CLEVELAND —- Something that was very striking about Marquette coach Buzz Williams when I saw the Golden Eagles last month at Georgetown was just how blunt he was.
Some coaches do everything in their power to say nothing. Some go the route of saying stuff without saying it. Some can have moments of complete honesty pried out of them.
Williams … well, he’s a fairly truthful fellow.
Since the NCAA produces transcripts of each session at a press conference podium, here’s a sampling of Williams’ greatest hits the day before his 20-14 team meets Xavier at Quicken Loans Arena …
On why Marquette arrived in Cleveland a day early:
“The reason we were able to do it is because our guys are on spring break and the dorm they live in, there’s 122 dorm rooms, and so for only six of them to be filled with our guys kind of gives you a haunted house type of feel. And I just wanted to be around them, and so we decided to spend an extra night in Cleveland. No strategy involved, just let’s hurry up and get here.”
On the nervousness of his inexperienced team:
“I was nervous before I proposed to my wife. And I was nervous and I already knew the answer, you know what I mean? I was nervous when my first child was born, because I had never been through it.”
On, well, honesty:
“I’m a great communicator, I think, in some ways, and a very poor communicator and almost unapproachable in others. I tell the guys exactly what I think they need to know and always tell them the truth. So if they’re scared, I tell them you’re acting scared, and sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s bad.”
On comparing this year to last:
“I think that’s why I’ve aged and why I’ve gained a lot of weight since I’ve been the head coach at Marquette, because I’ve coached three different teams. I know you didn’t ask about the first team, but in year No. 1 there was 18 years of experience on the Marquette roster at Marquette. Year No. 2, last year, there were 12. And in year No. 3, there has been eight. We were the second youngest team in our league. I just never mentioned that publicly because I didn’t want that to serve as justification for success or failure.”
On the impact of winning two games in the Big East tournament:
“We were able to probably go from a three-letter tournament to a four-letter tournament, and I think that that gives our guys confidence.”
—- Patrick Stevens