Coaching Surprises



  • I figured of all the coaches Donovan would be the most likely to jump. He is a great candidate for the NBA coaching ranks. I could see him coaching an NBA team. I think he will be fairly successful too. Like Self, he does get similar type players and coaches them up a level or two. I’d say at this point, other than maybe Mayor Hoiberg and Self, Donovan would be a good NBA coach.

    I hope the best for him if he does decide to coach in the NBA.

    This is a great line to use and it’s so telling:

    DESTIN, Fla. – Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan won’t guarantee he will be back next season.

    It’s not because he doesn’t want to make that promise.

    It’s because he doesn’t want to break it.

    This tells me he’s pretty much gone. The fact that he’s even revisiting the idea is a huge flag. If I were UF fans or the AD, I’d start a preliminary list of candidates.

    “I think when you start making guarantees about life and start making guarantees about where you’re going to be, that’s not good because if for some reason I ever change my mind and did something, I wouldn’t want (people) saying, ‘Well, he promised, he guaranteed, he said this on record,’” Donovan said. “I just think when you start doing that, that’s a mistake.”

    Sorry Billy, you’ve already made a mistake by making this public statement. You should’ve just kept your mouth and business closed. Just keep it between you and your AD. Tell the media, what you said earlier, "“All I can say is I love Florida, I’m happy here … the school’s been great to me,” …

    Enough said. No one can fault you for this statement and it’s safe with no agenda. Right now you are happy, but doesn’t mean you can’t look at other options. Or just shut up about the NBA if you’re not interested…haha.

    I write this because it’s too close to home with Bill Self. It’s doubtful, because unlike Donovan, Self has never jumped like Donovan did and then changed his mind. Self has been pretty straight. He’s definitely a “I say what I mean, and I mean what I say” kind of guy/coach.

    This is a great story and just a sobering reminder to all D1 successful programs, that your head coach could jump at anytime. I also think Bill Self is lying when he says that no NBA teams have called him…I’m laughing so hard, I can’t stand it. I know good and well Self gets regular calls, even when teams still have coaches. Self is quite the statesman.

    How many Jayhawk fans think Norm Roberts would be a great candidate?



  • I actually prefer that he said what he did instead of promising he will stay and then bolting for another school or the NBA. He left Florida before and came back a few days later when he realized the difference between coaching in college, where he had all the authority, absolute power and the respect of players, and the NBA, where he has little or no control over personnel, the players are prima donas that make more money than he does and if they get mad enough they can get you fired,

    In general, the more successful NBA coaches cut their teeth in the NBA as assistants before becoming head coaches. College coaches that moved to the NBA, in general have not had success. Every time there is a vacancy in the NBA, a college coach name is mentioned and most every time a coach is selected from another NBA team or from a list of former NBA coaches. Coaching in the NBA is quite different (and with much less job security) than coaching college and I believe most college coaches know this and stay in college. I seriously doubt Donovan will leave Florida, where he has a very good gig going on.

    Here is an article with a summary of college coaches that went to the NBA (there is not that many) and the success, or lack thereof, they had there; it is eye opening as it includes big names such as Pitino and Calipari.

    College coaches that moved to the NBA…



  • I also think Bill Self is lying when he says that no NBA teams have called him…I’m laughing so hard, I can’t stand it.bolded text

    They call his agent . . . per protocol. Ya got ta know how it works, True. With it, Bill gets plausible denial.



  • The thing you have to remember about college coaches jumping to the NBA is that they often are taking over very bad teams.

    In 1999-2000 the Atlanta Hawks were 28-54 before hiring Lon Kruger. He won 25 and 33 before being fired 27 games into his third season.

    In 1996-1997 the Celtics were 15-67 before hiring Rick Pitino. He won 36 games the next season before winning 19 games in the strike shortened season, then 35 the next year. He was replaced after 34 games the following year.

    Tim Floyd took over the post Jordan Bulls. You can imagine how that went.

    Running down the list, every single one of those guys took over a very bad team and left them as a slightly less bad team.

    The other tough thing about coaching in the NBA as opposed to college is that you can’t recruit your way out of a bad situation. Unless you land a great player in the draft, or already have some internal talent, you’re probably going to have to endure at least 2-3 years of bad teams to get things turned around because of contracts and roster restrictions. In college, you can turn a team around overnight by landing a couple of top 20 recruits. In the pros, even if you land the best player in the draft, you’re still probably just barely a playoff team, if that.

    Then you have to consider that in college, if you’re a top coach it’s likely that you have the far superior team about half the time, meaning you prep for a comparable team about half the time. You can look at KU’s schedule for next year right now and find 15 wins even if the entire coaching staff flew to Aruba and didn’t come back until February. In the NBA you don’t get nights off. If you’re playing Orlando tonight, but your focus is on Miami tomorrow, Orlando can beat you, and beat you soundly.

    You have to bring it every night (literally every night) from November to April in the NBA. In college, you bring it twice, maybe three times a week.



  • @JayHawkFanToo I totally get your point. But, I don’t buy the list completely. I don’t think it’s indicative. I do agree college and pro are two totally different coaching experiences. But I think it depends on the coach too. It’s not that college coaches can’t or fail in the NBA, it’s the coach not the history. It goes both ways. I wonder how many NBA coaches would make good college coaches?

    I guess Larry Brown failed? obviously KU - Detroit Pistons (note: KU '83-88…)

    Brown was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach on September 27, 2002. Although widely considered one of the greatest coaches in basketball history, he has developed a reputation for constantly looking for better coaching opportunities and frequently switching teams or programs before the expiration of his contract. Brown moved back to the NBA after his time in Kansas, taking the head coaching job with the San Antonio Spurs, and has since led the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers (where he won the NBA coach of the year award), Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, and the Charlotte Bobcats.

    Brad Stevens failing?When Brad Stevens left Butler to take over as head coach of the Boston Celtics, he walked head-on into an ugly tradition.

