Monday, March 03, 2008

Thoughts on the current coaching "situation"

It's obvious that Mark Gottfried is on the hot seat. What I want to do is examine some of the reasons he should stay or be let go and play devil's advocate for each.

Why he should stay:

- Ronald Steele being out for the year is a valid excuse. While it's true that a healthy RS would've helped, does anyone believe Steele is a 6 game difference maker in conference play?

- Who's going to come up with $3 million topay off the rest of CMG's contract? By that logic, CMG gets 2 more years as getting it down to a mere $1 million makes more sense. The problem with this is the University might end up losing more than $1 million per for each year he sticks around in ticket sales and concessions.

- CMG took us to the Elite 8. Yes, making the Elite 8 was one of the most exciting times in Alabama basketball history. Heck, I had plane tickets reserved for Houston if we would've beaten UConn (tickets to Austin were too expensive). Here's the thing... we were an 8 seed that almost lost to SIU if not for Pettway. We pretty much underachieved that entire season.

- We achieved our 1st ever #1 ranking under CMG. We did... it was a great accomplishment, then we lost to Utah, went into conference play and couldn't muster a .500 record. We were almost the 1st team in history to achieve a #1 ranking and miss the NCAA tournament altogether. We snuck in as a 10 and got beat by Indiana.

- CMG has done more for this program than any other coach. Yeah... if you compare him to David Hobbs. While Wimp Sanderson never took us to the Elite 8 or to a #1 ranking, he did go to 5 straight Sweet Sixteens and won a bunch of SEC Tournaments.

Why he must go:

- The high post offense is outdated. While I'm not a fan of it, with the right players (Davidson, Chuck Davis, Erwin Dudley, Richard Hendrix) it's been effective. Besides, we don't use it as much as we used to.

- The program is going back to Hobbs' levels. Take a look at the roster and tell me we have no talent. I dare you to. While many of us have issues with the coaching, I don't think anyone (sane at least) is saying that our talent level is as bad as Hobbs' last few years.

- We can't win consistently on the road. The thing is, outside of Kentucky and Florida, no one in the SEC has won consistently on the road in the SEC the past 5 years.


MSmilie said...

I'm completely on the side of letting him go. I think you have to look at the last two years and the consistent underachievement of this program since year one.
While I admire Gottfried raising the talent level and his graduation rate, I think the program is growing stagnant and isn't getting better. If Hendrix returns next year - if - Bama has the makings of a historic team. Do we really want to take the chance that this cat will underachieve with another talented team?
I think you have to make a change now while the talent level and fan interest is still high. If not, there's a chance that the program will continue to regress until a new coach will have to go through a heavy duty rebuilding process.
I've been a fan since he was hired but he's taken the program as far as he can.

Alias said...

I agree with everything Mitchell said except that I do not think fan interest is high. Beyond that I think I have made my thoughts and feelings more than clear enough.