Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Stumping for Lickliter

I'm heisting this post from the basketball board at the Hawks Nest. While there are certainly much worse, much lamer arguments being made about the Lickliter hire, at least this one seems honest and open for debate.

Grade: B

3 things I don't like.
-$1.2M or whatever is ridiculous, but whatever. I am not going to be a hater, I will just work at getting a job as a coach! Heck, I heard about a house that is for sale in Iowa with an indoor basketball court that could be perfect for Lickliter.
You can't fault Iowa for the salary paid, then expect an "A" hire. Like Barta said, most of the coaches they targeted already had very good jobs. Sure, it would have been great to get Pearl, but would he have been worth twice as much as Lickliter's "ridiculous" salary? If Pearl was ever going to take an offer from Iowa, I imagine it would taken about that much.
-Another Indiana boy from a small conference. That makes me nervous he will be as poor as Alford. Too many similarities.
The similarities between Alford and Lickliter stop at "Indiana" and "coached in a small conference." Past that, they're nothing alike, and if you evaluated their personalities, they'd be as dissimilar in your eyes as John Wayne and Elton John.

If you want similiarities, look at Alford and Reggie Theus, a former player who's never one to shy from a camera. He led his NMSU team to a 13-seed in the tourney this year, is more famous for his on-court expoits as a player, and desperately wants to move to a major-conference team. That sounds a lot more similar to Alford than a Lickliter guy whose background is more grounded in hard work than adoration.
-Lack of comments from current players and recruits about Lickliter, granted it is very early... but dang, if I was a player I would be making some positive comments right away.
If I were a player of his at Butler, I wouldn't exactly feel any need to "sell" him to his new school. That goes for any coach going to any new school. His guys at Butler need to move on with their college careers, and his incoming freshmen committed to Butler, not to Lickliter. At the presser, Lickliter took multiple opportunities to express his feelings that a kid commits to a school, not a coach, and that they should fulfill those commitments. Does it mean Iowa might not sneak in a 4-star forward that committed to Butler? Yeah, theoretically. Is it the ethical approach anyway? Absolutely.

As for the kids coming in, he doesn't sound receptive of the idea of releasing the committed freshmen from their LOI's, although he did stress the importance of fielding a team of guys who "want to play for Iowa." So it sounds like he wants to express the importance of fulfilling obligations, then helping the kids work towards a good season here on their terms.
3 Things I like
-His bio is really good. Worked with coaches like Collier and Matta, broke all kind of records, was the first coach to gain Butler a victory in the NCAA. Pretty impressive stuff. Don't forget 2007 NCAA Basketball Coach of the year!
I think the "coach of the year" award is a great selling point. It also bodes well that he took Butler to the Sweet 16, lost all the old guys, then re-recruited and coached the team to another tourney berth and Sweet 16 within 4-5 years.
-He has a wife named Joez, and three sons... he seems more than appreciative of getting the Iowa coaching job, and unlike Alford seems easy to like. He will love Iowa.
Yeah. This is not a good job for a single man--ask George Raveling. If a coach can do his job well, then go home to his family, he will be very comfortable in Iowa. Everything Lickliter said at the presser yesterday indicates that he gets that. Also, part of me really wants to believe his wife's maiden name is Henderson.
-Butler players and fans all are writing and saying great things about him and will miss him. Big Deal? Look at the other coaches who left universities this year... it wasn't so nice! This tells a lot about someone.
Just like you can tell a lot about a single man from how he treats strangers/waitresses, you can tell a lot about a coach from how his former players talk about him. When he mentioned at the presser that lots of his players called him to congratulate him on the new job, then said that's the best feeling a coach can have, that spoke volumes about the way Lickliter runs a program.

Will Lickliter be the next Big ten coach of the year? Will recruits follow him to Iowa? Only time will tell. For those who are inclined to
bet online or visit Vegas I would suggest you sit tight and be patient. Anything can happen
in the world of big time college basketball.


JebusHChrist said...

The way I look at it Lickliter's first 2 years are free. It would have cost us that much just to get rid of piss stains. It's house money at this point.
Also, nice try Bowlsby but we got out from under your idiocy.

Anonymous said...

Great point drawing the Theus/Alford comparison...never even considered that, but you're absolutely right.

The more I read Lickliter's comments, the more I like about the hire. As for the Alford "star" recruits, again, let them follow the Golden Boy to NM if they want. I couldn't possibly care any less about these incoming "can't miss" prospects.

The quicker it fully becomes Lickliter's program, the better. That goes for you too, Tyler.

Anonymous said...

They aren't even really "star" recruits. The 2007 class is a bunch of decent three star guys, only one of whom is a lock to jump shit. The 2008 class is the one that's looking really good, but Gatens out of Iowa City (the only truly great looking player of the bunch) isn't going anywhere, and the other dude is an unpolished center who was highly rated solely because of UPPPPPPside and has serious bust potential. Yeah losing those kids hurts short-term, but I have no doubt that Lickliter can get things turned around quickly.