    No, not the Celtics’. After all, Boston is the most decorated franchise in the NBA.

    The scary history that Stevens joins is the one dooming college basketball coaches to ignominious failure in the professional ranks.

    Stan Albeck - not a smashing success, but was a consistent winner in the NBA

    Bill Fitch - Coe College, Bowling Green, U of Minnesota to Cleveland Cavaliers…Eastern Conf Finals, Boston Celtics NBA title, and the Western Conf title with Houston Rockets (the Twin Towers) Wha wha? He didn’t coach at a ‘blueblood’ school and was still a success in the NBA?

    Cotton Fitzsimmons - junior college, ksu, and then Suns

    Joe Lapchick - St Johns and then NY Knickerbockers

    John MacLeod - Big 8, OU and then Phoenix Suns

    Dick Motta - high school, college and then the Bulls

    Jack Ramsey - St Joe to the NBA, made a few poor trades

    Fred Schaus - played and coached at WVU and then NBA

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1792296-the-best-nba-coaches-who-got-their-starts-in-college-basketball



  • link text

    A Tough Act To Follow

    Well, it’s not a surprise or KU basketball, but it’s bball all the same. Who will be Coach K’s successor?

    I would be shocked it they pick Jeff Capel, formerly of OU. I wonder if Danny Ferry, Christian, Grant Hill, maybe Dawkins or Amaker? I wonder if they’ll keep it all in the Dook family? I could even see Bobby Hurley taking over for Coach K. I would think that Amaker, Hill, or Hurley would be your top prospects. It’s interesting that Grant Hill retired last year with the Clippers. It’s perfect timing and he would be the best cadidate for the coaching job, but he may want to enjoy his family after playing 19 years in the NBA and on the road. But the NCAA wouldn’t be too bad on Grant Hill’s family and he’s 41 years old. It would be a great way to end your bball career.

    Also, do you think dook continues to remain competitive or does it leave with Coach K’s leaving?

    I’m glad we’re not having this discussion about KU right now. But every good thing must come to an end some day.



  • @truehawk93

    I was referring to coaches in the last 20 years or roughly what the article I linked cites. Most of the coaches you mentioned are from a long time ago and the coaching game and the coaching business, both at the college and NBA level, has changed a great deal since then; using coaches whose experience was that long ago is not representative of current conditions.

    Also, don’t forget that Larry Brown started coaching in the old ABA and then moved to college and then back to the NBA, so it not fair to say that he is a college coach that moved to the NBA; actually, it is the other way around. You can always mention Dick Vitale that coached High School, College and the NBA and was somewhat successful, but then again, and just like the others, it was a long time ago.

    As far as who will succeed Coach K, I m pretty sure it will not be Capel; he is a textbook example of the Peter’s principle. He is a good assistant coach but a complete bust as head coach. If I were a betting man, I would say that Dawkins and Amaker would be the leading candidates. Both have had recent success but they did not do well initially. Wojciechowski and Hurley do not have much experiencing and they have not had the chance to show what the can do; maybe by the time the position is actually available they will have better resumes



  • Watch a Roy assistant like Jerod Haase (UAB head coach now) take over for Ole’Roy one day soon. Watch Danny Manning have success at Maryland, making him a viable candidate to replace Self one day. Or, watch it be Kurt Townsend, who was voted nationwide as the #1 ranked assistant coach in college. He is also known as a recruiter.

    “No” on Mark Turgeon. Hasnt done anything since his WSU Sweet16 appearance Y-E-A-R-S ago…



  • @ralster Manning will replace Turgeon at Maryland?



  • I thought Turgeon was building a case early on-now I don’t even see him in the conversation.

    I didn’t know where Haase was-thanks for the heads up. He was one of my favorites and I will be watching him.



  • @ralster

    Turgeon had the misfortune )or bad judgment) of taking the Maryland job, a program with many problems and transitioning from the ACC to the Big 10, a situation that created a lot of turnover in the program. If he can get the Maryland program going and make it a contender in the Big 10, then he might insert himself back into the conversation, but at this time I agree with you, he is not a viable candidate for KU.

    BTW, Manning is at Wake Forest not Maryland…unless something happened recently that I am not aware of.



  • @truehawk93 I actually don’t think Roberts would make a very good candidate. That isn’t to say he might not make a good coach for them, but as a candidate I think his resume is unspectacular. His head coaching stint at St. Johns was not overly successful. He is part of the KU coaching staff that is in the midst of its greatest recruiting years, but that credit is pretty well spread around (Townsend, Howard, obviously Self, the university itself). And much like the NBA likes young players with unknown potential, the more desirable coaching gigs are likely to attract coaches with more upside; the up-and-comers. I just don’t know that there’s anything about Roberts that distinguishes him above other candidates.

    The Florida situation is intriguing. Florida is in the next tier of top schools just under the blue bloods. Mark Titus lists the Florida job as one of the top 3 in the country (along with Ohio St. & Texas) because they are so overshadowed by the football programs that there is substantially reduced pressure, yet the basketball programs enjoy much of the advantages you would expect at the top tier schools - facilities, ability to pay coaches top salaries, recruiting fertility, significant booster backing, national exposure, etc.

    Given that Florida likely has the ability to pull a top coach, I’m very curious to see what direction they’ll go in should the position open up. Do they try and grab one of the hot names such as Smart, Marshall, or even Mike White? Or do they look for someone more established at another high-major program, perhaps Jay Wright? I don’t know their assistant coach situation, perhaps there is someone on staff that is the likely successor. Or do they look to other top assistants (Damon Stoudamire’s name was thrown around a lot recently)?

