Golden Eagle basketball staff nets seven-foot Marquette transfer
Jul 18, 2010
McMorrow becomes fifth seven-footer in Golden Eagle
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Liam McMorrow, a 7-foot center from
Toronto, has transferred to Tennessee Tech from Marquette
University and will join the Golden Eagle men’s basketball
squad immediately, coach Mike Sutton has announced.
McMorrow sat out the 2008-09 season as a redshirt transfer student
at Marquette after his freshman season at Canada’s Durham
College. He was on the sidelines again last year due to health
reasons and because he didn’t play at Marquette in 2009-10,
Tech will request an exception waiver from the NCAA to allow
McMorrow to be eligible immediately this season for the Golden
“I feel really good about Tennessee Tech and the people
I’ve met,” McMorrow said. “I was impressed with
Coach Sutton and his staff. They really made me feel
Sutton was equally impressed with his team’s newest
“I was really impressed with Liam as a person, and
I’m looking forward to him joining our program,” Sutton
says. “He’s extremely athletic but he’s a raw
talent on the basketball court. We’ll look at his
inexperience as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. He has so
much room to grow as a basketball player and improve his play.
“This is a win-win situation,” Sutton added.
“It’s a chance for us to improve our team and an
opportunity for Liam to develop as a player and as a
McMorrow didn’t play organized basketball while growing up
in Canada -- he played hockey and lacrosse. The youngest of four
children, including a brother (Sean) who is a professional hockey
player, Liam finally tried basketball at Durham College in Oshawa,
"It was after getting out of high school and playing hockey and
lacrosse my whole life that my girlfriend and my mom convinced me
to try basketball," explains McMorrow.
In his only year at Durham, McMorrow averaged 8.4 points and 6.5
rebounds per game in 20 league appearances for the Lords in
2007-08. His team finished 17-14 overall and claimed sixth in the
East Division of the 21-team Ontario Colleges Athletic Association
(OCAA) with a 10-10 slate. McMorrow concluded the campaign third in
the league in blocked shots (23) and was eighth in rebounding (6.5
The Lords finished the season with six wins in their final seven
outings to earn a spot in the OCAA's postseason event. After
posting four doubles-doubles during conference action, McMorrow
averaged 9.9 points per game in the final seven contests for
Durham. He netted a personal-best 18 points against Centennial
College and grabbed a season-best 18 rebounds versus Georgian in
just 23 minutes of action.
Since Canadian schools do not offer full athletic scholarships,
McMorrow looked to the United States and Marquette found him. After
two years out of action, Tech associate head coach Steve Payne
learned of McMorrow’s situation from Brad Autry, who serves
as coordinator of student-athlete development at Marquette. Tech
received permission to talk with him.
“Coach Autry told me he trusts coach Payne, both as a
coach and in life, so that was all I needed to hear,”
“I made an official visit and Cookeville seems like a great
town, a college town. It’s the right atmosphere. I loved the
arena, the campus, and everyone I met and talked with. I had a
really great first impression,” McMorrow said.
“The more we learned about him, the more interested we were
in proceeding,” Sutton says. “He came to Tech on an
official visit in early July and the timing has all worked out
“Steve (Payne) did an outstanding job of working with the
Marquette people and I had a little knowledge of Liam through
Simeon Mars, who I had worked with on the staff at the University
of Kentucky,” Sutton said. “Simeon coached Jamaal
McGloire in high school in Toronto and told me about an athletic
big kid who was raw four years ago.
“I also spoke with Jason Staudt of the Milwaukee Bucks and
he gave me some input which helped.
“It’s difficult to recruit kids with great size, but
his situation is unique,” Suttons said. “He
didn’t grow up as a basketball player. Usually by his age,
kids in the U.S. have already played 10 or 15 years of basketball.
The sports he played were both fast-paced but the nature of the
game is different.
“I told Liam that he would have to get back to a
competitive level but that if he were willing to work hard he could
help our team and help himself in the process. He is a bright young
man and we will challenge him to develop himself over the course of
his career.” Sutton said
McMorrow will become the fifth seven-foot player in Golden Eagle
history. Previous seven-footers on Tech rosters have been Art
Bosnak (1967-70), Ed Kovach (1969-71), Milos Babic (1988-90) and
Lorenzo Coleman (1994-97).
McMorrow claims the physical nature of hockey and lacrosse can
be a positive in his basketball development. "I'm not going to shy
away from contact," he says. "It is definitely going to help with
McMorrow joins a Golden Eagle roster that will feature six other
new faces on the floor in 2010-11. Tech’s roster additions
include signees Javon McKay, Mitchell Hill and Dennis Ogbe,
transfer Matt Marseille, and redshirts Chase Dunn and Zac
View a You Tube video interview with Liam McMorrow at Marquette
from November 3, 2008