Ketch's 10 Thoughts From the Weekend (Shaka is a damn good coach)

Discussion in 'Ketch's 10 Thoughts From the Weekend Archive' started by Ketchum, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    [​IMG]

    I can't believe that I feel the need to say this for a sizable portion of Orangebloods, but ...

    Fellas ...

    Shaka Smart is one hell of a basketball coach.

    The focus of the lead-off hitter portion of this weekend's column will discuss a number of layers to the Texas basketball program, some that paint some of Smart's work at Texas as a success and some that will point out large failures, but make no mistake about the popular misnomer of Smart not being a good coach that has been making the rounds ... it's dumb.

    Shaka Smart is one hell of a coach.

    But ...but ... I don't think he can coach?

    You don't think a guy that took a team slotted into the play-in game as a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament to the Final Four can coach? A guy who coached a team to consecutive wins over an 11-seed, a 10-seed, a 6-seed, a 3-seed and a 1-seed can coach?

    But ...but ... he's a one-hit wonder!

    You think a guy that won 27, 28, 29, 27, 26 and 26 games in his first six seasons as a head coach is a one-hit wonder?

    But ...but ... he's done a terrible job this year!

    No, he's actually done a very good job this year, so much so that he deserves to be a candidate for Big 12 coach of the year. I wouldn't say he deserves to win the award, but he's a worthy candidate.

    That's crazy talk. 85-percent! SJW! You're a clown!

    Instead of focusing on what he hasn't done with this team, let's focus on what he has done, which is take one of youngest teams in the country (four in the top seven of the current rotation are freshmen) and put it on the door-step of the NCAA Tournament, despite playing in the toughest conference in the country.

    A conference so tough that if the team shows up on any given night and plays like a team full of wide-eyed freshmen, an ass-kicking will commence, no matter the opponent.

    Oh, and did I mention that along the way he'd lost his best scorer for the rest of the season because of a battle with cancer?

    Texas now has six wins against RPI Group 1 teams, which is among the highest marks in the entire country.

    Of its 11 losses this season, seven were to teams that went into this week ranked inside the AP Top 25 - No. 7 Texas Tech, No. 9 Gonzaga, No. 12 Duke, No. 13 Kansas, No. 20 West Virginia and No. 22 Michigan.

    Three of those loses went into overtime. Two of the three that finished in regulation were lost by six and two points, respectively.

    Do you think Mike Krzyzewski walked off the floor in November and thought, "If only that really young team that dominated my team for much of the game had a good coach?"

    Do you think that likely Big 12 Coach of the Year Mike Beard thought to himself, "Yeah, that team was down Andrew Jones and pushed us on our home floor as much as anyone has all year ... if they only had a good coach."

    Do you think Lon Krugar is thinking to himself this weekend, "How did we lose twice to a team with shitty coaching?"

    Yeah, but last year was the worst year in school history.

    It was a disaster and it is the scarlet letter that Smart has to wear right now as the Texas coach. No excuses. His failure to boost the roster in a way that would build off of his first year at Texas is his greatest failure as a head basketball coach.

    As it stands, he simply hasn't been a success at Texas. That is a truth at the two-season, 27-game mark of his tenure in Austin.

    Inside of the belly of a Texas fan base that is living through a near decade-long stretch of historically poor performance and doesn't have an ounce of patience left for disgusting failure, last season arrived at the exact wrong time and place.

    A fair assessment of his first three seasons in Austin: decent, disaster and damn good. I'll defend Smart in a lot of areas, but I can't argue that the totality of his three seasons have equated to definitive, tangible success.

    We're Texas. We can do better.

    Can you?

    In terms of recruiting, Smart has proven that he can go toe-to-toe with the giants in the sport and win? Let's keep it real, it almost doesn't make sense that a kid from another time zone picked Texas the way that Mo Bamba did. Smart made that happen. Same with Matt Coleman. Smart made that happen. Jarrett Allen could have gone anywhere, but he picked a team that hadn't been to the Sweet 16 since he was in middle school because of Smart.

    In terms of being an important leader of men and the kind of representative a school like Texas desires from its high-profile coaches, you simply can't do better than Smart. Hell, I think the reason I personally like Smart so much is because he's nails in this exact area.

