No one can find a diamond in the rough as well as Buzz Williams, and now Marquette's fifth-year coach has the stats to back it up. (Photo courtesy of Casual Hoya)
Unless you were familiar with Marquette basketball in 2008, chances are you did not know who Brent Williams was. An assistant to former coach Tom Crean, the affable and fun-loving Texan affectionately known as "Buzz" became the coach of the Golden Eagles after Crean left the program to replace the embattled Kelvin Sampson at Indiana. While Crean has resurrected the Hoosiers and now has them in position to contend for a national championship in Bloomington, what his successor in Milwaukee has done with the former Warriors that Crean once guided into battle has also been nothing short of impressive.
Marquette has never been a school to sign McDonald's All-Americans or players who will blow you away with their gaudy statistics. Rather, the Golden Eagles are a true program; one built with the premise of finding players and coaching them into future stars who become tailor-made for a professional career, be it in the NBA or overseas. Buzz Williams' first four years at the helm have reflected this, with some of Marquette's best recruiting classes ever to serve as an influx of talent to a team that has now produced selections in the NBA Draft over each of the last three seasons, including two in the same year for the first time in the Williams regime after consecutive years of first-round picks out of Marquette.
What makes Buzz so successful, you might ask? Our friends over at Cracked Sidewalks (a portal for all things Marquette with stats and numbers whose value cannot be defined by a price tag, I suggest you take a look at the great work they turn out) outdid themselves once again in this piece that crunches the numbers to prove that Williams not only knows how to effectively recruit, but also knows how to make his team evolve over the years:
Marquette's incoming class is just as solid this year, with Jamal Ferguson and Arizona State transfer Trent Lockett joining Steve Taylor, a power forward who Scout.com ranks as the No. 14 overall prospect at his position. Buzz is primed for an even bigger encore in 2013, as he has picked up verbal commitments from nationally regarded homegrown guards Duane Wilson and Deonte Burton, who will fit right into the rich tradition of the Marquette backcourt while proving that the Golden Eagles' leader; as unassuming as he is, is one of the best in the business at running a team and improving it with each passing day.