    While the Florida job does intrigue me, any search for a candidate at Kansas would be unique. If Self coaches as long as most fans would like him to, a lot of the candidates being thrown around today will likely be too old. The prospect of Manning manning the sidelines at AFH is exciting, but he’s close to Self’s age. How many more years could we expect out of him if Self stays until retirement age? Dooley & Roberts as well, and Townsend is even older than them all. Jerrance Howard might be an interesting choice though. He’ll have to get out and get some D-1 head coaching experience, but he’s really the only one in the Self coaching tree that will be young enough (timing contingent).

    Jacque Vaughn? We’ve seen how Hoiberg transitioned from the pro game to college without any college coaching experience. Could Vaughn do the same? Perhaps.

    As has been speculated before, it is likely that the university president, chancellor, & AD have a list at the ready in case the unexpected happens. It would be interesting to get a look at that today and see what it looks like.



  • @icthawkfan316

    Many very good assistant coaches are not cut out to be head coaches and they are better off as assistant coaches. I think Roberts may fall in that category. Jeff Capel is a perfect example; he is a good assistant coach and recruiter but not so good as head coach and I don’t believe he will be considered, other than casually, st Duke when Coach K retires.

    When coach Self retires, the list will certainly include the top active college coaches and a few NBA coaches as well; after all, KU is a prime destination. Vaughn certainly would be considered, and if Brad Stevens has had enough of the NBA by then, I hope he is considered as well.



  • @JayHawkFanToo That’s pretty much my thinking on Roberts. Although who knows, he may have just run into bad luck at St. John’s and could be a good head coach if given another shot. I don’t want to sell him too short and judge him too harshly on that one opportunity, but I definitely don’t think he has the pedigree to be considered at a place like Florida.

    As for when Self retires, you say the list will certainly include the top active coaches. To that I would say we’ll have to wait and see. That’s not a referendum on KU (it is a prime destination), but more so on the state of the top coaches. Consider if Self retired today: my list of the top active coaches are Izzo, Coach K, Calipari, Donovan, Pitino. How many of those would be on KU’s list? My guess is maybe Donovan, and that’s it. Coach K is too old and approaching retirement age, nor would he ever leave Duke anyway. Pitino is getting up there as well. Izzo wouldn’t leave Mich St. I can’t see Calipari leaving Kentucky either. My point is the top active college coaches are usually at destinations that they wouldn’t consider leaving.

    You’re probably looking at having to drop down to the next tier, as KU did when they tabbed Self. It’s really slim pickings there right now too, at least in terms of who I would think would be considered. Sean Miller or Jay Wright (who I’m not big fans of) maybe? John Beilein (getting up there)? Marshall or Smart (would their mid-major success translate to high-major?)? Josh Pastner?

    Honestly right now it’s kind of a scary proposition as to who would replace Self if we had to do it right now. Not an abundance of attractive options and the most desirable ones from inside the coaching tree (Manning) might not be ready.

    And college basketball is getting ready to have many of it’s marquee jobs open up. Duke & Syracuse figure to be next, with UNC, Louisville, & Michigan not too far behind (all coaches in their 60s).

    The college landscape will be vastly different assuming Self coaches another 10 years or so. We struck gold with our last 3 coaches, drawing from very different places each time. We can only hope the administration can do the same again, whenever that time comes.



  • @icthawkfan316 That’s a pretty good take on things-I really hope Self stays a while-more than anything I want another NCAA title in the near future.



  • @icthawkfan316 cold day in he!! before we’d take Marshall! Chicken hawks.



  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Never say never. Marshall can flat out coach and run a clean program and is the type of coach KU likes…Jayhawk related comments notwithstanding.



  • @JayHawkFanToo With all due respect, Marshall’s going to have to be successful somewhere besides Winthrop and Wichita State before I buy into the “flat out coach” statement.



  • @nuleafjhawk The only thing I’d say is that Marshall accomplished something at Wichita St. that Self never did before coming to KU (and not until his 5th year at KU), and that is making a Final 4. How do you weigh that versus Self’s 3 years at Illinois (which would be the only job he had that would place him above Wichita St.)? I wouldn’t write him off based on us not thinking much of Wichita St.



  • @icthawkfan316 I realize he made the Final Four last year, plus had 35 wins ( and ONE loss) this year. But - and we all can argue this all day - the level of competition that WSU plays is NOT what KU plays. Not what Self played at Illinois either.

    You may say what about the NCAA run last year? * Under the Radar *

    This year - the first time they played a good team, they were packing to go home.

    Greg Marshall may be the greatest coach since John Wooden (or whomever your “great” coach is) Then again, he may not be. I want to see him coach a team that plays STRONG competition most of the time before I’m ready to label him great.



  • @nuleafjhawk Oh I agree 100% that WSU plays weaker competition than KU or Self’s Illinois teams.

    But what do we value more? We talk for years about tournament disappointments.

    And you can try and devalue their run last year by saying it was because they were under the radar, but they were playing in the Final 4 and we weren’t. End of story.

    This year, they did lose to the first good team they played. To the eventual national runner-ups full of McDonald’s all-Americans and future NBA pros. In what most unbiased fans and analysts agree was the best, most competitive game of the tournament. We lost to Stanford. Do they even qualify as a good team? Was there shame in losing to Kentucky? No. Was there shame in us losing to Stanford? You bet.



  • Let’s look at the last four KU coaches (including Bill Self)

    Ted Owens coached at a junior college before joining Dick Harp’s staff. He was on the staff for three years before taking over when Harp left after 1964. He had no D1 experience. He’s the only coach among the four to ever have any seasons with a losing record (he had 4 such seasons, plus another season at .500).

    Larry Brown took over KU in 1983, moving from the New Jersey Nets job. He had previously coached D1 at UCLA for 2 years, where he had a Final Four vacated. He’s coached 10 different pro teams and 3 different colleges.

    Roy Williams took over in 1988-89. He had no head coaching experience other than 5 years as a high school coach. He had been an assistant under Dean Smith for 10 years when he took the KU job. Recruited some guy named Jordan to both North Carolina and KU. The Carolina Jordan was better.

