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2012-13 Player Review: #42 Chris Otule

Here's the biggest player review so far!

Andy Lyons

With the 2012-13 season now in the books, we take a moment to look back at the performance that each member of YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles turned in this year. While we're at it, we'll also take a look back at our player previews and see how our preseason prognostications stack up with how things actually played out. We'll run through the roster in order of total minutes played (lowest to highest). The series continues today with the man with the confusing future, Chris Otule.

Chris Otule

#42 / Center / Marquette Golden Eagles




FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2012 - Chris Otule 35 17.8 2.2 3.5 63.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.4 46.9 1.7 1.9 3.5 0.2 0.9 0.2 1.0 1.7 5.1

What We Said:

Minimum Expectation: Play in every game. I really don't care about anything else. Just stay healthy and contribute night in and night out.

In My Wildest Dreams: Otule is completely unafraid to do anything on the court, returns to his dominant defensive self, throws up another 60 blocks, and has anything resembling a strong offensive presence. Given Otule's injury history, I don't think anyone's really expecting a ton of scoring from him, especially when that's what Davante Gardner can do for the team in the post.

Worst Nightmare: Otule decides that it's not worth the effort and energy to come back for a sixth season, which he appears to already have approved by the NCAA if he wants it. I don't actually care what his reason would be, whether another injury or just general fatigue about the grind needed to get him through a season, or I don't know what else. The guy deserves a chance to play at least three full seasons.

35 games for Marquette this year, 35 starts for the big man. The only other player who can claim that on their resume for this season is Junior Cadougan. And that's really all we wanted to see from Otule: Get healthy from ACL surgery and be able to withstand the rigors of a college basketball season. Done and done.

At the end of the season, Otule's season averages in points and rebounds were exactly where they were when he went through his only other full season of hoops: 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. He only averaged a block per game, but hey, coming back from ACL surgery is no joke, so I'm not going to say anything bad about not having quite the elevation that he used to.

What he did have, though, was fearlessness. He might have been slower and slightly less agile, especially with a knee brace on, but you could tell that you were getting everything out of Big Chris any time he was on the floor. If he had a chance to make a play on a loose ball or a rebound, he was going after it. And when you consider that he blew his knee out going after a loose ball at midcourt in that game against Washington, it was damn impressive to see him not give a crap about how he got hurt in the first place.

And speaking of things that were damn impressive, how about when someone stuck a quarter in Otule's "Offensive Weapon" slot? By the end of the season, Otule had gone from "perfectly reliable Big East starting center, especially on defense" to inspiring fits of "AAAAAGH, WHY COULDN'T HE STAY HEALTHY, HE LOOKS AMAZING." In a stretch from his last shot of the Louisville game on Super Bowl Sunday through his first four shots at Georgetown three games later, Otule hit TWELVE STRAIGHT shots. This was part of an eight game stretch where he hit on 24 of 31 shots. I'll do the math for you: SEVENTY-SEVEN PERCENT. Yeah, he didn't even get a shot off in the next game against Syracuse, but he made up for it in the next outing, burying ALL EIGHT of his shots against Notre Dame. Who's glad this dude decided to come back for one more go around?

Best Game: Oh, you think I'm going with that Notre Dame game, right? I'm not even discounting CO's performance because Jack Cooley was sick: The Irish had a weakness and Otule exploited it. No, Otule's best game of the year was against Davidson in MU's first NCAA tournament game. Everyone's going to remember forever that Jamil Wilson and Vander Blue went banana sandwich late in the game to give the Golden Eagles the nearly inexplicable win, but we can not forget that Otule had 11 points and 11 rebounds before that for his first career double double. Yes, career. It was a career high in rebounds for the big man as well, and he tied his season high in blocks with four, too.

Season Grade (1-Worst Nightmare to 10-Wildest Dreams): Unafraid to do anything? Check. Dominant defensive self? Check. Anything resembling an offensive presence? You better believe check. 60 blocks, five more than he had in his full season? Whoopsie, he only got to 36. Well, a 9 is still pretty friggin' fantastic. Good on you, CO.