Yesterday, Marquette men's basketball was honored by the Milwaukee Brewers for their run to the Elite Eight, and head coach Buzz Williams got to throw the ceremonial first pitch (a strike, by the way). The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Michael Hunt caught up with Buzz during the game, and he said this:
"Obviously, Vander leaving was unexpected," Williams said after the Brewers honored the 2012-'13 team before their game against the Pirates. "We didn't plan for that.
"You want to do right by the kid, by his mom, give them the right info. As far as it relates to our roster, we were ill-prepared for that. I didn't expect it at all."
And then this:
"I want what's best for our kids. I love our kids. I don't mean that in any other way except I genuinely care about them. I didn't expect Juan (Anderson) to leave. It's all just so volatile."
What does it say about both departures that Buzz was taken completely by surprise? You see stories on a regular basis where players either decommit or transfer and cite assistant coaches leaving as the reason why. These always surprise me, since I'd always consider the importance level of what the players are committing to to be 1) head coach 2) school's location 3) school 297) assistant coach. But to see a head coach admit that he wasn't dialed in to what his players were thinking at the end of the season? That seems weird, doesn't it?
That said, in both circumstances, there was probably more at play than just what Blue and Anderson were willing to immediately share with Buzz. The official announcement on Anderson stated that being closer to his family was very important right now, and I know I don't share family information very well with my friends. I would imagine it would be pretty hard for Blue to admit to Buzz that he doesn't want to be in school any more and he's ready to go get a job, if that's the case.
Last thing. Right at the end of the article, Hunt says this:
With the losses of Blue, Anderson, [Trent] Lockett and Junior Cadougan, the Golden Eagles have lost more minutes and points than at any time in Williams' tenure.
Sure about that? Because I swear I can remember Buzz coaching Jerel McNeal, Wesley Matthews, Dominic James, and Dwight Burke in their senior year, and that year they combined for nearly 20 minutes a game more than Blue/Lockett/Cadougan/Anderson did this season, and they averaged nearly 19 more points per game than those four as well. And more importantly to the point that Hunt is trying to make there, Buzz knew he was going to have to replace all of that in less than one year's time when he signed on to be Marquette's head coach.
(H/T to Andrei Greska for tweeting the MJS article late last night. Twilight Sparkle GIF from iambrony.com and Peggy Olson GIF from bookriot.com.)