Monday, March 20, 2006

March Madness opening weekend thoughts

Wow... upsets galore. Who'd thunk two 2s, two 3s, and two 4s would be home already? George Mason and Wichita State fighting for the an Elite 8 spot. I bet everyone's bracket had both of them in the round of 16.

IMO the two most impressive teams so far are Florida and West Virginia. Never have their games been in question. Memphis has been impressive and their route to the Final Four could be done without playing a single team in a power conference (if Gonzaga beats UCLA). Not discounting Bradley, but I don't think they have the horses to play with Calapari's bunch. Saying that I bet they put a scare into the Tigers of Memphis (St).

For giggles my Final Four bracket is still alive as I have West Virginia coming out of Atlanta (and I'm hoping to catch one or both days of the regionals), Gonzaga
out of Oakland (I had Bama beating UCLA and now believe the Bruins are too much for anyone in this bracket), UConn in D.C., and Villanova out of Minneapolis. I got 4 Big East teams in the Elite 8.

Rod Barnes was fired from Ole Miss a few weeks ago and IMO would be a great addition to the Alabama staff. He preaches tough D, something our team isn't exceptional at. I wouldn't count him as a long term hire as I'm sure he'll be a HC again somewhere. People got to remember he was the coach at Ole Miss... which is almost the equivalent of being the football HC at Vanderbilt. He had success early on... 3 out of 4 years in the NCAAs before 4 consecutive losing seasons.

More info on Rod Barnes' Ole Miss highlights:
1998-99: 1st ever Ole Miss NCAA tourney win vs Villanova
2000-01: SECT finalist losing to UK and Sweet 16
2001-02: First Round loss to UCLA

Ole Miss Archives

I realize these accomplishments were 4 years ago, but not continually sucking at Ole Miss is worth something. I believe adding him to our staff would bring us even closer to a Final Four. JMO.


Anonymous said...

Of further note on Rod Barnes....he's a good and ethical guy who wouldn't cheat. When you contemplate who he was up against in fighting it out for recruits in the state of Mississippi(hint: his name rhymes with Prick) and the fact Ole Miss doesn't have the program nor facilities to recruit regionally, he was in a total no-win situation. I thought he did a pretty decent job, all things considered. When he had players, he did pretty well. Also, look at what Rob Evans has(n't) done at Arizona State without his top assistant when he was having success at Ole Miss.

There's zero doubt that Rod Barnes would be a GREAT addition to our staff. Specifically, his teams possessed strengths that have traditionally been problems for us. Of course, there has to be a job opening for him to come to UA. I don't think anybody wants to trade Asbury for anyone, though he's not likely to retire in the SE and may be ready to hang up his whistle and hit the golf courses in Arizona and California. Let's hope not. Phillip Pearson may finally get the mid major job he's been after. We all want to see him succeed. If he gets that opportunity, I hope Coach Barnes is CMG's first phone call. It will be interesting to see what happens with Barnes. He's very active in a church somewhere in rural Mississippi within 45-60 minutes of Oxford. I think he may be the pastor. I don't think he wants to go too far from there. Would he leave that church and move to Mobile for the S. Alabama job(he and CMG are tight and CMG may recommend his dad hire Rod at USA)? Maybe, Maybe not. My hope is that the church is half way between Oxford and T-town!!!!

One thing's for sure. Rod Barnes can coach and is a good person. I wish him all the best. If he ends up at UA, there's no doubt we'll be better off for it.

LB Jefferies said...

I have also hear here in Tuscaloosa that Asbury might have coached his last year here. I hate to hear that because I think he is a very good coach. IMO we need a real tough guy to compliment Gottfried's persona.

I wish Barnes would join the staff as well, but I just can't see him not getting any offers at least from mid major programs. Those jobs are more attractive than ever with the parity that we are now seeing in this year's NCAA tournament.