    Bill Self took over in 2003-04. Before that he had coached for 10 years, 4 at Oral Roberts, 3 at Tulsa, 3 at Illinois. Bill Self has never finished worse than 3rd in his conference. Probably the best regular season coach in college basketball today.

    If I had to guess as to who KU’s next coach would be, I would guess that it would be a coach with a very limited track record at the D1 level. It’s just tough to lure someone away from one of those other upper echelon schools, so its more likely that they will have to grab someone from either a mid major or from an assistant position at a top school. They will likely be in their late 30’s or early 40’s (because KU wants them to keep the job 15+ years).

    I think that eliminates guys like Haase, Vaughn and Walters because they will probably be a little older than KU would like when the position opens up somewhere down the line. Jeff Boschee is an interesting case because he’s still pretty young, but he has only coached D2 so far, and only as an assistant.

    The guy I would keep an eye on is Michael Lee (currently an assistant at Oregon). He seems like he could be a possibility if he gets a shot with his own program for a few years.



  • When considering NBA coaches verses College coaches a few things need to be considered.

    I think it’s unfair to say College coaches don’t do well in the NBA game. Considering that when an NBA a team is looking for a new head coach it’s usually because the team sucks.

    In the college game they build statues and name streets after head coaches. Your lucky if they even remember your name in the NBA.

    The level of athlete in the college game isn’t even close to what steps out on the floor in the NBA game. Meaning in the NBA game a lot of games come down to who’s got the best players. This isn’t always true in the College game.

    Finally, both in the NBA and College game head colleges achieve and make their money by their tournament success. Problem is in the NBA a head coach gets a series to prove his worth. One loss doesn’t cost him and his team the whole season. Where as in the College game a great season can be lost with one tournament loss.



  • @ralster I think Haase would be a great replacement for Roy. It would remind UNC of their true bball roots. I think it’s great that Dean Smith was Mr UNC and he was a prodigy of KU or even a Kansas born and reared product, and played at KU. Haase would simply continue the KU coaching dominance. Heck, UNC is KU in the ACC…maybe not, but you get my point.



  • @JayhawkRock78 I can tell you that many TAM folks hate Turg with a passion. Turgeon’s career just got really crazy. I think the Maryland gig made it even more crazy. I could see going to the NBA and assisting an NBA team. How about Turg leaves NCAA a while and helps Jacque Vaughn? It sounds good to me.



  • @icthawkfan316 Yea…Roberts, Turg, and others have just had a really bad experience at some programs. I don’t think it’s any indication of their coaching abilities. It’s just a really difficult program to flip. I also think Billy G got screwed by uk. He wasn’t even given a chance. He was just recruiting when they canned him. But they hired the devil and one day there will be pay day, and it just might be their bball soul as the price. I believe the bible teaches, what profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? Hmm…uk maybe loses their soul?

    I’m curious to see how Joe D does in FGCU (Dunk City?). My guess is Dooley got rid of that non-sense…haha. He’s pretty much no non-sense. It’s a great program for a coach to build his resume. Some of these coaches jump too soon into really demanding head coaching jobs and are doomed from the beginning. But like Gillespie, can understand the temptation of taking a program like uk.

    If you’re going to search the KU coaching tree, don’t forget Tad Boyle. He’s done a pretty nice job at CU. But he really needs one more program or stellar year to get into the mix. I think he’d love to end his career at KU.



  • Well…what a program needs is a good Xs and Os coach to enhance the program. KU, Dook, UNC, UK, all are great brands and have great coaches to enhance each program. What we need is a coach that compliments the program. As I review each of the posts concerning KU it is really hard to say ‘who’ would fit best.

    I’m not a big Jay Wright fan, but he could represent KU well after having a strong experience at Nova.

    I like the idea of Brad Stevens returning to the college program. But if he is as good as many are predicting, something tells me he has a pretty bright future in the NBA as a new young coach. I think he’s the future, so to speak of NBA coaching. I do think these young NBA coaches would learn Larry Brown’s practice of searching for other programs before your contract ends. It worked and Brown’s idea worked for him, could be a great formula for someone like Stevens to keep him safe.

    Marshall is intriguing. I’m not big on him. He’s just now cracking the top recruiting scene. This is his first year I’ve seen him involved with the big boys recruiting or top 100 recruiting. He’s had a few good years and he’s trying to recruit while his brand is hot. I’m just not convinced he’s ready for the blueblood recruiting process.



  • Off topic guys, just a little, but just watched KCTV 5 sportscaster Michael Coleman say our old HS coach from Lawrence HS Bill Freeman is being inducted into the Kansas HS Coaching HOF. Coleman & I both played for Bill albeit years apart. He was Purdy’s assistant before he retired & won several more state championships after him. Prior to that he had state champs at Leroy KS in the early 60s & I believe at least two at Osawatomie later in the 60’s & 70’s. I do know that many of his players were on National JuCo Championships at FT Scott & Pitt State & had multiple players from OHS play in the NFL-QB Lynn Dickey & fullback/tight end Derrick Jensen being two of them. Jensen is currently a scout with Seattle.

    As much as we hated him when we played for him he was PURE piss & vinegar & another thing for damn sure, he gave us a glimpse (10-15 hrs a week) of what REAL boot camp would be like.

    Howver, is long overdue for Bill, am proud to say I played for him.



  • My take on this KU future coaching issue follows this line: RECRUITING has become the name of the game. Bill Self has arrived as a major D1 recruiter. KU is fast becoming a site of interest for Top 15 ranked high school seniors and foreign vunderkind. Whosoever replaces Bill Self must be a recognized face on the recruiting scene, dependably capable of maintaining current Jayhawk attractability.



