He may have lost a bunch of games in the last few years, but he’s not a bad gamble for a school who might like to pick up some Chicago-area talent… youth and lax defensive principles did his team in.
But as he says in his tearful press conference, he was offered the chance to step down in February, btu thought it would be hypocritical for him to walk out on his guys after what they had done in terms of player development and teaching them how to play like men.
Bobby Knight could take a lesson from Kent here. The DePaul fans would howl if they got Kent, but he might just be the right kind of coach for them – Chicago AAU connections, hungry to prove he is better, a coach with a winning record and some Elite Eights on his resume, and I don’t think there were any off-court player incidents, just some on-court player moments (remember Aaron Brooks and Ryan Appleby? That Appleby kid DID use his lanky elbows a lot).
Kent’s a good coach. Here’s a timeline and recap.
Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your .rss feeds; or follow by email.
An update on the coaches on the hot seat:
Auburn‘s Jeff Lebo, after a 15-17 season, is gone.
Oregon‘s Ernie Kent has told his players that he is not returning.
Iowa‘s Todd Lickliter might “resign.” Under duress.
Addendum – and one I didn’t hear much buzz about before a week or two ago – Boise State fires coach Greg Graham.
Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias.
Bob Nash, longtime player and assistant coach for the Rainbows (or Warriors, as they call themselves now), was 34-56 in his 3 seasons as head coach.
Honolulu Advertiser: Nash fired as UH basketball coach
Aloha Update: UH Coach Nash Fired After Disappointing Results
Hoop Dirt: Candidates at Hawai’i
Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle , doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias.
Levi Johnston dishes on life with Sarah Palin and speaks ill of her marriage to Todd in a Vanity fair article – wow, kid, milk that gossip… The US Senate, with less nepotism… Brazil’s racial problems are deep… will the lobbyists for the health care status quo – like the “Million Med March” (aka “protect the doctors’ salaries above all else”) – even listen to a possible bipartisan health care plan that triggers a public option if the insurance companies can’t meet quality/ cost benchmarks? And why is that called a “compromise” as opposed to “bipartisan” in the article? Should tort reform be in the health care bill?… On lighter notes: The end of “Reading Rainbow“… the Fast Food as the Mafia (graphic, funny, non-political)… and 12 most annoying types of Facebookers.
In honor of the beginning of college football, two fun images. First, a billboard bought by former Notre Dame player Tom Reynolds:
And if you haven’t seen this year’s Oregon Ducks uniforms, check them out when they play Boise State tonight… or look at the winged shoulders here:
In what will be a hotly-followed story, Rich Rodriguez is named in a lawsuit about a Virginia condo development… he’s been connected to a banned booster… he’s accused of violating NCAA rules on how much time coaches required players to spend working out… so of course there’s a Fire Rich Rodriguez site.
The Quad blog from the New York Times has Florida as… #2! So Texas is their #1…
Nebraska gets an extra basketball scholarship (14 total), based on an NCAA mix-up on eligibility standards.
Jim Larranaga’s leaving Twitter after poking fun at a silly NCAA rule about being able to give student-athletes bagels but no condiments/ spreads.
Mets third base coach Razor Shines, perhaps, doesn’t scout the throwing arms of the opposing outfielders.
Scout.com has their Top 75 basketball players in the nation (and Canada) for 2011.
Supposedly Nets’ owner Bruce Ratner is looking to make bank by selling the Nets at a premium price and THEN wants to get the new owners to pay him a hefty fee for the right to play in the Brooklyn Barclay’s Arena… whenever it happens. He’d then get the profits of the stadium without the financial drain of owning the team.
And now, the first of many St. John’s coach Norm Roberts job “may be” on the line if he doesn’t win this year. Of course, someone has to speak to why this year is so different than any other year, and what “get it done” actually means. NCAAs? NIT?
(Pico’s note: this is by Raycroft, the head and Reverend of the Church of Bracketology.)
