Q&A with Marquette basketball 2023 commit Al Amadou

%28Photo+courtesy+of+James+Quinn+Sports+Photography.%29

(Photo courtesy of James Quinn Sports Photography.)

CHESTER, PA –  It’s easy to envision what Al Amadou will bring to the Marquette men’s basketball team in the 2023-24 season.

The 6-foot-9 forward fits head coach Shaka Smart’s mold of a big man with his long-and-bouncy form. He is versatile on the court and aggressive around the glass.

And even though he was held to just two points, both of which came from the charity stripe, Amadou did just that Wednesday afternoon for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy game in its non-conference matchup against George School.

Amadou racked up five boards, two blocks and a steal in the Blue Devils loss to the Cougars in the Pete and Jameer Play-By-Play Classic at Widener University.

Amadou took a few minutes after his team’s game to speak with the Marquette Wire.

You were in attendance for the Wisconsin game back on Dec. 3. What was that trip like for you? What did it entail?

It was a lot different from the first time knowing that I’m going there. The love was genuine, they showed a lot of love. It was crazy especially when I was on the jumbotron, that was amazing. The fans were crazy. I got to meet the president of the school, really good guy. It was more about relationships than anything.

What was your first impression of the Wisconsin-Marquette rivalry?

I don’t like Wisconsin already. Definitely going to be a dog fight, its going to be intense, really high energy and it’s going to be good. Can’t wait.

Shaka has talked about wanting to develop a lot of the younger guys this season. When you committed you alluded to the Marquette staff having a player development plan for you. What is he wanting you to work on before arriving in summer?

Definitely getting stronger and just staying intense on the defensive end. I’m really effective defensively so like blocking shots, guarding guards, doing everything I can to play violently and aggressively.

How have you grown defensively over the last several months since your commitment?

I feel like I have always been a really good defender, but I feel like my timing got better with blocks. I’ve been averaging some games 10, 11 and 12 blocks so I definitely got my timing down and being a presence inside the paint.

How often do you talk with Shaka and staff?

Talked to him [Shaka] two days ago and I talk to [assistant coach] Cody [Hatt] almost everyday basically. Cody is my guy.

You mention Cody being the main point person for you from the coaching staff during the recruiting process. What has building that relationship with Cody been like?

He’s always been on me about school and stuff like that. He’s been really good, always on top of me and encouraging me to do better. He’s definitely like my motivation right now, he’s that guy. He’s more of a player coach.

Marquette travels to Villanova on Saturday. Will you be at that game?

Yeah, I am planning on being there.

Still a few more months left in your high school season but looking forward, what excites you about arriving to Marquette and starting your college career?

Definitely getting better and working out with college coaches and just that development. I can’t wait to expand my game.

Where do you want to see your game expand in the time you have left at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy?

If we are talking skill wise, I feel like my shot is there but just getting it more consistent and being a there more around the perimeter making plays for my teammates, making good passes and handling stuff like that.

You fit Shaka’s type for a forward with your physical and athletic abilities and we know you’ve been wanting to work on your outside shot a little more. How has that been going?

Shooting is like one of my things. If I get the ball right I am going to shoot it, if I get an wide open shot, I’ll shoot it with confidence. Don’t think a lot of people know it but I think I’m a deadly shooter.

Marquette continues to knock on the door after being in the AP Poll last week, what have you liked from watching them this season? What excites you to play with this team next year?

I love seeing them win. I love how good we are right now, the win against Seton Hall [on Tuesday] that was really big for them. I feel like I’m a part of it so it’s a really good feeling.

What is it about playing in Shaka’s system that excites you?

Defense, intensity, energy. Just being out there playing crazy on defense and going after everything. It’s going to be exciting.

How often do you talk with Zaide Lowery and Tre Norman? What has it been like starting those relationships before you three arrive in Milwaukee?

I talk to Zaide more often than Tre, but I think me and Tre will definitely start talking soon before we go down there. Zaide, we Snapchat each other but we always talk and send each other funny videos or something like that. It’s pretty cool. Tre, we don’t really talk like that but we’ll talk in the group chat that we have.

If you had to sum up your game for Marquette fans, what should they be excited about in seeing you play?

My energy as a person, big plays, a lot of huge blocks, dunks, 3-pointers, everything. It’s going to be good time for sure and I really can’t wait to get down there.

This article was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JohnLeuzziMU.