Posted tagged ‘Zagsblog’

Marquette’s DJO is perfect fit for “defensive” New York Knicks

May 25, 2012

Via Zagsblog:

Darius Johnson-Odom says he knows what the Knicks need.

The former Marquette star worked out for the team on Thursday and said he was more concerned with bringing intensity on the defensive end than with showing his offensive skills to head coach Mike Woodson and company.

“I know what the Knicks need so I came with a defensive mindset,” DJO told SNY.tv. “With Iman [Shumpert] being out, with Baron [Davis] being out, with them being low on guards, I know if can just get in and play hard for six or seven minutes defensive-wise then that’s all I need to do.”

A natural two guard, DJO averaged 18.5 points and 3.5 rebounds last season for a Marquette team went 27-8 overall, 14-4 in the Big East and lost to Florida in the Sweet 16.

With Shumpert sidelined until December or January with a torn ACL, DJO is hoping the Knicks might use their No. 48 pick on him with the idea that he might be a similar kind of physical, defensive-stopper on the wing. DraftExpress.com calls him the No. 47 prospect in the Top 100 this year.

The Knicks enjoyed great success this season with another Marquette product when Steve Novak led the NBA in 3-point efficiency. Still another Marquette product, Dwyane Wade, went off for 41 points when the Miami Heat ousted the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of their series Thursday night.

The Knicks have auditioned a slew of point guards this week, including Tu Holloway (Xavier), Scoop Jardine (Syracuse) and Scott Machado (Iona).

“[Shumpert] is a little bit taller than me,” said the 6-2 DJO. “I think we do have athletic ability, the effort he plays on defense. That’s all I can give you.

“I can give you a couple points here but whatever I have to do to help the team  that’s what I’m wiling to do. I feel like defense is something that the Knicks will need here with Iman being out.”

DJO has already worked out for the Philadelphia 76ers and at the Nets free-agent combine and still plans to attend the Minnesota Timberwolves combine, a workout with the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Pre-Draft combine before other individual workouts.

DJO remains in constant touch with Marquette coach Buzz Williams for support.

“He always texts me, ‘Did you guard anybody today?’” DJO said. “And I always tell him, ‘Just a little bit,’ knowing I did a little bit better than ‘just a little bit.’ That’s one of the things coach Buzz is always pushing me to be, a defensive player with my athletic ability and my strength and my speed. I should be a top defensive player.”

Knowing DJO for three years I have to say this guy has been a sleeper his whole life. I remember when he got hurt when he got to campus and had to sit out Marquette madness and a few games. Then when he arrived, he brought the madness to campus. This guy is a complete player and if you need a defensive stop or a big shot, put the ball in #1 hands. He also is a perfect teammate. When I interviewed him, all he cared about was winning and only wanted to get better each game. That would be a coaches dream! As a Knicks fan, I would be praying for Darius to get drafted by this team. Not only could he play point but he can hit shots and get to the basket and take it to the rack with authority. The Knicks have been missing that over the past few years and if they want to hit it big with a draft pick, take the tough-minded and clutch Darius Johnson-Odom with that #48 pick…

Zagsblog: Buzz Williams gets new 7 year contract to stay at Marquette

April 6, 2011

Via Zagsblog:

Marquette coach Buzz Williams has signed a seven-year rollover contract extension at $2 million annually.

“The new agreement is an acknowledgement of Buzz’s standing as one of the rising stars in collegiate coaching,” Marquette AD Steve Cottingham said.

 “The current direction of the program under his leadership fits perfectly into the mission and values of the University. Buzz has done a tremendous job guiding the program to successes both on and off the court and we look forward to that continuing for many years to come.”

The Golden Eagles advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of Williams’ first three seasons, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2010-11. Marquette is 69-37 (.651) overall during his tenure and 32-22 (.593) in Big East Conference competition.

“I was given an opportunity beyond my wildest dreams 1086 days ago and my entire family is extremely humbled and grateful by the opportunity to continue this journey,” Williams said.

“Too much attention is given to my position, but I assure you, it’s the collective ownership of all of those who impact our program daily, who have developed the culture we currently have,” Williams added. “I am thankful to all of those who work so diligently to make our program the success it is today.”

Since taking over, Williams has led Marquette to three straight NCAA tournaments, is 69-37 overall and 32-22 in Big East play.

This is great news for Marquette Golden Eagles fans all around the nation. They needed to lock Buzz up because he could have went and succeeded at Oklahoma, NC State, or any other school. However, he decided to stay and wait for a deal and he received the big bucks. While he is going to make the big bucks, he has transformed this program from the Tom Crean era. What he has done since he took over the big three is tremendous. He has brought in great kids, great work ethic, and great attitude to lead them to the sweet sixteen this season. I have talked to Buzz a lot over my three years here and what I really appreciate is his honesty and passion for the game of basketball. He treats these kids like they are his children rather than just players who go to play basketball with him. He transforms them from basketball players to fathers and men of honor. That is why he was locked up for a while and that’s why I see great things for Marquette in the future…