By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff
With the Marquette chapter of his career firmly behind him, it came time for Patrick Hazel to make the crucial decision of where to play next, where to fulfill the second chance that transferring granted him.
And from the start of the process, there was one school that stood out above the rest to the rising junior forward – Boston University.
Coming out of Blair Academy, Hazel had been pursued hard by then-BU and current University of North Carolina at Charlotte assistant Orlando Vandross before making the decision to sign with Marquette.
About a week after Hazel informed Williams of his intention to transfer, he was contacted by new BU head coach Pat Chambers, who had just completed a five-year stint as an assistant at Villanova University.
Having routinely scouted Marquette for coach Jay Wright and the Wildcats, Chambers knew of Hazel and was impressed with what he had seen, believing that Hazel’s style of play would help embody a new brand of BU basketball that placed a special emphasis on defense and rebounding.
“He was active, he made winning plays, he made a difference in the game, but most of all, he played hard,” Chambers said. “And anyone that Tom Crean thinks plays hard or Buzz Williams thinks plays hard, you know what, I’m probably going to agree with them that this kid’s got ability and some raw talent that we have to work with.”
The sense of familiarity Hazel found at BU, with its former Big East coach and fellow New York-area players like John Holland, all it took was a single visit for Hazel to make a decision. BU was where he wanted to be.
“This was a big decision that would change the rest of my life and I felt like I was most comfortable here,” Hazel said. “I didn’t even want to go on any other visits because I knew I wouldn’t feel as comfortable as I felt here. Just knowing those guys, it made a big difference.”
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