Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Knight worth a discussion in Tuscaloosa- Finebaum article

Last Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Gottfried was gone, according to someone who talked directly with Knight, the now ESPN commentator began investigating the Alabama job. Big-time.

He looked at tapes of games. He studied the roster. He looked at who had signed with the Tide for next year and who might still be available.

"He would like the job," said the friend of Knight's. The man, who asked for anonymity, said Knight was serious and had strong interest in the Alabama job. The person said if Mal Moore picked up the phone and called, he would seriously entertain an offer — probably even accept. It's not about the money. He is wealthy (he gave back a year's salary at Texas Tech while he was there and made serious donations to the school library). It's about one last chance to finish his career on a high note, to be productive and useful. And perhaps, for one of the game's most iconic figures, leaving on a grand stage as opposed to the middle of a season.

Interestingly, Knight apparently has sent similar signals to people in Georgia as well, according to a recent report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But something tells me he sees the Alabama job as a more promising place. And for good reason

Read the rest here.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I'd be thrilled if he was our next head coach. Fan interest would be at an all-time high and most importantly lots of tickets would be sold for next season. Heck, I'd even entertain buying season tickets even though I live 190 miles away.


Anonymous said...

The next coach should be either Bob Knight or Mike Anderson...Yet, i just don't see how in the world you pass on bob knight though...the guy could come in for a nice 5 year run, bring loads of attention to the school and win, he puts bama on the basketball map like nobody else...heck, after knight than maybe you hire Mike Anderson from Missouri, so you get them both, he really shouldn't bolt from Missouri at the moment anyway.

MSmilie said...

Bobbyjack: I usually agree with you, but I can't get behind this. Knight is a great coach, but he's from a different time and place. I don't think his basketball philosophy works well in the modern game.

Sure, Knight will generate excitement and national media and sell tickets for the basketball program, but it's a short fix at best. Within 2 years Alabama could find itself right back to square one looking for a new head coach. I would rather bring in a proven younger guy who will connect with the players and be around for a solid 4-5 years, recruiting well, building the program, so even if he leaves the next coach inherits a good situation. There's no guarantee that Knight can accomplish this.

MSmilie said...

Gary Parrish's recent article at CBS Sportsline. This guy breaks down why Georgia [or Alabama] should not hire Knight. It captures my feelings on the matter completely.

Bob Knight to Georgia?

No way, I say.

Which is the exact thing Georgia athletic director Damon Evans needs to say too, or else he'll end up looking more foolish than he did when he kept Dennis Felton in place on the merits of a good weekend last March only to remove him this January.

Talk about getting caught up in the moment. And if Evans goes this route he's again getting caught up in the moment (plus the possible headlines and ESPN attention), because there is no good reason for a school like Georgia to hire a man like Knight, and the main reason I feel that way is because I've never seen Knight at an AAU game.

Allow me to explain.

The only way to consistently win at the high-major level is to get good players, and the only way to get good players is to recruit with a passion. Problem is, Knight has no passion for recruiting, evidence being that I've never seen him at an AAU game in my entire life.

Understand, I'm on the AAU circuit every July, sitting in the bleachers next to Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Rick Pitino, Bill Self and everybody else in the world of college basketball. You name them, they're on the road in July non-stop, bouncing from one gym to the next, evaluating talent, positioning themselves to be seen, catering to AAU coaches, wearing themselves out. And yet in seven years of Nike Camps, ABCD Camps and Las Vegas tournaments, I never once bumped into Knight, and it's not because he was hiding from me.

It's because he doesn't recruit that way.

Ask anybody: Knight rarely made the AAU rounds in recent years.

That's why the Texas Tech team he handed off to his son last season finished tied for seventh in the Big 12, why the team his son is coaching right now is tied for last in the Big 12, why the Red Raiders finished fifth in the Big 12 in 2006-07 and tied for seventh in 2005-06, because even a coach as great as Knight -- and make no mistake, he is a tremendous "coach" even to this day -- can't win at the high-major level without high-major players.

