What do you think about the one year audition for KO?

Discussion in 'UConn Men's Basketball' started by DogMania, Sep 13, 2012.

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  1. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

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    I don't know. Why don't you tell us? You seem to do exactly that whenever you are exposed here.
     
  2. upstater

    upstater

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    I guess basketball coaches are harder to hire than Presidents.

    Good thinking there.

    Only the administrative assistants and secretaries are apparently worried about their reputations.
     
  3. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

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    The more I think about it, the more I'm beginning to see the beauty in the way that JC did this--especially because of the fact that the hiring of KO can be placed solely on JC. In other words, the notion that JC tied Manuel's hands and left him with little choice but to give KO a shot actually helps Manuel, in that it gives him cover; i.e., he has a built-in excuse if the KO experiment is a failure.

    Yes, that's right: I now believe that JC did Manuel a favor here as well.
     
  4. Waquoit

    Waquoit

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    All spring and summer when we read that JC and WM were having "good discussions", what do you think they were talking about? Manuel either knew what was coming or knew what eventually happened was a distinct possibility. I don't know why some are calling WM a "victim". He played the cards that were dealt and prevailed.
     
  5. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

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    Without inflections or really knowing who you are I could be going out on limb, albeit a very big one, with my assumption that your statement was tongue and cheek. I can also guess that you were not raised in the midwest.

    If JC was Fishy, your post would have been accurate.

    I guess I'm unique in examining Manuel's position in all of this the way I presented him. He had to know before taking the job what was coming his way. If he didn't, he doesn't deserve the job. My guess is he knew ahead of time and felt he could handle things. But that means the way events played out they were the result of several people and not just one individual.
     
  6. freescooter

    freescooter

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    I don't think he was exactly a victim here, and I actually agree to some extent with fleudiscon that he could well have expected this. But I don't think he, or really anyone else expected it this year. It is obviously just a gut feeling but I suspect that the bike accident changed the equation for Calhoun. If you listened to all Calhoun's comments earlier, things like not leaving the program under a cloud and so forth, it really did seem he planned to come back. But honestly that is a serious injury for a 70 year old man to sustain so instead of something Manuel was expecting to have to deal with next year, it got dropped on him this year. I also think it is pretty clear that he and Calhoun differed on Ollie as a successor. But when Calhoun left so late, there weren't too many options, something I also suspect (another gut feeling) entered into Calhoun's thinking. If he waited until next year, Manuel could well have some other deal teed up somehow and he doesn't get Ollie. Bottom line is neither Calhoun nor Manuel got exactly what they wanted out of this, though. Manuel wanted to pick Calhoun's successor, not appoint Calhoun's annoited crown prince. Calhoun wanted the crown prince given the job long term not on an interim basis. I've said many times that I doubt Ollie is ready to coach at this level so I don't think he's a longterm solution. Hope I'm wrong. I'm not even convinced he's going to be that good ever. I think his upside is Herb Sendek. We'll see.
     
  7. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

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    I was not raised in the midwest, which I am guessing is a safe assumption about some 99% of the posters on this board. Not sure how that's relevant or why you are guessing that, but you have piqued my curiosity.

    While the notion that JC intentionally did Manuel a favor was tongue-in-cheek, my conclusion that Manuel potentially stands to benefit from the timing of JC's retirement is not. If JC had retired in, say, April, I do not believe Manuel would have given much, if any, consideration to naming Kevin head coach, even on an interim basis. No matter how much he may have wanted to believe in Kevin, I don't think Manuel would risk the most important decision he is likely to make in his new job by naming someone who had no head coaching experience, and very limited coaching experience generally. That's a high risk move that would be either (or both) very ballsy or very foolish (there's a thin line often), and Manuel strikes me as neither ballsy nor foolish. But since JC's timing left Manuel with little practical choice but to give Kevin a shot, he now has cover for that decision in the event that it does not work out, and he can then say that he gave him a chance but decided to go in a different direction based on what he observed during that trial period.

    But much of this assumes that the choice will be clear within this trial period. While I am hopeful that Kevin will knock it out of the park, I am concerned about the pressure of the seven-month contract and how much can actually be accomplished during that time under the circumstances. In other words, I'm not sure that the choice is going to be much clearer within the time that Manuel has given himself to decide, which is why I think a two year contract would have made more sense. At a minimum, it would have prevented the April 2013 deadline from being worked into most of the stories that will be written about the team this season and the corresponding perception of instability and uncertainty within the program.
     