  • @truehawk93 You mention Dooley & “Dunk City”. I read an article on him and their program mid-season this year. He actually has tried to keep that high-flying offense, at least while he can, while also instilling some measure of order to their offense and discipline to their defense. The thing with them is that they were (and still are) such a small, young program and they tied so much of their identity into that one tourney run and catch phrase. They couldn’t afford to abandon that outright after all the marketing they’d done with it to up enrollment, attendance, booster donations, etc. I’m sure that was made clear to Dooley when they interviewed him.

    I am a huge Brad Stevens fan and I think you’re right on the money when you say he may be the future of NBA coaches. What I mean by that is that Stevens is a well documented stat & metrics guy. He said he would often times scout other teams as much by their stats, metrics, & tendencies as much if not more than he would watch them on film. This ties right in with an article I read on Grantland entitled “Databall” where the NBA is really in its infancy of analyzing a mountain of new statistical data that assigns value to nearly every movement on the court. Not to simplify it too much, but think of the movie “Moneyball” and how Billy Beane & Co. began using various statistical methods to their advantage. Stevens could be that figure in the NBA to usher in the use of new analytics into the coaching game.

    Jay Wright - he might be on the list, but is one final four in 13 years or whatever it is at Villanova enough?

    Gregg Marshall - you may be right on the recruiting angle, although both you and I (as well as many others) are big fans of Brad Stevens. Do you know how many top 100 kids he got to come to Butler? If my research is correct: One - Kellen Dunham. #79 ranked SG of the 2012 class out of Pendleton, IN (so he got a local kid less than 50 miles from Butler to commit). So…are we holding Marshall to a double standard?



  • Suggestion: ShoeCo connections probably drive future hires at elite programs.

    Hypothetical 1: The hire has to be pre-connected with a SHOECO ready to stack his program with 2-3 OADs per year. Hire has got to be able to deliver OADs immediately. Example: Mid major coach does well with SHOECO sloppy seconds, builds trust with a SHOECO, and SHOECO then brokers deal in background with university for his hire.

    Hypothetical 2: SHOECO contracted with school gives school a list of three acceptable hires it is willing to supply talent to.

    The point is that the entity that could deliver the top recruits logically would have a rather large say in hiring a coach.



  • @jaybate 1.0 There you go again, jb, expounding on that dratted SHOEco theme. And the thing is, I THINK YOU ARE RIGHT!



  • @icthawkfan316

    If QA were to become a deciding factor, then Joe Dooley would be become a must have head coach. It was pretty clear last season that the difference between 26 wins and 30 could easily have been having some one on staff savvy at finding fresh, statistically significant vulnerabilities in an opponent that had not previously been exploited. Last seasons approach was clearly based on brute force probabilities, rather than on fresh, subtle statistical exploits as in the past. At first it seemed more attributable to youth than Dooley’s absence, but by season’s end, it was clear there just were no new exploits being found. Tons of basketball coaching and recruiting experience on the bench, but not enough QA brain power. If I were Self, I would get my butt over to the hard sciences departments and find some QA types and get on this problem. If you can find a guy with ball experience it’s ok, but not necessary. The key is lack of bias in grinding numbers.

    P.S.: Have to expand on this just a bit. A QA guy will not ice you a W in any single game, because he is in the business of finding probabilistic tendencies. In the moment, there is no substitute for a great strategic basketball mind operating on feel for the game and the moment. But what the QA guy will do for you is simply increase the probability over a 40 game season of a great basketball coach being in a position to make an IMPACT move.

    All non-QA persons tend to be afraid of QA and discounting of QA persons’ inputs, because of their lack of understanding of the assumptions, models, accuracy and robustness of the modeling being done. This fear, based usually not in an inability to learn QA, but rather in having not commited to doing so, leads them not to know when it is appropriate to rely on it, and when the intuitive, nonlinear insights of a good and experienced basketball mind ought to prevail. The result is a reduction of confidence and effectiveness in use of both types of decision drivers.

    Alternatively, great QA persons often become so seduced by the yeasty, unexpected insights of stochastic interpretation of real processes that they either lose, or never gain, the capacity for intuitive, nonlinear strategic decision making that can transcend both tendencies and situations.

    There was probably a great synergy in having a Bill Self working with a Joe Dooley. Self knew when he needed an edge on which end of the floor, and Dooley was probably very good at grinding numbers to find one that other more heuristic approaches had not yet tried.

    But the ultimate would be to have a Bill Self and a Joe Dooley working for a head coach already having both strengths within himself.

    What made John Wooden so extraordinary for his time was that he was excellent for his time in the following nine ways.

    1. Superb intuitive nonlinear decision maker in the heat of battle.

    2. One of the best QA guys of his time. Wooden was among the first to systematically generate statistics for each aspect of the game. He was not a wholistic QA type, however, i.e., he did not reduce the game to models, which is simulation modelling, which is strongly in vogue the last 30 years in all fields. He was just looking for empirically based measures of effectiveness is individual skills. So: his level and type of proficiency is probably not sufficient for today.

    (Note: Hopefully, the world will over the next half century go through detox on simulation modeling to some degree, or make a methodological breakthrough that makes it less prone to subjectivity of the researcher. Simulation modeling has become vastly subject to modeler biases, because it is globally nonparametric modeling and so susceptible to data and relationship disconnects from reality, either because of unintentional human bias, or active human cunning. For example, the reason we are in such a predicament about climate change is that our climate scientists, who are doing their best, are nevertheless combining inferential statics from long past when there is a lot of potential for measurement error and time series error and error from inadequate randomization of measurement, even though they don’t like to admit it, with simulation models of nonlinear climate systems that they still do not sufficiently understand the dynamics of. This leads to massive error in their predictions of global cooling in the 1980s-90s and global warming in the 2000-14 era. It leads them to say first global cooling, then global warming and then the practically meaningless and empirically and logically ambiguous term of “global climate change.” We live in the age of the nonparametric simulation model. It is an extremely treacherous scientific time. It is a time when science’s quantitative credibility can be cleverly misused to serve opposite agendas both ways, without a verifiable empirical AND logically unbroken break crumb trail to refute them on much of the time. Long ago we left behind lies, damn lies,and statistics. That old saying referred to a time of the possible misuse of parametric statistics. That was nothing compared to today’s nonparametric age of simulation modeling. In parametric statistics, it was at least always feasible to sort through the analyses and find where the assumptions were violated and where methodology was not followed. Today, the problem is that nonparametric simulation models are essentially problem solving improvisations only anecdotally supported by parametric statistical inferences regarding certain assumptions being fed into the nonparametric simulations and so there is no objective, causal logic operating globally in much modeling analysis justifying any acceptance with high confidence at all. There is largely systematized best guessing going on that is invariably filtered through the undiscounted biases of scientists tending to find what they are looking for by the way in which they devise the methodologies to look with. But I digress.)

