single game that we still enjoy disliking him two years later.
Does He See Mizzou As a Destination Job? Hard to say. He clearly knows the Big 12 area, but he also coaches in the deepest, most well-regarded conference in the country. Nobody has explained to me why he would want to leave Marquette at all, to be honest ... but his name keeps popping up for every job in the Midlands region.
Can He Recruit? Pretty well, yeah. He's signed 14 players in three years -- seven 3-star players, six 4-stars, and a 5-star. And they come from all over; his three commits from the 2011 class are from California, Connecticut and Massachusetts (prep). The five from 2010: Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas (JUCO), Florida and Virginia. He's locked down a couple of very good local players, including 5-star point guard Vander Blue from Madison in 2010, but he does appear to be the "national" recruiter Mike Alden supposedly wants.
This Year's Recruits (i.e. Players Who Might or Might Not Come With Him): PG Derrick Wilson (***, 6'0, 215, Lakeville, CT -- signed), SG Todd Mayo (***, 6'3, 200, Notre Dame Prep, MA -- committed, not signed), SF Juan Anderson (****, 6'6, 200, Castro Valley, CA -- signed). Strangely enough, he has offered and pursued both Ben McLemore and Otto Porter as well.
Marquette's Ken Pomeroy Stats
Marquette's Three-Year Average
Ken Pom Rankings
|Off. Reb. %
Statistical Tendencies: Marquette is very good in the ball control aspect of the game, and overall they put one of the best offenses in the country onto the court. Their defense, on the other hand, comes and goes. You can rack up quite a few easy shots and assisted baskets against Williams' defense; they're going to go for (and get) quite a few steals, but if they miss, they're in trouble. Their overall defensive efficiency averages are strong because of their strength of schedule, and chances are their ability to force turnovers is even better than their average rank of 101st would suggest. So basically, they take chances, get burned a lot, then go down and score when they have the ball. It's fun, if occasionally frustrating.
Would He Come Here? I honestly have no idea. If you are a subscriber to the "When there's smoke, there's fire" theory, then maybe there's something to all the rumors. But I don't believe he would come here because in the end, if he goes anywhere -- and the rumors are that his buyout is monstrous, so that might be one more reason why he doesn't leave Milwaukee -- it would probably be Oklahoma. Which would be pretty awesome; after the enjoyably dislikable Billy Tubbs and Kelvin Sampson, I just didn't get a good enough hate going with Jeff Capel. I would not have that problem with Buzz Williams.
Thoughts: Because I am a fan, I would talk myself into the Buzz Williams Era at Mizzou if it were to take place -- the emotional dissonance would be amazing -- but I assume it won't, and for all the obvious reasons. We don't know if he actually wants to leave Marquette and the Big East, his buyout might make him unattainable, and Oklahoma might be coming after him too. If we want him badly enough, we could possibly throw enough money out there to get him ... but I don't think we'll want him enough.