No one in sports is as clumsy and obvious in banging his own drum while defending others as Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari.
Listening to Cal whine about how college basketball coaches paid millions to educate and lead students are victims in our society is either nauseating or funny depending upon your ability to laugh at self-importance.
Last night, after Kentucky posted a hard-earned win over Georgia, Calipari opined about the state of coaching and how Georgia coach Mark Fox is doing a great job. Sadly for Fox, Calipari is not Georgia’s athletic director.
Calipari also defended the recently fired Mark Gottfried of North Carolina State.
No one would argue that building a top tier program at a football school like Georgia is tough as hell for Fox or any other coach, or that NC State retaining Gottfried to finish the season post-termination is idiotic.
The messages about his peers aren’t offensive, unless you are the AD at either Georgia or NC State – it’s the way Calipari paints himself as a victim through his membership in the fraternity of coaches that’s irksome. Continue reading
So often, the answer from Indiana fans when asked about Tom Crean’s leadership of the Hoosiers basketball program is, “Poor game coach, quirky guy, but great recruiter.”
His rep as a challenged game coach is overblown, but so is the usual valuation of his recruiting process. We all agree on the quirks.
Normally, I am not a fan of ranking basketball players 18-and-younger. No one can tell the difference between the 32nd best player in the class of 2017 and the 46th. Kids can be clustered, but as you’ll see below, the rankings of a kid like Victor Oladipo did not take into account the work ethic that would drive his jump from barely in the top 150 in the class of 2010 to the second overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. Continue reading
On the game show “Let’s Make a Deal”, contestants can stand pat with a modest wad of cash, or trade it for what’s behind the curtain. Sometimes it’s a new car, and other times it’s a goat.
Stick with mediocrity, or risk it for a car or a goat.
That’s the Indiana Pacers right now. They are an OK team, one game above .500 at the All Star Break. President of basketball ops Larry Bird can trade for what’s under the box, behind the curtain, or behind Door #1.
The problem is goats could be behind all three!
The Pacers are one of the NBA’s most mediocre teams with a roster cobbled together through a few draft successes, a couple of decent trades, and a few middling free agent signings. Continue reading
When I evaluate the work of others, my first step is to break the production of the employee into component parts. By measuring contributions in individual silos, I tend to be more objective and through that objectivity discover whether my visceral gut feeling is accurate.
Let’s do that as well as we can from 35,000 feet with Indiana University basketball coach Tom Crean. It’s especially appropriate because there are some in the IU fanbase who just don’t like Crean. His sideline antics and complicated responses to simple basketball questions are off-putting to some, so let’s apply some objectivity to his leadership and remove the impulse to view him subjectively.
I’ve broken his responsibilities down to some elementary components – recruiting, results, academics and compliance, in-game scheming, and fundament instruction.
Recruiting – Crean is always given great credit for recruiting skill, and I have never understood why. Yes, he found diamonds in the rough like Victor Oladipo and O.G. Anunoby. That is good. Not being able to entice a single top 10 recruit to Bloomington in his 10 classes is not good. Continue reading