What a strange couple of weeks in College Hoops have just passed. I am not even going to touch the Pitino story. We will save that for another day.
But, I do have a serious gripe with the John Calipari/Memphis situation and as the Reverend of The First Church of Bracketology, it is hard for me to just sit back and be quiet. (And, thanks to The East Coast Bias for providing me the forum.)
All I hear from people, time and time again, is how John Calipari is dirty and it is ‘only a matter of time’ before it catches up to him. It’s a simple thought because in these times of steroids and hanging chads, there is a natural skepticism from anyone when someone the other side excels to the top.
John Calipari has coached two Final Four teams and both times they have been vacated. That’s right, Memphis too. See, it’s happening again. But, what is he guilty of? What has he done wrong? What rules has he broken?
…I’m still waiting.
Exactly. According to the NCAA, absolutely nothing.
In the case of UMass, it was Marcus Camby who took money from an agent, forcing the NCAA to retroactively declare him ineligible thus vacating their Final Four and their wins. Honestly, anyone that knows college sports knows that coaches sometimes break the rules to recruit a player – which may involve money – but a coach is never going to suggest that his player break the rules freely on his own. If Cal knew anything about the Camby taking money from an agent beforehand, it would be to advise him against it because he knows the repercussions. And, if he knew about it after the fact, he certainly would not blow the whistle. The argument that Cal was behind that is ridiculous Roveian spin. I have argued this many times with the Barstool Pundits I have met over time. It goes a little something like this:
BP: Well, you know he know he was paying Camby anyway.
Me: I don’t believe that.
BP: Come on, we all know that.
Me: Really, What evidence do you have?
BP: You just know it.
Wow, so simple. We have many lawyers who are members of the Church of Bracketology, and I’m sure that none of them would even think of walking into to a court room with that as his or her case (I like to believe that my friends are a little bit intelligent.) I have not seen any evidence to make that case, so until then I do not believe that Cal was involved with Camby’s incident. But, I will also admit that it is possible that Cal has some violated rules to get where is. I am not going to just ‘know that’ because he seems to be very very good at his job. I think I am the only person who ever asked the question, “Could he just be that good?”
With Memphis going down this week, the Barstool Pundits have now made their case, so they think. Seriously, that tells you something when the same coach has another Final Four vacated for playing an ineligible player. However, once you dig into the case, unlike the UMass case, which was pretty straight forward, you find some major problems with how the NCAA handled it. First, the NCAA Clearinghouse ruled Derrek Rose eligible to play by NCAA rules. Calipari started him. Then the NCAA says his SAT scores were ruled invalid, thus making him ineligible. When Memphis questioned the NCAA Infractions Committee because the NCAA Clearinghouse made the error, the Infractions Committee said the Clearinghouse couldn’t be trusted to be accurate. Really?? They are the same people! There is so much more to the Rose case too which screams of incompetence, it is amazing that this got as far as it did without a smoking gun. But, that is another story.
Despite what the Barstool Pundits believe, in both the UMass and Memphis situations, the NCAA did not rule that John Calipari committed any infractions. Therefore he is not punished, so the NCAA had each school’s Final Four vacated.
The question still stands – Is he that good? There is no doubt that he is ‘that good’ of game coach, ‘that good’ of an ambassador to the community and the media. But, is he ‘that good’ of a recruiter to land top players at little schools. Or, is he just ‘that good’ at hiding it all; the Ronald Reagan of college hoops, which nothing sticks to? Since my agenda is to enjoy college hoops and not rip people down without evidence because they ‘seem shady’, I will believe the first one.
Reverend M.J. Raycroft
The First Church of Bracketology
I highly suggest reading two stories:
1. Matt Vautour’s (UMass beat writer) article about vacating Final Fours:
2. Mike Decourcy (College Hoops correspondent to Sporting News) article about how Memphis should not get penalized:
The U.S. Men’s National Soccer team has taken their second loss in the Confederations Cup in South Africa, a 0-3 stomping that featured another red card (this time Sascha Klejstan was sent off; Ricardo Clark caught the card in the Italy game), another early goal given up on defense, and the perception that the United States can’t hang with the big boys on the pitch.
Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News put it best, comparing where the US MNT is as compared to the stated goals of 11 years ago; the U.S. felt that they were ready to emerge as a power, and Landon Donovan and DeMarcus Beasley were going to be key to that future.
There have been moments, for sure, and the team is far better than they used to be, especially in comparison to the local North/ Central American competition in the CONCACAF. And it’s not like the U.S. side is losing in basketball, a sport where the country has a long history, decided advantage, and deep fan appreciation/ identification.
But still… the results and notes from today just make it sound like a dog of a game.
After that downer, some links from this week:
* Emmanuelle Chriqui threw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game earlier this week. Hat tip to popoholic.
* Boise State football is looking to go on the road for some guarantee cash money from a big school (h/t Fanhouse) in 2010. This will bring in some money from the bigger schools to the smaller (budget-wise) state school; but brings up an interesting question. What team would bring in Boise State for a challenge game? They are always competitive, even if they have lost their last few guarantee games against Washington, Georgia, Arkansas, and South Carolina.
* Florida State will have to vacate 14 wins from their football squad’s record for violations invovling academic fraud. Man, that’s tough. But now maybe coach Bobby Bowden and Penn State’s Joe Paterno can retire; one could look at them and think that while they do love football, the lure of retiring as D-1 college football’s all-time winningest coach has to help them when the job seems to stressful, when the kids are acting like fools, when the age-related injuries slow them down… it’s time for both to consider hanging it up. They are like coach emiriti these days.
* As you know, Tim Floyd resigned from the University of Southern California amidst allegations of cash to recruit OJ Mayo and a perception that serious sanctions were coming down, especially since the allegations of wrongdoing have been very public. Currently, USC is moving ahead with its coaching search and looking for coaches with pro experience. They have locked in on former Seton Hall and pro coach P.J. Carlesimo and former New Mexico State and pro coach Reggie Theus. Reggie Theus is interested. I think he’s a good call – he seemed to be a decent coach at New Mexico State, players wanted to come to play for him, and while his pro career wasn’t stellar, it wasn’t terrible (and was cut too short). Put a pretty charming face on a couple of hard years and possible ineligibility for the Big Dance, USC!
* Some Japanese pro wrestlers are accused (and there is evidence) of some serious animal abuse with a pet monkey. Honestly, don’t read it if you’re squeamish. I thought it was some of the most juvenile, disgusting actions I have read about in a long time.
The University of Arizona is having a hard time filling that coaching job in the Pac-10, and I have no idea why. The Wildcats have a solid name, solid tradition… though following a coaching legend – and his stormy last years – is a hard job.
But Sean Miller would rather stay with the Xavier Musketeers. It’s a good job there in Cincy, and his team has a lot of potential, but that’s a little surprising.
Who’s next on their list? Maybe Utah’s Jim Boylen (who seems like an decent hire who has spent time in the pros). More at UA Hoops Coach, I’ve been following that blog.
When I wrote the profiles of hot coaching candidates, there is one thing I didn’t think of – the dislike of Coach Billy Clyde Gillispie in Kentucky. So once he was fired, if any school was going to make a play for the best in the business, it would be Kentucky. And now, Kentucky put the money and the deal on the table for John Calipari.
There’s little to quibble about with Coach Cal, except for the air of impropriety that follows Mr. Calipari. In fact, he can be even more selective with the characters he brings in to another school; Calipari has not coached at one of the storied programs yet in his career. And I am sure – and this is no real dig at Kentucky – that when it comes to providing perks or contacting the parents of recruits with boosters, Kentucky knows how to not get caught.
It’s a win-win. A man who loves a big platform, knows how to market and gladhand? It’s a perfect union, Calipari and Kentucky. And in terms of wins and losses, if the SEC is anything like it is this year, his team might go undefeated in the conference again. Just for fun, he’ll probably use his higher profile and actually bring in a college player from China.