    1. Charismatic and inspirational capacity to highly focus and motivate players toward competitive greatness consistently.

    2. A great manipulator of referees.

    3. High capacity for keeping track of detail

    4. Bureaucratic insight.

    5. Media cool. (Great characters and fiery geniuses invariably come into conflict with the media. As media coverage intensifies, a media cool personality becomes imperative. Wooden’s approach to the media probably would be allowed today. He denied all reporters access to his players. Period. But his humble, neutrality and English high school teacher demeanor worked great. So does Self’s playful amiability and humility. Coach K’s military proper and graciousness and refusal to engage in serious discussion works well. Bob Knight’s fiery genius makes him a target. Frank Martin’s outbursts do too. Media cool is always the best long term strategy for a coach. And throw quotes preplanned quotes to media like throwing dogs a bone.

    6. Hard worker.

    7. Problem solver with resilience to failure.

    These are the nine personality/skill things that should be looked for in any great head coach. And all can be found combined in reasonable abundance among candidates, except for the combination of great nonlinear strategist and great QA type.

    Frankly, if I were Bill Self and were still serious about getting better, I would be using some of that huge salary of his to hire his own personal tutor to turn him into a QA stud himself. It would not be so that he could grind the numbers himself, but so that he could better pick an assistant and collaborate with him, as he did with Dooley, to make that aspect of the staff’s capability and even bigger edge. And if he did not want to change any current assistants, then he should put Snacks to work with a QA Tutor 24/7 to turn him into the next great coach with both skill sets, assuming he has the other qualities already.

    Never too old to get better, Bill.

    Rock Chalk!



  • couple pts, the guys that don’t recruit well, would get considerably better just being at KU. And, does anyone think SZ could find that coach for us? Scares me! His whole worth is attached to KU bb, he’s attached at the hip to Coach Self.

    The only thing good I can say about Marshall is that he has hard-working kids!



  • @REHawk

    Oh, yes, REHAWK, there really are a few things you can depend on in life. Death, taxes, and oligarchs and corporations investing heavily and expecting influence.
    :-)



  • I keep forgetting about the SHOECO influence. I hope they don’t have that much say in things at KU but who knows?



  • @Crimsonorblue22

    ADs that avoid scandal and keep the fan base from rebelling at coaching performance can lose for a long, long time in the present situation, because such a large percentage of their revenue comes from TV and 50-70% football stadium seat sales probably means break-even or better. KU’s rather profitable and prestigious basketball program makes being lousy at football acceptable, so long as the coach is amiable and half the influential alumni can enjoy his amiableness inspite of the losing. Charlie’s real unwritten job description is not win. It probably is don’t create a scandal and at the same time make the fans feel good about struggling to get better. He is doing that, so he is still a good hire from SZ’s and CBernie’s POVs. The minor sports are covered. The Feds and the NCAA are not snooping around. The influential alumni are resigned not to push winning at football so hard that they precipitate investigations. Life is tolerable. If the tail gating parties are fun, then that’s all that really matters for awhile. Nobody, except about 10-20 programs, really cares about football outcomes. Its the party that matters. The feel good party keeps the donations trickling in and most university bureaucrats are probably about “development.” There are programs that haven’t won diddly squat in forever that are cruising along happily, because the autumn saturday tailgating is fun regardless. KU is in that holding pattern right now, while SZ slowly, safely tries to get the stadium improvements lined up without having to get in trouble with the rules doing so. I guaranty you this KU bureaucracy was XTRemely chastened by Federal investigators looking deep into the program. NCAA inquiries for small infractions is sort of anticipated once every ten years or so. But no Chancellor and AD want Federal investigators feeling the need to investigate you; that sort of thing ends bureaucratic careers. CBernie probably realizes she was very luck to survive scalping gate. Very lucky. Somewhere in her secret diary it probably reads “NEVER AGAIN.”

    Regarding SZ finding a top basketball coach, over the years KU has found them with ADs, or faculty pressed into the search, or what have you. It is not hard to recognize a top candidate. It is hard to stop the parochial infighting of the factions at KU to let the best candidate be hired. But over the years, KU has loved its basketball enough to let great candidates be hired. The same of course cannot be said in football. Their parochial infighting for getting “my guy” in there seems to take precedence. And so it is rather more unpredictable whether a great candidate will be hired, regardless of salary IMHO.



  • @JayhawkRock78

    The ShoeCos actual influence, if any, remains all hypothetical and speculative so far IMHO. But, again, how often do you see significant monies being spent on a recurring basis on any organization by another organization without some influential benefit over it being hoped for? Further, it has been reputed among some that the ShoeCos spend a lot of sponsorship monies on the summer game and reputedly build relationships with players even before they get to colleges. What kind of relationships does not seem very clear yet. I have no idea what is actually going on. It does not appear that very many fans do. And actors inside the process do not seem to resolve much speculation about the situation. I am just saying that in the long history of college basketball, books like “College Sports, Inc.,” by Murray Sperber, and “Raw Recruits” by Alexander Wolff and Armen Keteyian, and “Sole Influence” by Dan Wetzel and Don Yaeger seem to signal fans to be alert to the possibilities of this situation. And to echo your thought, let us hope nothing inappropriate has been occurring, or will be.



