After Lutz was released on Monday form his position as Head Coach of our beloved Charlotte 49ers, the contributors of GreenTintedGlasses.net was too shocked to share our thoughts. In all honesty, we knew Judy and Phil weren’t happy about the way the season ended, but 19 wins is an improvement over 11, and it looked like our team was set up for a good ’10-’11 season. Plus, word was the program was strapped for cash and couldn’t afford to pay the final 4 years of Lutz’ contract in addition to a new coach’s salary.
That said, NLP and I managed to come together through the magical power of GMail and share our thoughts, so here it goes…
NLP: We’re gonna have a new coach. How do you feel about it? Personally while I wish it would have worked out for Bobby,
it’s pretty obvious I was ready for a change. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Bobby -it’s certainly not personal, but the formula was broken. Mostly I’m surprised Judy and Phil had the stones to pull the trigger after the passive-aggressive episode that went down after the Wabash Experiment.
J Felt: I really wanted Bobby to be able to stay here and build our program to be something special. Kind of like Beamer at Virginia Tech, it took him awhile, but now they’re nationally relevant every season. Unfortunately, the landscape of college basketball is different and things had really gone stale in the past half decade. I’m still torn about this decision, because I’m partially on the side of “college athletics is out of control” people. Bobby’s teams were usually competitive, finishing above .500, the players loved him, he graduated a great percentage of them, and for the most part we stayed out of trouble as a program. It all came down to winning in the end, despite popular culture stipulating that “it’s not about winning, it’s about how you play the game.” But even if that’s the case, playing the game with 6 guys on the floor is not going to save your career.
N: True, but Bobby did want the UT job. Very much so. It’s a two-way street in that regard. Hopefully people can look past the 6 guys play and say “He went out 19-12, that’s not bad.” I don’t want to be bitter. I’m actually past that now. I can focus on the good times and let go of the rough times. I mean, he is one of us. Always was, always will be.
Here’s something that’s gonna bother people but I want to know how you feel: If our next coach gets us back to the tournament, he’s more likely or not gonna move on to a Big 6 conference. How do you fell about knowing our next coach anticipates using use as a ‘stepping stone’ to bigger and (in theory) better?
J: Nothing is wrong with being a stepping stone. Not at all. Xavier has been a stepping stone, and they’re quite fine. If a coach wants to use our program as a stepping stone, he’ll have to come in and WIN some games, something we all want. Very few schools are safe from losing top coaches, even Kansas lost Roy Williams when Chapel Hill called for help. While it would stink to have our awesome new coach (who he ends up being) leave after a deep run in the NCAAs, would we really be pissed? He did get us back to the tournament.
What we should fear is a coach that continues the current trend of our stale bread program, one that does “just enough” to prevent being fired but not get major interest from Big 6 programs. Then we’re left with the awkward decision to fire a coach that once again, isn’t doing a TERRIBLE job, but just isn’t excelling. It’s like being forced to eat grilled chicken prepared the same way every night, it’s not bad, you could be having tofu cakes, but what if you could get prime rib instead?
N: Good analogy. It’s just too bad there’s not a Fran Dunphy out there locally so we can just call up a school and say “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE.” That’d be fun to do to a Gardner-Webb.
I really don’t want to guess names of potential HCs but are there any particular attributes that scream either “DO WANT!” or “DO NOT WANT!” ? For me, I want to avoid re-treads. I do want youth and ambition. I want the coach that wants to take us deep and move on unless suddenly the money turns fabulous.
I can’t help though to notice what Tom Penders has done at Houston. Full turnaround. Definitely lived up this his billing as Turnaround Tom. But with the re-treads the risk is like you described earlier. Year-after-year of grilled chicken.
J: I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with grilled chicken. It’s a good staple to any man’s diet, but it doesn’t make for a good coach. As for the list of coaches that has been speculated on? I don’t want anyone that has been unceremoniously fired and or involved with a scandal. We don’t need to become “that” program. The one name really splitting the ranks is Dalonte Hill, of Michael Beasley fame. He’s apparently interested in the position, and now everyone is really torn up about it. Do we hire the guy that basically led to the Carlos Williams season?
