Friday, May 21, 2010

"A dog that poops quick don't poop long!"

That (although I have substituted a less graphic word for another one he used) is  what one of my api buddies used to say when we would watch games together and one team would jump out to a huge, early lead.  I try to keep that expression in mind when I see a new leader produce remarkably quick results with a program.  Conversely, how many games did LSU's football team win in Nick Saban's first year?  What about in his first year at Alabama? 

I appreciate how disappointed many of us have been with the recruiting news up until now.  It is very easy to let that push out of our memories just how pleased we were to see how disciplined and conditioned our team was in Grant's first season.  None of us expected to win 30 games or even to go to the NCAA Tournament in that first year.  We knew rebuilding would take time.  We hoped recruiting would turn around quickly.  Most of us understood that probably would take time to show results too. 

I have no idea what players we should recruit. My life seems to have been so busy lately that I did not attend a single high school game last season. Other than cycling, I pretty much never watch or even follow professional sports. I almost never watch anybody play college football or basketball if they are not playing Alabama. Even in the old days with limited television coverage when I did try to watch every football and basketball game that was televised, I did not keep up with high school recruits or recruiting.

If there are any other ways to say I know nothing about recruiting except what I read here and on a few websites (I trust those people to know what they are talking about more than I do sports writers or broadcasters), I don't know how to say it.  I hope that is clear.

Having said all that, I am reminded that Coach Grant and Coach Pujol both have said repeatedly that 2011 is THE year for local area recruiting. I'm sure they would not have pursued the players we've recently lost to other schools if they did not want them for our program.  But they also said they would not sign a player just to fill a slot with a body. 

Rome was not built in a day. The people who have expressed their disappointment and exasperation at our lack of recruiting results up until now are not necessarily "haters." They probably are just frustrated.  We need to give Coach Grant at least as much time to rebuild our program as we gave his predecessor to dismantle it. 
We just got some good recruiting news.  There will be more recruiting news in the future.  Some will be encouraging.  Some will not.  Take a deep breath.  Building anything properly takes time.  Let's all remember how happy we were to see Coach Grant come to take control of our program. I do not recall him ever making a single excuse after any of his teams losses last year.  I expect him to be a tireless worker who learns from his mistakes and gets better over time.  We will let his results do his talking for him.  We will need more than one season and more than two recruiting seasons to know what they will say.  I am optimistic, but no practical person should abandon hope after so brief a period of time.
Roll Tide!


finebammer said...

thank you, a.

for the record, i don't "hate" grant. but i'm not drinking any koolaid either no matter who serves it up. and i'm not cutting a coach slack because of his race.

just a reminder, when i was giving gottfried grief about benching gerald wallace for the headcase grizzard, i was being called a lot of things but one of them wasn't a racist. (duh!)

i know this is gonna sound egotistical but i'd like to believe that i played some small part in the motivation of that athletic dept to renovate coleman. i was calling for coleman to be blasted on any radio show that would listen back in the mid nineties. i argued with bob bockrath on paul finebaum's show on that particular subject. i'd like to believe i embarrassed them into doing something to that dump even if it was perfume on a pig. i was called a lot of things but i wasn't called a "hater".

and that's fine. i'm gonna call things the way i see them regardless of what people think of me. been doing it too long now to stop.

NOBODY knows better than i the football flunkie mentality that permeates that athletic dept. NOBODY.

i DO believe race plays a role in how they look at basketball in tuscaloosa. i've been around long enough to notice how a white kid is treated by the crowd in games.

a lot of the problem is just plain stupidity. stupidity in how the seating is arranged in coleman, stupidity in how students are treated at games. stupidity in thinking we're just gonna show up down there like we're going to a football game.

but to sum it up, i'm sick and fucking tired.

i'm sick of the shit, sick of the excuses. sick of losing ground in a division of a conference that, frankly, ain't that damn tough.


anthony grant makes more than ANY coach in the history of alabama basketball, starting at day ONE. in my mind, that means we need to see results. (regardless of the race of the head coach)

also understand this, if i didn't give a damn, i wouldn't take the time to bother hunting and pecking all this crap into your message board.

39 Steps said...

Don't need the gutter words, but I agree with a lot of what you say.

MSmilie said...

Finebammer: No one questions your passion as a basketball fan. It's your presentation that could use some work.

No one is giving Grant a pass because of his race. That's nonsense, and you know it. However, I will pose the question: what do Alabama fans want?

They wanted to get rid of Gottfried and start over. Done. They wanted a coach to come in and improve the team's toughness and its defensive intensity. Done. They wanted a competitive team. Done.

Grant accomplished a lot with that team a year ago. The team lacked depth and character, thus you had some of those games in which they gave up big leads. However, no one can question the team played hard and was much more effective on the defensive end than arguably any team Gottfried coached. The team improved. The players improved. Mikhail Torrance is now considered a bona fide NBA prospect. That doesn't happen without Grant and his staff. I think Mikhail himself would agree with that.

So Grant comes in and makes an "under-skilled and under-talented" team a tough draw night in and night out. There was obvious improvement. So now the fans start screaming about the lack of in-state talent and how Grant doesn't know how to recruit the state even though this past season was one of the worst classes in the state in some time. Even though Grant went out and signed 3 top 150 rated recruits and a juco point guard who will be a contributor next season. Still, it wasn't good enough because there wasn't any in-state talent to brag about. And let's be clear about something: that idea you can't build a program without in-state talent is hog snot. You need players, period. If you've got good players you can win games, no matter what state they're from.

So what does Grant do next? He receives commitments from two of the top players in the state for the 2011 class. And he has his eyes on several other key guys in the 2011 class.

Now, what will people bitch about next?

Fans are free to express any opinion they have of the man, the university, the team, whatever. It makes for great discussion. All I ask for is some rationality when looking at the state of the program. The man just completed his first season as head coach. Rebuilding a program is never easy. It's particularly difficult when it involves a program that has been a model of incompetence and apathy long before he arrived. It's absolutely ridiculous the type of venom being spewed after one year on the job.

Just give the man some time to make a mark. You won't be sorry.

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