    College basketball is about to be brought down to its knees in the near future with a scandal that could engulf as many as 50 programs, and yet, there hasn't been so much as a whisper that Smart is involved in any of it.

    Where are you going to find a coach with a Final Four and 6 26+ win seasons on his resume, to go along with a profile that includes great recruiting, honorable representation and integrity inside the program?

    Yeah, but I still don't think he can coach.

    Back to this again?

    Look, I'll end the argument with this ... USA Basketball doesn't put a guy in charge of its Under-18 National Team if he can't coach. The coach before him for the 2014 and 2016 Under-18 National Team?

    Billy Donovan. You might have heard of him.

    So, you're saying he's going to be a success at Texas?

    No, I'm not saying that. I think with more time he's going to take the foundation of players that he has and they'll grow into a very good team, but I don't know that.

    While Smart had tremendous success with VCU, circumstances sometimes get the best of great coaches. Vince Lombardi didn't have success after he left Green Bay and coached Washington. Jimmy Johnson never returned to the mountaintop with the Dolphins. Joe Gibbs couldn't make it go right in his second-time around. Larry Brown had ups and downs. Bobby Knight's second act was never close to the success of the first one.

    Smart has made poor decisions at times in team building, had some bad luck along the way (losing Allen a year earlier than first believed and now Jones) and plays in one hell of a basketball league.

    It's possible that next season will feel empty as well. Maybe it won't work out for Smart in Austin. Maybe it never gets off the ground like everyone thought it would when he was hired. So many of you want absolutes in this discussion and struggle with the layers that reside in-between the black and the white.

    The one absolute that I am comfortable with?

    Shaka Smart is a hell of a coach and his job performance THIS season has been well above average.

    Now, I'll shut up.

    No. 2 – The elephant in the room ...
    [​IMG]

    Junior Days are mostly boring these days. Just a brick in a bigger picture wall.

    For all of the excitement of it all and the importance of getting prospects on campus, the feeling going into the event was that Texas would likely have a very quiet day on the commitment front. That just wasn't what the Texas coaching staff was trying to accomplish with this particular day.

    Same as a year ago. A No. 3 overall class in 2018 had a less than sexy Junior Day opening, but the work from those opening Junior Days produced cash money later in the year.

    Among those on hand last year?

    Anthony Cook, BJ Foster, DeMarvion Overshown, Casey Thompson, Keontay Ingram, Brennan Eagles and Keondre Coburn. Oh, and Roschon Johnson.

    Yeah, the bricks that day helped make a hell of a wall.

    No. 3 – The scorecard you need to be keeping in recruiting...

    From a year ago in this column:

    "It might sound simple, but if you’re Herman and his assistants, the number one thing you want with each kid is the desire from each of them to come back because getting these kids to show up once is the easy part. It’s getting them to show up six times between now and next February that is the trickier part.

    SIX TIMES!?!

    Yup, six times.

    Let’s take the roll call. There’s the Junior Day. Then a spring practice and/or the Spring Game. Eventually, the summer will roll around and Herman and his staff will put together camps and a big recruiting-themed event similar to the Under The Lights deal that Charlie Strong created. Of course, you have to get them on campus for at least one game, right? Finally, comes the official visit in December or January. Oh, if anyone wants to stop by the Texas Relays or the state track meet … well … yeah … that counts, too."


    Fast-forward 12 months later and you'll see that the staff absolutely accomplished the mission of getting its top targets on campus at least six times on unofficial visits and they lost very few prospects that turned up that many times in Austin.

    One thing that stood out to me from the comments of the top prospects that attended this weekend’s double-dose of Junior Days was the fact that this was not the first rodeo for them with the Texas coaches in Austin. Not hardly.

    “Of course. Every time I come visit, it becomes better and better,” said Houston Mayde Creek 2019 DE Marcus Stripling, a four-star defensive end who ranks No. 12 on the current LSR Top 100 list.