  8. DogMania

    DogMania

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    None of us has a crystal ball, but you make an interesting point here. Let's just say KO works out great and continues UConn's success as an elite program. Let's also take into account that if UConn conducted a national search that there is always the risk that the top coaches they would like to land aren't interested to coach here and/or are more interested in coaching elsewhere. Many keep on pointing to Shaka and Stevens. Others have noted that Stevens is unlikely to leave the Midwest and I'm sure UConn wouldn't be the only top programs vying for Smart's services. UConn could easily end up settling for a coach that might not work out in Storrs, plus there's no guarantee either of those two coaches would succeed at the high major level. I think both would and there are a few others that fit this category who would be far from locks to want to come here.

    Where I’m going with this, is if…yes it’s a big if… on his own Manuel would not have chosen KO, KO ends up succeeding in a big way and the fact that there really is no guarantee UConn would have landed one of their top choices, then could it be possible that by manipulating this whole situation giving Manuel no other viable option, JC actually acted in the best interest of UConn? I’m not saying I buy this or not, but it is an interesting idea. Quite often others protect us against some of the stupid, foolish and unwise decisions we might make.

    Look at this way. Which is more egregious, JC manipulating the situation (not saying he did that, we’ll likely never know) to get his man in there because he believe it was in the best interest of UConn and the path that would continue success for the program he built (note that Manuel didn’t build it, though granted he is the AD and appropriate decision maker) or Manuel putting his ego first (not saying that’s behind this, but there seems to be some indications of that) and what’s best for UConn second by needing to get his man for the coaching job and not JC’s. Now granted, Manuel just might simply believe that a more proven candidate that has a track record of head coaching success is the way to go. As far as how he’s handled the KO situation, I stick to my guns and strongly believe he should have put his ego aside and given KO a 3 to 4 year deal, so that it wouldn’t impact recruiting. As I’ve said over and over again, they could have drawn up a modest buy-out, that I’m sure KO would likely have accepted. Think about it, if he was willing to take the 7 month deal, that has no guarantees he’ll get an extension, why wouldn’t he take a 3 to 4 year deal with a small cash sending off present if Manuel decides he wants to go in another direction. The only argument I see on this, apart from having to spend some extra dollars to say good bye, is Manuel can’t conduct a national search next spring with Ollie included if he has to fire him to do so. I think that’s really a non-issue since if Manuel doesn’t offer him an extension after the season, but tells KO he’ll be included in the process, I strongly doubt that KO would participate, and would jump at some other offer. KO is a class guy, but there comes a breaking point for any person who feels disrespected and unwanted.

    Not that money is the biggest issue here, but you can bet that KO could have been had for a much smaller long term deal than what it will take to extend him. I’m sure KO is going to tell his agent to fight for bigger dollars next spring than he would have this fall. If KO ends up getting an extension it just might be at a higher cost both dollars and with recruiting. I hope I’m wrong about the latter and that KO overcomes the “at this time no UConn coach, including KO, under contract next fall” obstacle that all 2013 recruits have to consider.
     
  9. DogMania

    DogMania

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    Why do you believe that no other coach would throw his hat in the ring?!?! That sounds ridiculous to me. If it got to the point of a national search where KO was also included, why wouldn’t there be a number of solid choices that would participate? The fact that they would have the search would speak volumes as to how little confidence the school had in KO. And when it comes to money and challenge why wouldn’t some coaches at least listen and interview. I'm not aware of any hiring committee that includes, JC, but maybe I'm ignorant of that fact. But even so, JC would be just one of many, and I don't see why the rest of the committee might not select one of the top available candidates, for example Shaka Smart (or fill in whoever you like) if that coach threw their hat in the ring.
     
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  10. DogMania

    DogMania

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    I doubt that Manuel sees it that way. Anyone who's in a decision making position wants to be the one making the decision. People like Manuel are often driven by success and not avoiding failure. You seem to be failing to see the flip side of this. If KO succeeds, it will appear that JC deserved the credit and that if Manuel had his way would not have made that choice and tha this choice could have had the potential for failure.

    The more I think about this, the more I could see this completely blowing up and become on huge mess. Unless KO does something extrodinary this season, say win the BE regular season or at least finish close to the top, I can see Manuel dumping him so that he can put his stamp on the program. I can see the players, incoming recruits and fans in an uproar and UConn having to go through at least another year of turmoil if that happens. Who knows how long the program could be set back if it goes that way. I would hope that Herbst would not allow that to happen, but who knows.