Thus, this would be a foolish move for Georgia.

Regardless of what Dick Vitale suggests.

"To me it's no contest; if Bobby Knight is interested in Georgia basketball, it's no contest," Vitale said. "He's so good I'd come with him as an assistant."

Let me be clear: I like Vitale.

I was down with him getting into the Hall of Fame, even wrote about it in the blog. But Vitale is no more credible when it comes to Knight than Rod Blagojevich is when it comes to anything, because Knight and Vitale are best buddies who've been patting each other on the back for years. Knight campaigned on Vitale's behalf for the Hall of Fame, and so Vitale is now returning the favor by promoting Knight for the Georgia job.

That's fine.

I get it.

But I wonder if Vitale truly understands the importance of recruiting.

He always talks about Diaper Dandies and PTP'ers, but does he know you have to recruit to get Diaper Dandies and PTP'ers, and that Knight hasn't shown any passion for recruiting in years?

Again, I'll take Knight the tactician over just about any other tactician. He's tremendous. But there's no way Knight will consistently beat Billy Donovan (Florida), Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) and Billy Gillispie (Kentucky) without comparable players, and there's no reason to think he'll recruit in a way that'll land him comparable players.

For that reason, Georgia should pass.

Go get Anthony Grant.

Go get somebody on the way up.

That's what Georgia ought to do.

In the meantime, Knight should focusing on getting a job in the Horizon League, Colonial League or some other league where you don't get overwhelmed by an opponent with McDonald's All-Americans. In that setting, he'd be terrific. That's where I'd hire him. But at this stage in his career he doesn't belong in the SEC or any other place where securing elite prospects is the only way to succeed, because securing elite prospects isn't what Bob Knight does.

bobbyjack said...

Gary Parrish was the ghostwriter for Roy Adams during the Means Memphis fiasco. While he might have a valid point I can't get past that.

If Mike Anderson is available I take him first. If not we have to look at CBK. He would fill those many empty seats at least for the next couple of years and even if he flounders the guy that replaces him would have a fanbase that really cares. He would generate interest in an untapped portion of the state... young kids that see him on TV.

I just don't see how some people see Anthony Grant or any other mid major coach being a better selecton than CBK. Right now, we need something to enegrize the fanbase... and other than Mike Anderson or a coach from the ACC, Bobby Knight is that guy that at least in the short haul makes us relevant again.

Anonymous said...

Imagine Bob Knight and Nick Saban as our coaches...

Anonymous said...

The Bobby Knight issue will actually force Mal and Dave to hit a serious homerun.

Grant is not proven on the highest level. Neither is Anderson.

If the talk of Calpari is true (and it IS), the specter of Bobby Knight will take it to the next level.

BAMA does not want to have to hire Knight.

To prevent a Knight groundswell from becoming a Tsunami they will now spend whatever it takes to get Cal into the SEC (a place he'd really rather be.)

Its a race against Georgia. Loser gets Knight.

Anonymous said...

if bobby knight wants to be productive and useful, let him go to work for the jimmy hale mission.

Anonymous said...

We should have named C.M Newton as interim coach!

Anonymous said...

don't look now but kentucky may be entering that race.

three losses in a row, two in front of the home crowd.

if gillespie doesn't turn this around quick..........

great game to watch at the o-dome last night.

MSmilie said...

Something tells me Tubby looks better and better to the Bluegrass faithful right now. Idiots. They deserve whatever happens for the way they pushed him out.

And I'm sure Gillespie's heart grows fonder for College Station every day. The guy started jumping jobs a little too quickly in my opinion.

If I was Billy, I'd recruit a point guard and pray that at least one of his star players [Meeks and Patterson] returns to school.

bobbyjack said...

BK to UK would be even more intriguing. Don't tell me that at least in the short term they'd be better off than they are now.

Maybe UK fired BG, hires BK and leaves us BG as MG's replacement. That I could dig.