|Looks like a cross between Bill Cartwright and Horace Grant.|Chris Otule
, Marquette, Senior, 6'11 275lbs2013/14 stats:
17.9 mpg, 5.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 0.2 apg, 0.1 spg, 2.0 fpg, 1.2 TOpg, 59.1% FG, 55.0% FT
Otule just completed his sixth season with Marquette, and easily his best. It was a much better season than the basic stats above suggest, too. In a centre tandem with the aforementioned Davante Gardner - the two were never destined to play together for any length of time - Otule would start halves to set a defensive tone before Gardner came in to carry the bench scoring. The duo combined to form a fine offense/defense pairing, the Golden Eagles able to turn to either depending on what the situation called for. And the duo are also pretty much complete opposites.
A rebounder, shotblocker and paint defender, Otule has battled injuries and overcome disabilities to become quite the defensive anchor. Said disability is his vision. Otule is blind in one eye and wears a prosthetic, and also has limited vision in the other. This inevitably hinders his game - sometimes, he just doesn't see things. Otule struggles to both pass and catch the ball in part due to this, and the lack of depth perception also hinders his shot making talents. In addition to this, Otule has broken both feet and torn an ACL, the very reasons he has been at Marquette since the mid 1990's. He was slow before, and none of this made him any faster.
Nevertheless, despite missing so much time over his six seasons, Otule still developed as a player. Arriving as a skinny, rather clueless project, Otule has grown much stronger, and improved his footwork and defensive awareness to become a solid post option on both ends. He is exclusively a post option - there is no speed, jumpshot beyond about 8 foot, handle or perimeter defense, leaving the paint only to screen. In the post, though, he has the improved footwork to go to a right handed hook shot, complemented by a very occasional short range jumpshot. Otule's touch is thoroughly unsure and his catching and passing abilities all poor, hindered as ever by the eyes, yet it is hard to miss to from one foot, and he is tough to keep outside of that range.
Otule is also an improved defensive player, the end of the court on which he performs best. He is a tough and disciplined man to man post defender, who is unafraid of the contact, who boxes out well and often, and who readily steps in to take a charge. He is an effective post defender in limited minutes (the fouls rather condemn him to limited minutes), even stepping out fairly well for one so big. Otule steps up to fill the lane and has much improved his awareness as a help defender. The fouls and the lack of foot speed leave him exposable in certain matchups, yet for a few minutes at a time, Otule is a big hindrance to the opposition in the paint.
To add to that, Otule plays hard, and is fairly consistent. It is easier to be consistent when you only bring about four skills to the table and none of them involve much finesse, yet it is nevertheless a rare enough skill to be notable. Somewhere on this here planet, Otule will get his. It will only ever be in a limited role, and his career is likely on a timer due to the toll injuries have already taken, but Otule has a role to play, and he knows what it is. (It might even be as a jump ball specialist - Otule wins about 90% of the jump balls he is involved in. Fun fact.)