Outside of Duke and his high school circles, we expect Steve Wojciechowski has to an extent always been misunderstood.
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People around the country saw him slapping the floor and playing with ferocious abandon and sneered. Who did he think he was? What was he trying to prove?
As it turned out, nothing. And everything.
What they missed was his competitiveness, desire, his willingness to sacrifice, and his ability to learn - and probably several other things as well.
Wojo was limited by his athleticism but never by his will.
And even when people have understood those things, they rarely understood that he's unusually smart. But people who have been around him know it, know all of it.
Ask Dwyane Wade, who has worked with Wojo through USABasketball. Ask Doc Rivers, who sent his own son to Duke. Ask the big men he coached at Duke (before Jeff Capel took that role) who landed in the NBA. You can ask any number of people and they'll tell you - he's the real deal.
And most of all his new players are excited partly because he wants to turn them loose. How can you beat that?
On Tuesday, Wojo said Duke was still a great place for him and that he'd known he wouldn't leave unless the job he was taking was "perfect."
Marquette, he said, fit that bill.
Buzz Williams left him a fair roster with experience and an incoming class which is very promising: 6-4 Ahmed Hill, 6-5 Sandy Cohen, 6-7 Malek Harris, 6-7 Marial Shayok and 6-9 Satchel Pierce.
He also has a commitment for 2015 from Nick Noskowiak, a 6-2 point guard from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
His first job is to keep the guys he has and the new guys coming in, but that should be achievable. Only two current players have suggested they'll check their options: 6-5 freshman JaJuan Johnson and 6-7 Steve Taylor, a junior. Neither one played much this past season.
The general sense out of Milwaukee is immense optimism. Wojo is unproven as a head coach but he's got an insane amount of experience for an assistant: multiple Final Fours as player and coach, two national championships, and all the invaluable work he's put in with USABasketball. Add to that his own personal traits and it all sounds like a home run.
Next step is to hire assistants and the Marquette official site still lists former Wake assistant Jerry Wainwright as the sole assistant. So that's a really good start if he stays.
After that, and the actual moving (and probably before all of that, really), Wojo will start hitting the recruiting trail.
And after that? A series with Northwestern and Chris Collins? Unlikely, but it's a rivalry you could market.
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