  • @icthawkfan316

    I agree with everything you mentioned. I was disappointed when Stevens left for the NBA since I was hoping he would be KU’s coach after Bill Self retired. He has the attributes I look in a coach for KU, he is extremely talented, uses technology extensively, runs a clean program and he is young enough that he cold be at KU a long time. If he did what he did at “small time” Butler with the players he had, think of what he could do at “elite” KU with the players he would recruit. There is always hope that much like Pitino, he will get tired of the NBA and come back to an elite college program.

    As far as Marshall, there is no question that many KU fans do not like him since he dared challenge KU’s monopoly, and rightly or wrongly we consider WSU below a “little Sister” level (that would be KSU), but more that of an illegitimate cousin than no one wants to acknowledge. Marshall can coach, he has proven that much and he has had success with players that were not highly recruited or recruited at all. He is right now one of the hotter names in coaching (maybe second only to Ollie) and he is mentioned for every important opening; I cannot imagine KU not looking at him if the position becomes available. Obviously he would have many fences to mend but he could be very successful at KU.



  • @JayHawkFanToo Hypothetically - if Marshall were the coach of KU, would HE play Wichita State ?



  • @nuleafjhawk

    I’ve been for KU and WSU playing every year from the getgo.

    But your hypothetical may be the best argument for Kansas to tell WSU to shove it!

    Good post!



  • @nuleafjhawk ha ha!! Good one!



  • @nuleafjhawk

    That would be an interesting dilemma for him. In the end it would depend on who is coaching WSU and well they are doing. Don’t forget that WSU begged off the arrangement since they were getting pounded on a regular basis.



  • @icthawkfan316 I like your input and agree about Brad Stevens’ ability to take NBA coaching to a new level. I don’t think it’s old school coach v coach tactics. It’s now about highly integrated data or statistics. Right now, teams just draft the best guys, but it’s interesting how those draft picks don’t necessarily ‘fit’ the coach’s player needs.

    For example, on paper, the top three picks look great. As Self says, they’ll help any team that gets them. But, a coach like Stevens would study their data/stat info to determine how they fit v. other players on the team. The Heat simply created a three headed monster with:

    LBJ, Bosch, and Wade

    Celts: Pierce, Garnett, and Allen

    OKC: Durant, Westbrook, and ? (was Hardin, Green, and now they are forcing Ibaka)

    But if you look statistically, they don’t always jive. I think ratios and percentages will favor a coach who can intelligently articulate his data/stats needs and translate them into personnel. It may not look like the best team, but over time will produce results.

    Another simple example would be OKC’s biggest problem is inside. Who would fill the inside game the best at OKC right now, if they were able to apply a Stevens mock personnel stat sheet? Maybe Embiid? We say that because right now they lack consistent size, except for up/down Thabeet. He’s just not a good stat match for San Antonio. He’s not a good match against Duncan. Nor is Perkins a good stat match for Duncan. But, right now, Embiid might have the most potential to go head-head with Duncan. Duncan has the edge with experience, but between Thabeet and Perkins, or even Adams, Embiid would be an interesting discussion.

    Now, here is where the backroom or war room action is tested. How is Stevens when he sees who he wants and is able to ‘deal’ for an Embiid type player? (assuming Stevens is the head coach of OKC and you have this scenerio)…I think Stevens would match Embiid’s stats with Duncan and determine how Embiid competes with data. Most might think on raw ability, Duncan has him beat, but don’t speak too soon. My point is, with Stevens’ system, he could revolutionize drafting and player matchups in the NBA.

    Good points on Stevens.

    Marshall, maybe there is a slight double standard. My point about Marshall is simple. He hasn’t been able to compete in the recruiting process until now. This is his first real season that he’s stuck his toe in the water with the big boys. I just don’t think he’ll get any due to WSU’s brand. If a top 50 recruit has a choice between KU, uk, dook, UF, UNC, or any other top program v. WSU, where would you go? It’s a dumb question, but true. However, he has coached his team up to a good level. Question now is, can he bring in 1-2 top 50 recruits, and can he coach them with his current Marshall type player? But no, I have no double standard. Marshall is just now getting involved and we’ll see if he can recruit up and stay up with the big boys, not just play, but recruiting too. I think he’s worth his coaching skills lately, but he has to prove himself against a higher level.



  • @jaybate 1.0 Good take on Self and Dooley Co.

    I would say a bit more. Self, Townsend, Roberts, and Snacks are all kinda old school coaches. They tend to go for raw talent, the best players. However, I just don’t see Self or any of his coaches being a Dooley type bball egghead with stat results.

    I think we could be on to something here, because since Dooley has left and too his coaching weapon, KU hasn’t quite been the same without him. Matchups have been interesting to say the least and Dooley provided that input. I don’t see Townsend, Roberts or Snacks providing Dooley type information for Self’s game plan. :)

    Self is the head.

    Townsend is a player’s coach and has a great relationship with all the players.

    Roberts is almost a Self replica of Self…haha pun intended…but Roberts is very much like Self…nothing at all against Roberts and love him to death, but he’s not needed on the coaching staff…he’s wasting his time and KU’s. All that he brings is recruiting influence. But KU’s brand does a lot for recruiting and HCBS has also become a brand name, ie. Svee.

    Snacks is purely a recruiter right now and he is quickly gaining player appreciation. I think he needs to learn the data/stat side of coaching. He’s got to learn how to bring it all together to WIN.



  • @nuleafjhawk Nice question :)



  • @JayHawkFanToo-The little sister quip reminds me of a great Dolly Parton line from 9 to 5.

    “Ain’t no wonder they treat me like a bastard at the family reunion…they think I’m screwin’ the boss !!”



