The Norman Transcript


March 20, 2011

Source:Marquette coach OU’s pick to replace Jeff Capel



It’s not the way Williams coaches that’s made him the initial candidate on OU’s list. It’s where he has coached before and what he’s done to keep Marquette at an NCAA Tournament- level while playing in the ultra competitive Big East Conference that makes him attractive.

Williams is a graduate of Oklahoma City University, and the Van Alystyne, Texas, native spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Texas-Arlington (1994-98), Texas A&M-Kingsville (1998-99) and Texas A&M (2004-06). Those seasons as an Aggie assistant were as Billy Gillispie’s recruiting coordinator and helped revive basketball there.

Those Texas roots have remained fluid since Williams, 38, became Marquette’s head coach in 2008. Four of his players are from the Lone Star State. Two of the three assistants on Williams’ staff (Tony Benford and Scott Monarch) have Texas ties.

It is that kind of link to Texas high school coaches and AAU coaches that OU desperately needs.

Capel didn’t get fired because he couldn’t coach. If it were simply a matter of coming up with a game plan and executing it, OU wouldn’t be involved in this process. Consistently bringing in high-quality players is the key.

Programs like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas or Kentucky can land players from all over the country. Get recruits on campus, let them gaze at the national championship banners, the Final Four banners and the jam-packed arenas with diehard fans. The sell is easy.

Just about everyone else needs a recruiting pipeline to have sustained success. It helps to be located in a state that consistently produces a surplus of high level prep players.

Oklahoma doesn’t have that.

The state’s had one prep player in the top 150 the last two years. Last year, there were none. This year, Edmond Santa Fe guard Josh Richardson is currently No. 121. That’s it.

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