With the season wrapped up, it's time to provide the bookend for the Player Previews we wrote to start the season. We'll take a look back at what we thought about each of the Marquette players back in November and see if we did a good job of prognostication. We continue our climb up the list of minutes played this year by moving on to center Chris Otule.
#42 / Center / Marquette Golden Eagles
|2011 - Chris Otule||8||17.8||1.9||3.1||60.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.3||2.4||52.6||1.6||2.8||4.4||0.1||1.6||0.9||1.6||2.4||5.0|
Otule logs 20+ minutes a game and continues his improved defensive play. Averaging 8 points and 5 boards a game is certainly attainable and expected.
In My Wildest Dreams:
Otule becomes a dominating force down low, leading the Big East in blocked shots. The steadying force down low allows the guards and wings to take a few more defensive risks on the perimeter, increasing overall steal and turnover numbers. On the offensive side, Otule consistently finishes around the basket and averages 12 and 7.
In My Worst Nightmare:
Big men with a history of foot problems scare me. The worst nightmare is Otule going down again with another foot injury, putting all the low-post pressure on Davante Gardner.
Oh, things started out so well. Big Chris' season averages might not be that impressive looking, but it's important to remember that he contributed almost nothing in the Washington game before getting injured 2 minutes in. For example, his minutes played jumps up to 20 per game if you throw that one out.
In any case, we're stuck staring at a season of lost possibility for Otule. Through 7 games, his shooting percentage, points, rebounds, blocks, and steals were all up over the previous year and his fouls were down. You can't even really say that he wasn't getting PT because Marquette matched up better by going small against mid-major schools who didn't have quality big men, as he played against two Power Six teams (Ole Miss and Wisconsin) and eventual MEAC Player Of The Year and NCAA tournament darling Kyle O'Quinn and Norfolk State showed up on the schedule twice. In fact, Otule helped MU do a number on O'Quinn in the first game, as O'Quinn had just 4 points and 3 rebounds before fouling out in just 20 minutes.
We're left with a season where Otule's biggest contribution ended up being giving tips on shot blocking to Jamil Wilson, as Wilson ended up just 8 blocks short of the 55 that Otule posted in 2010-11. We can only hope that he can come back 100% in November and even better than ever.
Best Game: I'm going to go with Big Chris' outing against Winthrop in the Paradise Jam. 11 points and 7 rebounds in just 16 minutes? ACTIVE BIG MAN ALERT. And he did all that with a Mini MechaGodzilla running around on the court, too.
Season Grade (1 is Worst Nightmare, 5 is Minimum Expectation, and 10 is Wildest Dreams): CO was averaging 5.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in the 7 games that he played real minutes in, so he's approaching the stat line in the Expectation, but he was lost for the year due to injury as worried about in the Nightmare. I'm going to score the season as a 2 for Otule and give him the benefit of the doubt for the development that he showed before he got hurt.