If Cal does sign, the Kentucky fanbase can start worrying about topping UCLA in the number of NCAA championships (yes, I know Cal’s never won one, but he is very close).
I’ll be surprised if Calipari stays at Memphis. And Memphis, we’ll see what they do, if they turn the reins over to some up and coming young buck like assistant coach Josh Pastner or if they bring in a new staff.
Man, he must have really acted like a jackass to get the Kentucky fans to throw him off the lawn in the Bluegrass State. Billy Clyde Gillispie says his fate is out of his hands, ridiculous rumors are flitting around the interwebs, like this one about Billy Donovan on a plane…
Tough place to coach, that Kentucky. A different hoops world. Some say Kentucky has no choice, and I agree that at a certain point, the well’s just poisoned. But even if the coach is a turd and a half, he deserves a few years to recruit his guys!
Some St. John’s fans would love that kind of decisiveness; but New York fans and media are almost the same kind of attack dogs. And a lack of patience gives the idea that NYC doesn’t wait for a winner, which gets non-rebuilding efforts like the Layden and Isiah Thomas NY Knicks eras. And it gets people calling for the St. John’s head coaches’ job from his first year (even if the hire was curious at the time). Then again, anyone going to Kentucky knows you have to deal with, as Rush the Court so aptly puts it, the political side of the job. That is something Norm Roberts is very good at, even if his x’s and o’s are underwhelming. The administration would go through a wall to protect the coach.
It would be interesting to see if former UK player Travis Ford gets a sniff this time; he understands the culture down there and could thrive.
edit: As for Donovan, as my friend Martha says, his team has played in the NIT for TWO straight years… maybe he’s not the excellence that Kentucky is looking for.
Hey, where’s the AIG facade? They’re changing the company name… The Onion on the Morning After Burrito, the contraceptimelt… Open up borders to skilled immigrants – opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal and from the NY Times’ Thomas Friedman… some completely bizarre “perks” in Josh Freeze’s "pay what you will" pricing, especially compared to Radiohead – including lunch, a day at Disneyland, his Volvo, and the opportunity to have a song written about you… China’s central bank is talking about a new reserve currency…
And now… sports.
+ Eric Devendorf – punk or not? Read the take on Rumors and Rants, and the take on Ballin’ Is a Habit (which is sensible). And a defense here. Personally, I just think his mind thinks of plays his body can’t finish; he’s gotten better at matching his actual talent with his imagined talent, but watching some of his drives, truer words were never spoken than Sean McDonough’s "Devendorf’s the kind of player that keeps both teams in the game."
+ Jonny Flynn’s going to return for his junior year, supposedly.
+ Pitt Blather will be hosting a roundtable discussion on Big East domination of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
+ Patty Mills gets the best of Stephen Curry and the Davidson Wildcats in their matchup at St. Mary’s, which was the best NIT game I have seen since St. John’s beat Georgetown in 2003. And that wasn’t actually a good game. Mills has a far better supporting cast, and doesn’t turn the ball over 6 times in a game with a questionable dribble and ill-fated passes.
+ Is Steph Curry going pro? Is that the last we see of him?
+ The Big Lead rips on Gonzaga’s Austin Daye and his disappearing act on the court.
+ Missouri’s Mike Anderson’s trying to stay focused on the upcoming game against Memphis, and not on the talk of him possibly going to Alabama to coach the basketball team. He’s high on my list of coaches who might be switching jobs. CBS Sports reminds us that it would be much worse if he lied, instead of saying that he doesn’t want to talk about the future.
+ Alex Rodriguez. More high-end blonde hookers. Making fun of him is just boring at this point. At least he went to one of Eliot Spitzer’s trim suppliers.
+ The new women’s soccer league is confident despite the recession. I’ll be checking it out; women’s soccer in the US has to be better than the men’s pro league, MLS.