Friday, March 25, 2011

Coaching rumors- Mark Price and Ga Tech, Mark Gottfried and Utah?

Regarding Gottfried... it looks like he's trying to muscle his way back into the coaching ranks. If he's the best Utah can get so be it... but I have to think they're aiming higher than this.

This opening is better than what people think it is. Utah is about to join the PAC-10 (or is it 12 now) thus gaining instant prestige for being in a big 6 conference AND having some sort of winning history behind it. It's a job that with the right coach can win and win quickly as the PAC-10 is pretty much a 3 team conference with lots of ground to be made up in the middle. I'm not sure Gottfried is a good fit there, but that's their call not mine.

While I'm thinking about Gottfried... I got a few bones to pick with him. Indulge me for a minute or 10...

While I do appreciate him leading us to our 1st (and only) week as the #1 team in America (lasted a week with a loss at Utah... ironic) and the improbable run to the Elite 8, I never really got behind him as our coach. He inherited a trainwreck from Hobbs... no doubt and took us eventually to 5 straight NCAA tournaments, but is that really that big of a deal? Heck we sweated out 3 of those and when we were a 5 seed or higher we exited stage right the 1st week of the tournament.

Let me go back to before our first NCAAT under xCMG. We made it to the NIT Finals while was great considering where we were. Got beat down by Tulsa. From memory I believe he asked for and got a raise for that. A RAISE for fighting for the #65 slot in CBB? I guess good for him for getting it and bad for Mal being asleep at the wheel and giving it to him, but DAMN... how about a little more success before asking?

Fast forward to the 03-04 season where we make our improbable run to the Elite 8 (to lose to that freight train called UConn... no shame in that). Along the way we sneak out a win over SIU, then the upset over Stanford (who came in as the #1 overall seed with only 1 loss on the season), and then the following week a beatdown of defending champs Syracuse. All that is great... and if you look at our regular season you can see the improvement of the team despite the loss of Chuck Davis. Not even a week after the tournament Gottfired is looking for another raise and uses openings at a couple places (South Carolina off the top of my head) to parlay that into another payday. Again, good for him for pulling this off, but again... it's not like he was lighting the SEC basketball world on fire. IMO he again held the AD hostage and Mal caved again... paying him more than Mike Shula (I've made my rants on Shula before so I won't cover that).

We know how it all ended and it was probably about 2 years too late. Then again we probably don't have Grant if we cut our losses earlier.

All that is in the past... what irritated me recently about him was his smug, almost "I don't want them to make the tournament" attitude he put out there (at least to me and most of the people I know) regarding his in studio analysis job. He went out of his way to praise others while pretty much dogging his former employer. I get it, he's butthurt over his ouster (getting fired), but many of those kids fighting for their 1st NCAA appearance were kids he recruited and coached. I wasn't asking for him to be 'rah rah', but maybe some unbiased thought (like he supposedly paid to have) would've been nice. It was "Alabama's non-conference schedule was blah" and "UGA played tougher opponents" that really got to me. IMO he was butthurt in 2 ways...

1) for getting canned
2) seeing how Anthony Grant took mostly his players and got them to believe in themselves, play defense (gasp), and even win.

I can't stand the guy. Can't stomach watching him on TV breaking down games since I wonder if he did that while coaching the Crimson Tide his last 3 years. In retrospect the Elite 8 appearance probably did more harm to our program than good.

Note- I kept this strictly to coaching. I have no interest in personal lives.

Price to Georgia Tech is getting some legs. I don't think it'll happen, but it might not be the worst option on the table. The rumor is Mark Price comes in as HC with Kenny Anderson and Craig Neal as assistants. It's a relatively cheap and it's an appealing option to those fans of the past. Truth be told... I think any of those guys could do the job Paul Hewitt did and then some.


Anonymous said...

I used to be glad about Coach Gottfried being the coach of the Crimson Tide. He recruited some great players, and he always, win or lose, expressed pride and love and appreciation for his players, at least publicly during interviews.

But I became troubled about the number of players that were leaving the program, whether it was transfers to other schools, quitting, or premature attempts into the NBA.

Then I became frustrated after UA losses, and hearing Gottfried always with the same song, "The guys just have to find a way (to win games)." To me, it was a confession that he didn't know the way to winning and it was up to his players to "try to find a way" on their own.

If you're a good coach, aren't you supposed to show the way to win for the players that you coach? Don't you lead them with a strategy that you prepare your players for? That's what a great coach will do.

And that's what I see from Coach Grant. He is doing this. A Leader, a Teacher, Someone who knows how to lead his players to Victory.

finebammer said...

it's one thing to be arrogant and good.

something entirely different to be arrogant and not.

as most coaches that come to alabama basketball are, gottfried was a project. he was a project that never developed.

but that arrogance did.

i personally know of the tension between gerald wallace's family, aau coaches and the gottfried camp. i watched wallace at childersburg. he had an outside shot there. it went away at alabama. the wallace camp felt gottfried trying to bulk gerald up and screwed his shot up. gerald's aau coaches did think gottfried could coach. there was a LOT of carping back and forth behind the scenes. it cost gerald playing time and pushed him into the nba to early in my estimation.

even after gerald left for sacramento, the carping continued. that really surprised me out of gottfried. the man is gone. let it go.

then came ron steele. mark gottfried rode ron steele like a rented mule. the season before ('05?) ron had his knee troubles he AVERAGED OVER 40 MINS. A GAME.

i'll never forget the tennessee game that season. ('06 -'07) ron absolutely tortured himself trying to get up and down the court. how gottfried stood and watched that courtside still baffles me. i hated him after that. hated the man. ron eventually had THREE KNEE OPERATIONS to curethe "tendonitis" he claimed ron had and needed playing time to cure.

look, i know mis-diagnosises happen. but you don't stand there in practice and games for THREE MONTHS and watch that happen. he flushed a lottery pick nba career down the toilet trying to save his own arrogant ass while the toadys in the local sports media (kevin scarbinsky leading the charge) enabling him.

to sum it up, if i happened on mark gottfried on any street corner burning to death, i wouldn't piss on him to help. i know that sounds harsh.

thank antione pettway for that.

finebammer said...

"gerald's aau coaches did think gottfried could coach."

DIDN'T think he could coach.


Alias said...

I was the next to last person I know of to give up on XCMG. I wanted things to work out. I hoped he was sane enough to understand that he was ruining his opportunity to become an elite coach and guide our program into becoming a legitimate contender.

Unfortunately for him and for us, he miserably failed us and the players he recruited. In his next to last season, I used to sit in front of a 14 year old girl who knew more about how to game coach that XCMG ever did. It was embarrassing.

Our team played so poorly, especially on the defensive end of the court, that I did not use my season tickets after the second conference game of the season - and I had two daughters who were students in Tuscaloosa at the time.

Unless the man has learned something from his experience, I don't think he is a vialbe candidate as a high school hoops coach. For his sake, I hope he has learned.

MSmilie said...

I think Mark can still be a viable coach at the mid-major level, but I think his Alabama tenure proved that he didn't have the chops necessary to sustain success. His first four years were good, but the inconsistency that dogged the program under his tenure happened that fourth year when they were embarrassed by Kent State in the second round. From that point forward, it was a slow erosion in the fans (and players) confidence in him.

MSmilie said...

Edit: I think his Alabama tenure proved that he didn't have the chops necessary to sustain success at the major level.