N: No, because of the manner in which he burned his bridge (the voice mail resignation). I just don’t see how Judy and Phil can let that slide. Plus he’s got a pair of DUIs. I’m not saying he’s a bad person, but it’s probably enough to keep him from THIS particular position. Beyond that, I don’t even know if he’s qualified from a coaching standpoint. All I’ve ever known him as is a recruiter. He is the Associate HC at KSU, but that was more a ceremoniously title given to retain him after Huggins left, but I just don’t know how much he’s developed as a coach.
Really I’m not too worried about the process. It’s Judy Rose’s job to keep up on the potential candidates and to hire one, not mine. She’s done a good job with hires historically, whether people want to admit it or not.
One thing I will say though which I’m kind of disappointed in is the statement regarding transfers. I don’t think it’s right to compel a player to complete a season with the new coach before transferring. That might be to stem inquiries from other programs (it’s not allowed, but you know it happens) or keep the player from bolting before even meeting the new coach. I hope it is. I just don’t want to see us go down the road Fordham did with Jio Fontan. It’s simply wrong, especially given there wasn’t even a coaching change in his case.
J: Don’t fret too much about the no transfer clause. It is probably in place to prevent a mass exodus of players before they even meet their new coach. Think about it this way. Your wife leaves you because you spend too much time on a stupid message board and seem to be more emotionally invested in college basketball than your relationship. Your first instinct, of course, is to call up some past fling or floozy and try and mend your sorry excuse for a broken heart.
Enter J Felt. I let you know that I’m going to find you a girl, but you have to sit still and wait it out first. While you’ll probably feel like I’m preventing you from your true destiny as John Mayer 2.0, I’m making sure stupid decisions aren’t made. Chances are, I’ll bring you AlphaDuster and you’ll be glad you stuck around.
In basketball terms, this is just preventing the team from running towards the coaches they almost committed to. I’d be willing to bet that if a player wants to leave after we get a new coach, the new coach will encourage the AD to let him go. We’re not Fordham, and I really don’t think we’re going to be.
(NLP paused here to recollect his thoughts after being called John Mayer 2.0, he continues…)
N: Any thoughts on if we’ll ultimately lose any players to transfer once SEKRET NEW COACH is selected? And how awesome is it that people want to put something together for Lutz at Wild Wing Cafe? We have some amazing fellow fans.
J: I do think we’ll lose one but manage to retain the two major young talents: Braswell and Green. I worry about Sirin and K.J., but I wouldn’t be surprised if the new coach loves their work ethic and they end up being major players, and they show lots and lots of potential. Spears will be back by default (already lost a year to transfer), but it will be really interesting to see if the new coach continues to use him as the focal point and how he’ll be utilized. Either way, I’m starting to get excited about this.
I will be attending the Lutz send-off at Wild Wing, so we’ll get some high quality Green Tinted Glasses coverage. I wonder if Lutz will be open enough to share some inside information. Chances are we don’t want to know half the stuff anyway. I will really miss Lutz and his passion for the program is a big reason I’m as much of a fan as I am. He could also have been announced as the head coach at ECU by that point, so things could be really interesting.
NLP, bring us home. We have no coach and our program has been sliding for awhile. In 3 years from now, where do we stand? Are we competing for an At-Large? Is our program relavant? Be realistic, but we won’t be mad about green tinted predictions.
N: Judy has her detractors. I’m not one of them. She has a unique ability to find quality coaches and get them in place. In the case of women’s basketball, she’s found 3 excellent ones consecutively since Ed Baldwin was replaced.
That means I’m settings us up for being a tournament team again. It could be as soon as next year so long as we retain key players. I’m also worried about Briscoe but mostly because I don’t know how the NCAA treats walk-ons who have transferred. Technically he hasn’t played for us, hasn’t been on scholarship, so since he’s a walk-on, is he effectively free to go where he pleases after this year? I just don’t know. If any of our astute readers care to clear it up, please do so in the
But three years is enough time for the new coach to have established players in place that fit his vision for the team. He even gets to come in immediately with three open scholarships to fill with players. That comes in handy, especially since there will be other coaching changes and the associated de-commitments, not to mention transfers.
I’m excited. I’ll miss Lutz as a person and I’ll admire his legacy, but this is the right time for change.