Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:48 AM
It is unfortunate that the ignorant sports fans & writers grossly outnumber the intelligent, free-thinking ones.
It would be interesting to see what David Haugh thought about Bruce Weber when his Illinois team reached the NCAA finals. Was he leaning towards a contract extension, or did he know Weber was destined for a mediocre career conclusion in Champaign? I'll guess he probably leaned towards an extension. Funny how hindsight makes some people experts.
Now we see this writer rail on Groce...a guy whose career he's researched for roughly 38 seconds.
Groce's Ohio University, not Ohio State teams have whipped Georgetown, beat Michigan and beat USF in the NCAA tourney during their last 2 appearances. Take a look at the post season results of all MAC basketball programs over the past several years and tell me how impressive that is to have on your resume. It's a hell of a lot more impressive than winning NCAA tourney games coming from the CAA, Horizon or MVC.
Keith Dambrot is a great basketball coach. Won 20+ games per season for 7...8 consecutive seasons (I forget offhand)? And recently, Groce has owned him. The Zips last 2 trips to Athens bear witness to the most uncompetitive beatdowns of those respective Akron Basketball seasons.
If Haugh wants to boil things down to a single shot, like Walsh's miss, than why not use the identical logic on Offutt's free throw? Groce could just as easily been in the Elite 8 as the NIT? Whether or not Groce is a Big10-level coach depends on how stupid you are, and what you want to believe.
As previously stated, Mike Thomas made one bad hire - JD Brookhart (his first hire as an AD). And that guy won Akron's only MAC football championship.
Mike Thomas knows how to evaluate coaching talent. He has a proven record of elevating and sustaining excellence in collegiate athletic programs. He will find Illinois a great Head Basketball Coach. And that guy is probably John Groce.
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt