Friday, February 22, 2008

Sampson out

Kelvin Sampson is out as head coach at Indiana University. Here are my initial thoughts:

1.) How did a 2 pm press conference turn into a 9 pm press conference? This just seemed like a microcosm of the way the entire situation has been handled from the day it was announced that Mike Davis would resign.

2.) I have zero confidence in Rick Greenspan's ability to hire the right coach for Indiana. He picked a winning coach in Kelvin Sampson. But it turns out that winning now isn't as important as building a foundation for a great program.

3.) If he manages keeps his own job, Greenspan needs to hire a brilliant young coach who is looking for a place to spend the next 20 years winning championships. DZ likes Scott Drew because of his connections with Butler and Valpo. He turned around Baylor which is nothing short of amazing. I'm looking for someone a little more proven like Tony Bennett of Washington State or Brad Brownell of Wright State. I don't think they need to try to hit a home run with a big name like Thad Matta or John Calipari or Mark Few. They can't afford those guys anyway. Get a basketball mind who is savvy enough to carve his own legacy at Indiana.

4.) Don't, under any circumstance, hire interim coach Dan Dakich. Interim coaches are a bad idea. They weren't your first choice for a reason. Were talking about a guy who never went to the NCAA tournament in 10 years at Bowling Green. If he wants to be the next coach he better win it all this March.

5.) Indiana doesn't need a Knight protege to succeed. Actually, that's one of the things I think Greenspan got right with Sampson. Just get a great coach. Why limit yourself to a handful guys with spotty coaching records?

6.) I feel bad for DJ White. His career has unluckily coincided with some of the worst moments in IU basketball history. Karma owes this kid a banner.

7.) Was there ever a better time to look at your schedule and see 0-13 Northwestern?

8.) I think it's great that Greenspan went out of his way to not refer to Purdue by name, instead calling it that "other team."

9.) I know kids tend to come to a school for the coach, but these kids would be crazy to transfer. Okay it's hard to say this with a straight face given how well Robert Vaden is playing at UAB. Hoosier fans are in for yet another rough year or two. I hope, as Mike Davis would say, help is on the way.

10.) I thought it was interesting that the lawyer seemed to think that IU's self imposed sanctions would still be sufficient. Sounds like wishful thinking, but I hope she's right.

11.) I really don't feel that bad about this situation. Maybe it's because they just made Purdue look average the other night, but I'm not too broken up. I liked Kelvin Sampson and I wish him the best, but I think Indiana will be fine. If this was another school it might be a death knell, but the fans care too much in Indiana and that's why the program will be back. Just pick the right guy this time. Please.

12.) I'll agree with Bob Kravitz on one point. Indiana University needs to seriously rethink it's leadership hierarchy. Can we get somebody that knows what the hell he is doing down there?

Related Links: Dan Wetzel of Yahoo says the players need to get behind Dakich and fast.

SI has a rumor that Indiana might be interested in Randy Wittman. Blech. Recruiting is such a huge part of the game. I don't think you can take a chance on an NBA guy who has never done a day of recruiting in his life.

Seth Davis thinks Indiana is still a top five job. Would someone please treat it that way?

Greenspan screwed the whole thing up as badly as possible. There is no way to justify leaving him in that job. The best news is that a new AD will likely give Bill Lynch a short rope. Thank God for small favors.


DNy said...

Great site. I've been reading for awhile but never felt the need to comment.

I'm from Indiana and spent two years at Duke so I've spent a lot of time watching two of the greatest college basketball coaches in history. Now I'm at Baylor, and I assure you, Scott Drew is not what Indiana needs. He is amazingly optimistic, great with the media, and a good recruiter, but the on-court product is lackluster. I know I'm spoiled, but watching four guys stand around as one guy tries to penetrate is not my idea of a good offense. Drew is better with the media than Mike Davis, but the complaints about gameplay would be the same. I see things heading south when Indiana fans get tired of seeing talented teams underachieve. With that said, people at Baylor think he's great, and he is young. But let's not miss the fact that Baylor's play has dropped off quite a bit from earlier in the season. There's two cents from someone who knows the Baylor program. I'll be there tonight to cheer them on to beat K-State.

Demond Sanders said...

Great insight. Thank you!

Shake'n'bake said...

Sportcenter tingiht showed that at least a couple of the Indiana players had "K.S." written on their shoes during the Northwestern game. Maybe a bit of support for the Obi-wan Kenobi scenario?

Deshawn Zombie said...

It certainly looks that way. With his son still a graduate manager, and the players saying they are playing for him, I can only hope this is our best case scenario.