Golden Eagles Add Johnson-Odom to Recruiting Class
Just days after missing out on UConn-bound Darius Smith, Buzz Williams added another piece to his 2009-2010 recruiting class in picking up Darius Johnson-Odom, a junior college freshman from Kansas. Johnson-Odom, or DJO as he is referred to by many, is a combo-guard that primarily plays the point but has outsanding range from deep, allowing him to contribute at the shooting guard position as well. He has pretty good size at 6’2″, 205 pounds, and has a frame very similar to Jerel McNeal. On the year, DJO led his team, Hutchinson Community College, to a 19-12 record while averaging 21.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. He also averaged 1.5 steals per game and shot 48 percent from the field, including 39 percent from three point range. He is considered one of the best junior college players in the nation this year, as just a freshman, and should see significant time right away. Along with his outside shot, DJO does an excellent job penetrating off the dribble and finding open team mates but can work on finishing at the basket. He has excellent jumping ability and has a couple Youtube videos where he throws down dunks, both in practices and games.
When I watched the video that I could find on him, my first reaction was that this is a Dominic James clone with more of a jump shot. He is a lefty with a very quick first step and Marquette has to be excited about adding the sophomore to add depth in the back court next year. He is more ready to play than Junior Cadougan and Erik Williams and will definitely see playing time right away, if not starting time right away.
What this also means is that Marquette is over the scholarship limit for next year and that someone currently on scholarship will not be next year. It is almost certain that it will be Pat Hazel, but another reason could be the continued health concerns of Liam McMorrow. Still, the fact that Buzz Williams went out and nabbed DJO shows that he knows a scholarship will open up next year.
DJO was a big time prospect, being recruited by the likes of Kansas, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Tennessee Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, but Buzz Williams was on top of his game with this one. Most thought that he would be a recruit for 2010 and that there was time to recruit him, but when word came apparent that he would be eligible for next year, Buzz pulled him in.
This is a very exciting recruit for the Golden Eagles and, above anything else, gives the team a little more experience that it lost after this year. If he can tune his point guard skills to go along with his outstanding jump shot, he could develop into one of Marquette’s best all-around players.
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