    I think KO will do enough gain some confidence and will win everyone over with his character and work ethic. I just hope along the way, he is able to get XRM and a couple other very talented recruits to give him more to work with next fall and beyond.
     
  11. DogMania

    DogMania

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    I didn't draw that conclusion and I don't know how you can know that for sure. I'm sure Manuel was concerned that it might play out as it did. I'm sure during their conversations JC expressed his uncertainty if he'd return or not even before he hurt his hip. I can't see Manuel asking, "He coach, are you thinking about pulling a fast one and retiring at the start of the school year, giving me no choice but to appoint someone from the current staff to replace you?" JC, "Manny, do you really think I'd do that to you? Wow! I do like KO as my successor, but I want it to be your decision. I really want to come back, but I haven't completely made up my mind." While in the back of his head he's thinking, "No way am I going to let you screw this up and not pick KO!" Manuel thinking, "He's going screw me, I know it! I'll have no other choice but to promote KO. Boy, I wish I could knock that smug look off his face!"

    Sorry, got caught up in the moment and daydream. :)

    As much as I don't like that Manuel didn't give KO a multi-year deal, I'd say he is somewhat of a victim. What AD would want his hand forced when he should have been able to give himself and whoever else is involved with such a decision more choices one ones that he had a big hand in.

    With that said, we'll all just have to see how this plays out. I think Ollie has what it takes to be successful. I just hope he's been given enough of an opportuntiy to show it.
     
  12. DogMania

    DogMania

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    Manuel is the AD of not just MBB, but all athletics. He obviously knew that replacing JC would take place during his tenure but I doubt he thought it would play out as it did and even if he saw that was one of the possible scenarios, I’m sure he was hoping it would go down that way. But even so, the challenge and pay was more than enough for him to take the job. Every time we get in the car, there’s a chance we’ll get into an accident. When we do, I doubt that any of us would say, “Yeah, I saw it coming before I got into the car! I had it all under control.”
     
  13. freescooter

    freescooter

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    This is my view too. But I also think that it will be a short-term mess. You bring in a new head coach and he is successful, suddenly all will be forgiven. After all, everyone loves a winner. But I also think that in the long run it will be in everyone's best interests to just get it over with. You can't move forward with rebuilding the program if you don't make the decision to do so. College basketball, until they change the rules on 1 and dones is subject to wild swings, so it is highly possible for the right coach to bring UConn back reasonably quickly. I'd put my money on Shaka to be able to do that. As I've said before, my biggest fear for the program is not that Ollie is over matched. That is easy to solve. Fire him and move on. And it isn't that he is great. Again its easy. Give him a contract. It is that he is mediocre. It will take a lot of guts to replace a mediocre Kevin Ollie, strange as that might seem. If he ends up always a year away from greatness, a perpetual 19-13 coach (that was Sendek's average over 10 years at NCState, hence my references to him) we'll be forgotten on the national stage very quickly, but he'll be tough to fire.
     
  14. HuskyBballFan

    HuskyBballFan

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    If Warde Manuel actually has any interest in keeping the men's basketball program a national power, then he shouldn't have any trouble firing a coach who goes 19-13 every year. We have a very spoiled fanbase and I can't imagine the donors are too far behind. If Ollie gives us nothing but mediocrity, people are no longer going to be talking about what a nice guy he is.
     
  15. Butch

    Butch

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    The dude was brought in to "coach" LeBron James at Cleveland and Kevin Durant at Oklahoma City. He should be fine. Let's hope.
     
  16. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

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    Of the options, that's my view. I'm buying in. Y'all in.

    And as an aside (not related to you, DM) I think the name "Sendek" should be added to the "fecundity" filter on this board. If I read that ****ing name and that stupid ****ing analogy one more time I'm going to go postal.
     
  17. freescooter

    freescooter

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    Sendek Sendek Sendek SENDEK!!!
     
  18. freescooter

    freescooter

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    Here's the thing...I don't share you're view of the fan base. I'm not actually sure there is all that big a UConn fan base. There is a Jim Calhoun fan base for sure. And if Ollie regularly puts up 19-13, 20-12 it will take 5 plus years before the fan base gets that he's mediocre. The very idea that a major power is giving the head coaching job to someone with virtually no coaching experience is crazy and everyone knows it. If this were North Carolina you'd all be shocked and likely making fun of them. This is more like a move they'd make at a D3 school, not at a 3 time national champion D-1 program. But virtually everyone defers to Calhoun...when his idea is beyond strange. And if Ollie is 19-13, we'll be hearing he's just a year away for a decade before anyone says its time for a change.
     
