How Can Danny Turn Tulsa Around?

  • Can a big man coach get enough big men to a mid major in today’s recruiting regime to turn Tulsa around?

    Most mid majors live off of a perimeter game. When one occasionally gets lucky and lands a good big or two, the program may turn a corner a la Gonzaga. But shut off the big man spigot and the mid major quickly recedes.

    Where is Danny going to get his bigs, when even most majors are playing a pair of 4s?

    I am beginning to doubt Danny is going to be able to land the bigs he is so good at developing.

    And if that proves the case, is he flexible enough to adapt to a perimeter game?

    I am pulling for Danny in a big way. Gonzaga, Wichita State and VCU have been able to get some bigs? Is anyone familiar with how they are getting them? Can Danny do the same at Tulsa?

    Danny’s team is getting the crap knocked out of it this year. He has scheduled some good teams. But man is Tulsa struggling!

    Danny needs some KU BUCKETS Good Karma right now to carry him through his crucible.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    I love Danny Manning the player; in my opinion, only Wilt was a better player than Danny at KU and Danny has the title Wilt could not get.

    The questions is: Does the proverbial Peter’s principle apply to him? Has Danny in fact reached his level of incompetence after being very successful at the lower level?

    We all know that he was very successful player in the NBA, and his knees, rather than his talent is what kept him from being a true superstar. At KU he worked with the bigs, although I have never read anything that indicates he was the only coach working with the bigs; his reputation is more related to - he played as a big in the League, he must be coaching the bigs at KU - rather than factual evidence to that effect. Apparently Coach Roberts is working with the bigs now and if we can measure success by the bigs progress, particularly Embiid this year and Whitey the year before, he is doing a heck of a job.

    This begs the question, is Danny better as an assistant/position coach than he is a head coach? If you look at the NBA and college, the bulk of successful coaches played guard or SF in college or the NBA. Many bigs including Kareem and yes, Wilt, tried their hand at coaching and the only somewhat successful HC I can think of is Jeff Ruland that had some good years and others not so good. A few bigs, like Ewing, have stuck around as assistant coaches but have not been able to make the jump to the top position.

    The majority of coaches played guard or small forward in college/NBA and perhaps, being the director/general on the floor translates better to being a head coach, where being a more specialized position player, i.e. “big” does not. A couple of players transferred out of Tulsa when he was hired, so obviously his reputation was of little or no consequence.

    I truly wish Danny success and hopefully he can turn the Tulsa program around. There is a lot of competition in Oklahoma with 2 powerhouse programs, OU and OSU, and another major competitor in Oral Roberts. Compare this with other states like Missouri with almost twice the population and only one major university and other than Saint Louis, just a few inconsequential mid-majors. I know that recruiting is not restricted to in-state players, but you have to attract the better local and regional players before you can go after top national players.

    Unlike football, with its complement of 80+ players, a basketball program can be turned around in less time. It is still a little early to judge how Danny’s tenure at Tulsa will eventually work out, but progress needs to be shown in the nears future to indicate that long term success is indeed feasible. In today’s environment of immediate gratification, patience is a virtue that is in short supply, both with program administrators and fans alike.

  • @JayHawkFanToo there was one very special game where Danny WAS the general on the floor!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Yes, having Danny bring the ball up to counter OU’s guard quickness was brilliant. Nice reference!

    Danny always seemed like he had a guard’s brain in a forward’s body. Given time I bet he can be a successful head coach. I was just hoping he wouldn’t want to, and would stay an assistant at KU forever. But it’s early yet, and I bet he’ll turn it around at Tulsa, as long as he has the fire and desire.

  • @jaybate - Nice thread!

    Who says Manning is just a big man coach? It doesn’t look like we’ve missed a beat in the post without him. I’m not questioning his ability… I just wonder if we framed him right all of these years.

    As a head coach, I doubt he has the time to spend with bigs to perfect their game now. Danny has to focus on the broader scope of coaching. However… he would certainly be the guy who could qualify an assistant coach needed to work with bigs.

    I’m willing to give Danny all the leash he needs to become a great head coach. Many of the greats didn’t start out kicking tail. Even though Danny played a big role at KU in coaching, I’m sure he is still a bit overwhelmed with managing his responsibilities as a head coach.

    Will Danny become one of the greats in coaching? I have no idea, but I’m betting he can hold his own and he’ll continue to improve Tulsa basketball.

    Whether or not Danny lands some quality bigs… time will tell. He could use a break, and I bet it comes soon. Maybe an Oklahoma big kid who needs polishing. No OADs… a kid who is in for 5 years (including RS) and becomes the first example of what he can do with a big at Tulsa.

    Tulsa isn’t like the old Tulsa in basketball. They were better off in the Mo Valley than to now be in the C-USA. For a while it looked like C-USA would grow up and be respected with teams like UAB, Louisville, Depaul, Marquette, and Memphis. But today they seem to be lost in the college basketball world, especially after losing Memphis to the AAC last year. Who is left in that conference? UAB and Tulsa?

    Danny needs to hang a few winning seasons then relocate to a school in a real conference.

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