Friday, February 15, 2008

Bobby Knight resigns at Texas Tech. What's his legacy (Part 2)

I've been meaning to write the 2nd part for a week, but that day job kept getting in the way.

CBK's Indiana days:
In his 29 years in Bloomington, he won 662 games with a .739 winning percentage, won 20 games 22 times (a lot easier to win 20 games now than it was back then), won 11 Big Ten titles, was 42-21 in the NCAA tournament, made 5 Final Fours, and oh yeah... won 3 National Titles (undefeated 76, 81, 87).

If his career ended at Indiana in 1994, the accomplishments I just listed are remarkable. He didn't make it past the 1st weekend of the NCAAs after 94 and didn't win a single Big Ten title. I think his last "star" players at Indiana were Calbert Cheney (93?) and Alan Henderson (95)... neither panned out in the NBA. I can't think of another "name" that played there after Henderson... just thought of another one... Jared Jeffries (01), but he wasn't all that good. The reason I point this out is CBK's career at Indiana started to falter a bit when he couldn't (or didn't) get the best HS players to play for him. Considering he didn't have the most talented players in the nation playing for him once could say he did a hell of a job guiding IU to the NCAAs every year.

Indiana since Bobby Knight:
Mike Davis took over and guided them to an unlikely Finals appearance his 2nd year, losing to Gary "I sweat through my suits" Williams ans Maryland in 2002. The following year CMD led IU to the 2nd round of the NCAAs... then the wheels fell off the next 2 years with a 14-15 and 15-14 record in 2004 and 2005. Davis resigned in 2006 halfway through the season effective the end of the year. Indiana lost in the 2nd round to Gonzaga.

Enter Kelvin Sampson. What a trainwreck he's become. There were whispers of cheating from his OU days. IU hires him anyway... and I think weeks later he's implicated by the NCAA for impermissable phone calls to recruits and recruits parents. Most recently, Sampson is in NCAA hot water (again) for the same thing that got him into trouble at OU. He's probably going to lose his job over it.

So what's Bobby Knight's legacy? For his career he's the all-time winningest coach (until Coach K passes him in 4-5 years), godfather of the motion offense, holds 3 NCs, and is renouned as one of the greatest teachers of the game. Unfortunately, that's not the only way he's going to be remembered. His temper tantrums, bullying of a few players and coaches, and his relationship with the media tarnish his on the court accomplishments.

Saying that, if he wants to coach again (and I doubt he does) he'd have schools lining up for his services. If my kid plays basketball and CBK still coaching I'd have no problem sending him to play for him. At the very least he'd come out with an education and the skills to thrive in the workforce. Like I said in part 1 of this... the vast majority of kids that played for Bobby Knight have nothing but praise for the man. I could go on a tangent about how things have changed, but that's for another blog.

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