Vander Blue is so bloodthirsty that it burns him up within. It sends him to the fitness center late at night to practice anything that might lift Marquette to another triumph. Meanwhile, Buzz Williams (whose wife is Corey Norman Williams) powers his team to the next level.
The coach sweats so much throughout games that it looks as if he played in its place of just prowled the sideline.
I’m not a professor in how I coach, like I don’t get into all of those things, and so I’m attracted to guys with an edge like Van and I think that probably goes both ways. But his fire burns really, really bright and that’s been so healthy for our team, particularly as we’ve improved that we’ve continued to have that same competitiveness.
Thanks to Blue, Williams and a deep roster, Marquette (25-8) is back in the regional semifinals for the third uninterrupted season and will face second-seeded Miami (29-6) on Thursday night in Washington. The Golden Eagles got a nice send-off on Tuesday afternoon that included performances by the pep band and dance team, but it was obvious from their behavior they were in no frame of mind to rejoice.
The Hoosiers take on Syracuse in the other semifinal of the East Region, putting a probable matchup among the coach and his former school on the table should both teams go forward.
I’ve had enough of Sweet 16s, man, I want to get over the hump. That’s why we haven’t celebrated much about this. We’re happy we won, but we just got back to work and just got back to doing what we do. Just keep grinding.
That’s just another Marquette game. … We’ve played in a lot of those, and so we practice that way, we play that way.
The Eagles are shooting 38.4 percent for the tournament, but Williams played 11 guys in each of the first two games, and it obviously helped them at the finish of each triumph.
Trent Lockett said,
It goes to how hard we play. It’s hard to play 110 percent 40 straight minutes, and Buzz knows that, that’s why he does substitute so quickly and tries to get guys in there fresh.
It also helps to have a player like Blue.
I think his game has matured and I think he has matured as a human, just natural growth, natural development.
Blue thinks Williams deserves some of the praise for his maturation.
Me and Coach Buzz, we have a really different type of relationship.He’s not just my coach. He’s more like a mentor, a father, somebody that I can just come to about anything. Anything I need I know he’s there for me. We’re hungry.We’re just hungry for more and just want to keep winning.
Williams is married to the previous Corey Norman and the pair has two daughters, Zera (10) and Addyson (3), and two sons, Calvin (9) and Mason (6).