    If you're Tom Herman and members of the staff, this is what you're thinking...
    [​IMG]

    It wasn't just Stripling. It was a theme with 2019 Converse Judson defensive end DeMarvin Leal, who showed up feeling comfortable enough to sport a burnt orange Texas t-shirt.It was Marcus Banks' fourth visit. Jamal Morris' third. Elijah Higgins' 20th or so.

    Get the picture?

    You don't often overwhelm kids these days at the highest level of college football recruiting with a single visit. It's a multi-step ladder, one that the staff has proven it will win consistently with if it keeps getting personal time on campus enough times.

    Just keep chipping away and the results will come.

    No. 4 – The Texas Junior Day visitors by LSR Top 100 ranking ...

    Here are the guys in my current top 40 that visited over the weekend.

    No. 2 Garrett Wilson - WR - Lake Travis
    No. 6 Roschon Johnson - OB - Port Neches-Groves
    No. 12 Marcus Stripling - DE - Mayde Creek
    No. 13 DeMarvin Leal - DE - Converse Judson
    No. 17 Marcel Brooks - LB - Flower Mound Marcus
    No. 20 Erick Young - CB - Richmond Bush
    No. 24 Elijah Higgins - WR - Austin Bowie
    No. 30 Dylan Wright - WR - West Mesquite
    No. 31 Jamal Morris - S - Richmond Bush
    No. 33 Deondrick Glass - RB - Katy
    No. 35 Marcus Banks - CB - Spring Dekaney
    No. 40 Gilbert Ibeneme - Pearland

    This doesn't include 2019 Westlake Village, California linebacker De'Gabriel Floyd, who ranks No. 95 nationally on the current Rivals100 rankings.

    No. 5 – Some things simply deserve their own section ...



    This one kind of caught me off-guard.

    It isn't something that comes out of the "Great Coaching Ideas Playbook," but I really dig what the coaches did in putting players who probably don't appreciate everything they have (because what 18-22 year old does?) and forcing them to see first-hand what can happen to a life when a few breaks go decisions the wrong way.

    I commend the Texas coaches for sending a message of compassion and helping those who could use a helping hand, while providing a healthy perspective along the way.

    No. 6 - Story time with Uncle Ketch ...

    Speaking of some healthy perspective, here's something about me that most of you almost certainly didn't know ...

    I have been the cover-boy of exactly one magazine cover - the February of 2008 edition of Capital Sports Magazine.

    Before the interview/photography session, it was proposed to me that the cover photo be of me presented as a "swami" and sitting in some sort of meditation post.

    "Don't even worry about your clothes. We're going to photoshop you into a "swami" outfit," I was told.

    So, they came over to my house and took photos of me sitting on the floor doing my impersonation of a "swami pose." After about 30 minutes, they left and that was that until shortly before the magazine came out.

    That's when I saw the cover photo for the first time.

    It was just my face superimposed on the body of what appeared to be a Middle-Eastern man. Just my face. The guy's naked, horrible feet? Not mine. The hairy hands? Not mine.

    Just my face. Forever immortalized on the cover of Capital City Sports in the weirdest, most unexpected way one could ever imagine.


    No. 7 – Buy or Sell …
    [​IMG]

    BUY or SELL: It’s Signing Day February 2019 & Tom Herman and staff have once again signed a top-5 recruiting class?

    (Sell) I'm going to say that Texas finishes with a class in the 6-10 range this year. I don't think you'll see a repeat of the overwhelming dominance of top-10 players in-state that we all witnessed in the last cycle.

    BUY or SELL: We have an offensive player who makes first-team all-Big 12 this season?

    (Sell) Maybe Collin Johnson?

    BUY or SELL: Coaching staff reads the excellent analysis provided by OB on ways to improve our product on the field? Or at least has someone paying attention to what is going on around this crazy place?

    (Buy) Everything is read and monitored by someone.

    BUY or SELL: The Horns will not have a true freshman in the two-deep on offense and defense, excluding kickers?

    (Sell) I think you could easily see players at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, offensive line, defensive line and defensive back challenge for playing time on the two-deep. These are Tom Herman's guys, his first set of guys. They're going to play.

    BUY or SELL: Tim Brewster wishes he was in Austin instead of aggy?