  • @truehawk93

    We largely agree on the basketball coaching sandwich, but I want to restate the one single slice of Norm Roberts. Some may find slicing the caprese too think, but it is how I see it.

    Norm Roberts is a terrific coach that should be a head coach. Roberts reputedly got a raw deal from the wrong way guys in New Yawk, or St. John’s would probably be a powerhouse under him by now. Who can say for sure, but I suspect the fathers of St. John’s apparently decided that it was bad strategy for them at that time to take on the wrong way types in the high school and summer games of New York and New Jersey, wherefrom St. John’s has to depend so heavily on recruits, and wherein IMHO so many Catholic high schools might be meanly impacted by revenge taking by wrong way types at that time.

    In a more just time, Roberts would probably still be head coach of St. Johns, or would at the least have had a reasonable time to have proven himself without his recruiting being tampered with. But we don’t and he didn’t.

    Next, Roberts has admirably filled some big shoes left by Danny Manning. Our bigs have played as well as when Danny coached them, when one takes into account last season how green they were.

    And Roberts found Embiid, while on staff at Florida under Donovan and changed jobs to KU and brought Embiid to Self’s attention, and apparently was significantly responsible for landing him.

    And Traylor improved sharply under Roberts last season.

    And Roberts was apparently the one that finally figured out that if Black just kept his hands over his head that the refs would stop calling the fouls on Black under the new rules. At the very least, Roberts taught him how to do it.

    So: I want board rats to recognize what an important contribution to KU’s winning ways Coach Roberts has apparently made.

    Having made the above defense, I also want to say that Coach Roberts certainly appears to have the character, skill, work ethic and fire to lead KU, as its head coach some day. And I do not see him as being too old to take on the job.

    Where I do see a problem with Coach Roberts is that if he were to replace Self some day, were Self still riding high, Roberts would be unfairly caught in the situation so many good coaches have fallen into. Were he to replace Self tomorrow, he would be seen as Self’s substitute, not as his own man and coach.

    Following great coaches is never the problem. Self showed that a great coach can follow a great coach. The problem is how you follow them.

    Self followed Roy as his own man, with his own distinct philosophy and game, and with his own established winning background. Even Self’s early success could only be partially credited to Roy.

    So many coaches, from Dick Harp following Doc Allen, to Guthridge following Dean Smith, to Hank Raymonds following Al Maguire, to Tubby Smith following Pitino, and so on have been largely undone by a problem.

    The problem is: their success is attributed to the man they followed, and their failures are attributed to their not being the man they followed.

    Had Self fallen into losing, he would most definitely have been s-canned for not being as good as Roy.

    But when Self won, he was so different from Roy, and played such a different brand of ball, and his prior record was so strong, that his winning was rightfully attributed to him.

    Norm Roberts would probably have to take the KU head job if it were ever offered to him while he were on staff, because it is a once in a lifetime chance, but I hope it never is, while he is an assistant. I hope he gets to go to an Illinois and build a good program, and then gets called back. And when the call comes, I hope he answers, because we will probably need him. And he seems a can do man of the kind I most admire.

    But for his and KU’s best interests, I hope he gets a head job elsewhere soon and so be in a position to have a fair chance of success, were he ever offered the head job at KU.

    Nevertheless, my hunch is that Self and Roberts have made a tentative unwritten decision that Roberts will stay on staff as assistant and migrate to the pros with Self at some point. This hunch derives from Snacks being hired with the title of Assistant Head Coach. That title rightly should be Roberts, if he planned to take another head coaching job in college. It would help him get that next job. Since it isn’t his, I suspect Self and Roberts and probably Townsend view themselves as a staff that will stay intact wherever Self goes, or stays. They obviously work well together and enjoy it. As one ages, and one grows less willing to put up with wolves at the door, such good things begin to matter quite a lot. Nothing is written, but some times at least a few notes may be taken.

    Rock Chalk, Norm Roberts!

    However things play out.



  • Let me start by saying the I like Norm Roberts and I believe he is a great coach; however, I just don’t think he is a great “HEAD” coach.

    He has been a head coach for 10 seasons, 4 years at Queens College and 6 years at St. John’s. While at Queens College, his record was 24-84 and 15-65 in conference play. At St John’s his record was 81-101 and 32-70 in conference. His only two season with winning records were 2006-07 with a record of 16-15 and 2009-10 with a record of 17-16, both winning season were by the smallest of margins. In 10 years as Head Coach he has never produced a winning conference record in any one year.

    As comparison, the previous two coaches at St. Johns that coached at least one full season are :

    Fran Fraschilla 1996-98 57-36

    Mike Jarvis 1998-2003 66-60

    The coach that followed Roberts, Steve Lavin has a 71-60 record so far, even when he was absent part of the time due to health issues.

    There is no question that Roberts inherited a program at St. John’s that was in disarray and in probation, but all the sanctions were essentially gone by 2006 and all coach Roberts could muster in his last two season were first round loses in the CBI and NIT.

    The only coach in St. John’s storied programs with a worse record is J.Chesnut 1907-08 who had a record of 4-8.

    We have 10 years of head coaching experience to look at and the information above would seem to indicate that as good as we believe coach Roberts is, he is the classic example of the Peter’s principle, i.e. once he gets to be a head coach he reaches his level of incompetence and he is no longer effective.

    In order to be considered for the head coaching position at KU he would have to show several years of running a mid to large Division I program at a high level, something that does not seem to be in the cards. Coach Dooley - who had a 57-52 record in 4 years as head coach at East Carolina before joining KU - was chosen over Roberts for the smaller Florida Gulf Coast program. Again, I just don’t see Coach Roberts as a candidate to replace Coach Self if he decides to retire any time in the foreseeable future; the most likely scenario is that he would go with Self if he moves to the NBA or hopefully stay at KU as an assistant, something less likely to happen since Nikko graduated.


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