  19. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

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  20. upstater

    upstater

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    You do realize we are talking about doing a search last Spring, don't you? It was hypothetical. i.e. What if Calhoun hadn't retired in the Fall?
     
  21. 8893

    8893 Curiouser

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    Interesting. That description of mid-westerners is the same that is said of toddlers; i.e., they tend to be very concrete and not capable of abstraction or able to appreciate, detect or understand sarcasm. But as the brain matures, it enables more of those higher-order processes. Could make for a fascinating political study.
     
  22. DogMania

    DogMania

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    Scooter, you just love throwing these wild things out there. I'm not even from CT and I didn't arrive here till after JC got the job, and I know that there has been an avid UConn fan base for years. Granted UConn was more a regional power before JC put it on the national map, but come on!!!! There is a huge UConn fan base here and around the country regardless to who is at the helm. Now if UConn slips and has a long run of futility then I'm sure some of the fan base will errode, but to say that it's more a JC fan base, you're out of your fricken mind!
     
  23. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

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    I totally get this Dog. I don't argue that WM had multiple considerations in choosing the AD position, many of them valid in taking the job. But the replacement of JC was going to be the greatest challenge for any AD and the one to get the most scrutiny. Hathaway's replacement was going to be the one in this situation. I can't speak for WM, but he had to know this imo. Furthermore any AD worth his lick had to be aware of the difficulties of replacing a legend and the potential for input by this legend. Additionally Herbst made it public knowledge that she felt JC was not treated properly in the past and that treatment was going to change under here tenure. This was before the hire of the AD.

    My strong feeling is that WM came to UConn knowing there existed the possibility of the events that just took place, was prepared for that possibility, and had a set of strategies ready. My argument is with people who felt JC caught WM off guard. He didn't.

    Personally, I believe JC's lines of communications with the president of the university and the AD were not this good since the time of his hire, and maybe not even then. I strongly believe that the three of them and members of JC's staff were in discussion about how to approach this almost from the beginning of Herbst's arrival. Otherwise explain how RM was hired so quickly and GM agreed to stay for one year. Or explain why Miller has stayed with the program. He and Hobbs had better resumes than KO for advancement and Miller has been with JC as an assistant longer than the other two. I feel that, for once, the people with the capabilities and understanding of all the parameters and pitfalls worked things out in a reasonable and compromising fashion (even though personally I would have done the contract differently).

    And like 8893, I believe that the decision on how to approach this was orchestrated to minimize the heat applied to either WM or KO. Unreasonable people will take any jabs at the hire if it struggles, but most people are reasonable and will understand the rational for the choice and be patient. Unfortunately most reasonable people aren't blowhards and the opinion of the blowhards are what we think is the position of most people. We just have to keep reminding ourselves of this.
     
  24. DogMania

    DogMania

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    I don't follow you? Can you explain this in relation to what I posted. Are you trying to say if UConn had held a national search last spring that no one would have put their hat in the ring because they all would have believed KO would get the job? I'm confused. I really don't know what candidates would have shown interest. With the team no post season eligible it wouldn't have exactly been the best time to offer the position. But my frame of reference is within the realm of reality...unless you can put back time...of next spring. If Manuel does have a national search, depending on what other high major jobs also become available, and the health of our program and conference is at that time, we'll probably get some good candidates. As to one of the top ones many might want, I have no idea if one would take the job or not. If a good one does who does not have ties to UConn or the region, we will be prone to having to go through this again if that coach is successful here, because there are plenty of programs that will offer more money. This is one of the primary reasons I want someone who has ties to the program. Now I don't want just anyone. I don't want them to stick with someone isn't successful here. But I'd rather go down that road first and then if it doesn't seem that coach is up for the challenge then go outside the family. Once you do that you're susceptible to losing that coach to the highest bidder, which happens to most programs other than a small handful of storied programs.
     
  25. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

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    I would expect mid-westerners to be capable of changing if they moved to the northeast. If the study is accurate, it most likely indicates these people are unaware that others employ words in a manner other than face value. Toddlers and Boneyard posters on the other hand......:cool:
     
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