Here's the link.
First off, like DJC said below... I want to thank Avery Johnson for his efforts here. While it didn't turn out the way either side wanted it to, there is no doubt his first 3 years here he was doing everything he could to get the program off and running. He left his program in much better position than the previous 3 coaches before him.
To put the blame on Avery Johnson for the recent failures of the program is short sighted. Sure there were things he could've done better, but in the end it came down to execution on the court and I'm going to point the finger at the players on the team. With the exception of a couple... most of them played with little heart or desire. You could see Avery's frustration on the bench when someone would jack up ANOTHER ill-advised 3 that a mason would've been proud of to further bury the team in a deficit. There were no leaders on this team. ZERO. For anyone that thinks Kira should've taken that role... yeah, no one is going to follow a 17 YO's lead. He should be that person next year though.
We all complained about Avery's weird rotation of players. My understanding of this was out of pure frustration as communication on the team wasn't very good and he kept trying to find ANY 5 that could play in sync. Rarely did we have more that 3 players have a really good game within the same game. You can blame that on team chemistry.
Coaching staff... whoever comes in should have 100% power on who is part of his staff. While I genuinely like a few of the current members, the results require an overhaul. IMO when Bob Simon in 2017 was let go things changed for the worse.
I suspect we will have more than 3 transfers out of the program with the new HC coming in. It will probably be a good thing.
What we need from the Athletic Department:
- A REAL commitment to basketball. Sure we throw good HC salaries out there, but with crap facilities and very little promotion of the program it takes a special coach to make it work here.
- Adding to above... $3 million/yr is fine. No need to go to $5 million as that limits other things.
- Get away from the "don't put the fb program in peril" mentality. It's a real battle here and there is no real reason for it to be one. Other FB first schools balance this.
- No more of the Bama-Barn halftime FB trophy spectacle. It marginalizes basketball. Let them do that during baseball, soccer, golf, or something else.
Finally, I want to talk about what we REALISTICALLY NEED from the next head coach here. I'll bullet-point it:
- Sells the program- very similar to Avery Johnson and Mark Gottfried when they cared
- Either a solid X and O coach or brings in assistants that are solid at that. I don't think we've had one HC since Wimp if I'm being honest about that. Gottfried did have assistants that did this well.
- All this talk about Final Fours and conference championships... all I want in the next 5 years is to be a consistent NON BUBBLE NCAAT team that sits in the top half of the SEC.
- A tall task, but we have to be THE BEST TEAM in Alabama in a few years. I suspect Bruce Pearl has about another season before he packs up for a better gig.
Bama basketball is as relevant as the Pittsburgh Pirates in MLB. I would like to see that change before I turn 60. I wish I could say I have confidence it will, but we have over 25 years of below average achievements and that's is now our history... not the numerous Sweet 16s of the 80s and early 90s.