Thursday, March 22, 2007

Not to do Barta's job for him, but...

I think he owes Mike Dunlap a serious look. Oh, and I strongly recommend you read the article itself: I can't do it justice--not in 45 minutes and over a beer.

Anyway, the guy's basically the Kirk Ferentz of basketball.

  • Intense early practice schedules.
He coaches his players to get up at 4 a.m. for 6:00 a.m. practices. No shit. And here's the thing--it just might be a good idea. As he said:
"We’re not going to apologize for a big day of practice, for hard work. I think the kids actually enjoy it ... It gets the hard work out of the way, so they can concentrate on academics the rest of the day."
  • Emphasis on academics.
He teaches the kids to be good students and follows their progress fanatically. Missing class or not keeping up their notebooks results in a two-mile run with a medicine ball. The cool part is, he runs the first mile with them while carrying the medicine ball; the second mile, the medicine ball is theirs.
  • Prefers the college game to the pros.
Dunlap coached under George Raveling (who, as irony dictates, could not coach his way out of a wet paper sack). Raveling had this to say about Dunlap:
"Mike could coach in the ACC, Big 10 or PAC-10 right now," added Raveling. "It’s just a matter of time before an A.D. snatches him up."
Hahahahaha... snatch. Anyway, other coaches have also remarked on Dunlap's insatiable passion for the game.
"I certainly respect how he always has the kids’ best interests at heart, but all he ever wants to do is talk basketball," said Chaney about Dunlap. "I got to eat some time, but all he does is talk basketball."
John Chaney, of Temple (and insane meltdown) fame said that, ostensibly in jest, about Dunlap. But why don't we see what Dunlap himself has to say about his pedigree and commitment to basketball?
"I’ve definitely been blessed with older coaches that have been able to tell me what to do and when I was making a mistake or just when I needed to pull my head out," said the 46-year-old Dunlap, who just finished his seventh year at Metropolitan State. "I’ve been drinking from John Wooden’s cup; I’ve worked at Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp for 10 years. I try to pay attention to guys that care, like John Chaney, Eddie Sutton."
It's not as if Dunlap's got no business coaching at the D-I level. He clearly does, and he's got a great coach's mindset. I don't know anything about his family life, but I sincerely doubt anybody would want to marry such a crazed basketball addict. Wait, check that, very first paragraph, very first sentence of the article: Mike Dunlap called his wife and kids. Okay. Never mind.

Bottom line is: the guy has a slight air of insanity to him, but it's the good kind of insanity (see: Bob Knight), not the bad kind (see: Mike Tyson). He'd be a big addition to the Iowa basketball program. I know I was calling for a huge name a couple hours ago, but if he ends up looking like the best candidate after the interviews, freaking hire him. He's a goddamned gladiator.


Buddy Light said...

You mean, he's a fucking soldier?!

Anonymous said...

I've seen Dunlop coach out here in Colorado. He's the real deal. The only issue might be that Barta's looking for a big name. Why the hell did Tubby go to Minnesota?!? Let the Dana Altman rumors begin!