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Marquette Year in Review: Chris Otule

USA Today)

USA Today)

We apologize for these player reviews being so late into the offseason — Marquette played its last game nearly two months ago — but that pesky thing called the real world got in the way. That, and the coaching chance made us put these bad boys on the back burner. We’ll try and give you some good information while also linking back to the stellar work Anonymous Eagle did on its respective player reviews. We’ll have a dab of Synergy, a touch of KenPom and our own eye-test analysis to break down exactly what each player did well, where he struggled and how he can improve for next season. For the seniors, that final part will be replaced with where he’s headed post-Marquette.

Past player reviews

4/28: Deonte Burton
4/29: Juan Anderson
4/30: Steve Taylor
5/1: Todd Mayo

5/2: John Dawson
5/5: Jamil Wilson
5/6: Jajuan Johnson

Chris Otule, 6-foot-10, center

It’s pretty wild we’re finally writing about Chris Otule’s final season. After six seasons in a Marquette uniform, the fan favorite exhausted his final year of eligibility in solid fashion. Though his production didn’t result in many Golden Eagle wins, Otule still put up career-best numbers in a number of relevant categories and provided stability for a Marquette frontcourt that lacked the depth it thought it’d have at the beginning of the season.

Though it came against weak competition, Otule started the season with a bang in hitting 13 of his first 15 shots, including a 17-point effort against Grambling State and 16 more against New Hampshire. He went for 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in a then-season-high 26 minutes and even added 10 points and five offensive rebounds in Marquette’s Big East opener against Creighton.

As the Marquette offense necessitated more offense (Davante Gardner), Otule’s minutes decreased. Still, in Big East action he played between 14 and 25 minutes, arguably the most consistent contributor in terms of minutes. And though his final season ended without much of a bang, he was the driving force behind Marquette’s 96-94 overtime win at DePaul, scoring 11 points and grabbing four huge rebounds after halftime. It was a nice little sendoff for Otule, who deserved as much after committing six years to Buzz Williams and the program that never gave up on him.

[MORE: How Chris Otule won the game at DePaul]

Otule’s  advanced numbers are pretty much everything you’d think they’d be: he shot 64 percent on 53 post-up possessions, made 54 percent of his offensive rebound put-backs and struggled just about everywhere else, notably on cuts to the basket. Otule was what Otule was, a monster around the basket who thrived when someone set him up (either via the pass or via a missed shot, and there were plenty of the latter). His biggest downside was the turnover rate (21.1 percent), which was second worst, behind only Juan Anderson. As always he struggled to handle quick passes in the paint and, without real defined footwork on post moves, had more than his fair share of careless player-control fouls. Still, it wasn’t anything Marquette didn’t expect from their big man.

[MORE: Anonymous Eagle’s Chris Otule player review]

Defensively most of the big man’s numbers were down, but he still led Marquette in blocks and moved into fourth place all-time (145) in that category. Still, in post-up situations Otule allowed just 0.568 points per possessions and opponents made just 39 percent of their attempted field goals — the former number ranked Otule in the 91st percentile nationally.

This is pretty much the report on Otule; none of it’s surprising and, at 24 years old, Otule wasn’t going to magically become something he hadn’t been the previous five seasons. So, instead, go ahead and read my senior day column on why Otule was one of my all-time favorite players to cover. You can read that right here.

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Categories: Analysis, Player Review

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