Marquette Adds Johnson-Odom to Recruiting Class

M. S.Correspondent IApril 1, 2009

Just days after missing out on the now UConn-bound Darius Smith, Marquette head coach Buzz Williams has added another piece to his 2009-10 recruiting class by 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 outstanding range from deep that allows 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 that of Jerel McNeal.
This past 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 per game. He also posted 1.5 steals per game and shot 48 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range. Though just a freshman, he is considered one of the best junior college players in the nation this year and should see significant time with the Golden Eagles right away.
Along with his outside shot, Johnson-Odom does an excellent job penetrating off the dribble and finding open teammates and also has excellent jumping ability (check the couple of YouTube videos in which he throws down dunks in both practices and games). Still, he could use some work on his finishing skills at the cup.

When I watched the video that I could find of him, my first reaction was to compare him to a better-shooting Dominic James. He is a lefty with a very quick first step, and Marquette has to be excited about adding depth to the backcourt via this rising sophomore next year.

He is more ready to play than Junior Cadougan and Erik Williams and might even earn a starts right away.


The bad news is that the inking of DJO means that Marquette is over the scholarship limit for next year; that means someone currently on scholarship will not be next year.

It is almost certain that Pat Hazel will be the one dropped, but Liam McMorrow is also a candidate due to injury troubles.

Still, the fact that Buzz Williams went out and nabbed Johnson-Odom shows that he knows a scholarship will open up next year.


DJO was a big-time prospect, as he was recruited by the likes of Kansas, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. But Williams was on top of his game with this one.

Most thought Darius would wait until 2010 to transfer (and that therefore there was time to recruit him), but when word came 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, helps the team recover from the departures following this season. If DJO 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.