    (Buy) All of that uproar a year ago when Herman was building his staff was created by one of the best in the business at back-channel marketing. Believe me, I have stories.

    BUY or SELL: Although the sample size is small, you have a good feeling that Texas hired the right baseball coach?

    (Sell) I have no idea how to read where the baseball program is headed, as it relates to belonging in the elite of the elite.

    BUY or SELL: Texas’ next final four is in baseball and it’s sooner than anyone suspects?

    (Sell) Nothing has happened to definitively say this about any major men's sports in Austin when comparing them to the others.

    BUY or SELL: The FBI basketball investigation will include at least one team/coach from the state of Texas.

    (Buy) One? It'll likely closer to five than one. We're talking as many as 50-60 programs.

    BUY or SELL: Herb Hand will be directly responsible for improved OL recruiting.

    (Sell) I think he'll do a good job, but let's not get carried away.

    No. 8 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind …

    ... Did Fergie make try to Marilyn Monroe up the national anthem at the NBA all-star game.

    ... Russell Westbrook is making a habit of getting Processed.


    ... Twerk Lady stole the Halftime Show.

    ... As far as I'm concerned, Dennis Smith Jr. won the Slam Dunk context. WHAT IS THIS?!?


    ... Either get out of Austin Dillon's way or get run out of the way. You choose, I guess. Those final two laps were fun. I like Daytona Overtime.

    ... Danica Patrick's NASCAR career ended on in a wreck at Daytona. I don't think she did a Discount Double-Check afterwards in pit row.

    ... Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde to the media when asked why he dropped Phillppe Coutinho on Saturday: "I think it was best for my team to try to win."

    Ouch.

    No. 9 – 2 weeks until the big night …

    I loved Phantom Tread. Loved it.

    I don't know what I was expecting coming in, but this movie totally caught me off-guard in all the right ways. Frankly,I didn't want it to end.

    Daniel Day-Lewis is still the GOAT.

    My updated Oscars rankings (my picks, not my picks of the actual nominations)

    (Still need to see: All the Money in the World, Call Me By Your Name, Phantom Thread, and Roman J. Israel, Esq)

    Best Picture

    1.Phantom Thread
    2. Lady Bird
    3. The Shape of Water
    4. Darkest Hour
    5. Get Out
    6. I, Tonya
    7. The Post
    8. The Disaster Artist
    9. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
    10. The Big Sick

    Best Actor

    1. Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
    2. Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)
    3. James Franco (The Disaster Artist)
    4. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
    5. William DaFoe (The Florida Project)

    Best Actress

    1. Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)
    2. Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread)
    3. Meryl Streep (The Post)
    4. Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
    5. Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)

    Best Supporting Actor

    1. Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water)
    2. Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)
    3. Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water)
    4. Jason Mitchell (Mudbound)
    5. Rob Morgan (Mudbound)

    Best Supporting Actress

    1. Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
    2. Allison Janney (I,Tonya)
    3. Holly Hunter (The Big Sick)
    4. Carey Mulligan (Mudbound)
    5. Leslie Manville (Phantom Thread)

    Best Director

    1. Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
    2. The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro)
    3. Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
    4. Jordan Peele (Get Out)
    5. Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049)

    No. 10 – And Finally …

    No Tweet made me click on its link this weekend faster than this one.
     
    1 Ketchum, Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    East Mall, dpal, ericg320 and 27 others like this.
  2. OkayHorn

    OkayHorn Resident Cibolo-Schertz Texas Ex
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    Stopped reading at Shaka is a damn good coach...
     
  3. AnwarsFedora

    AnwarsFedora Well-Known Member
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    Your drunk again.
     
  4. snoop9928

    snoop9928 OB's Tex-Mex Czar
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    Lot of good coaches get fired for having shitty results too
     
  5. parkerbj

    parkerbj Well-Known Member
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    Might be the dumbest thing you’ve ever posted. And you’ve posted a lot of dumb things.
     
  6. jttexas05

    jttexas05 Tell me about the rabbits, Tommy.
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    Love is blind.
     
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  7. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    You won't be alone. None of it can be refuted. Easier for some to skip truths.
     
  8. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    which part was dumb? Quote it.
     
  9. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    Correct. It does happen.

    Maybe you should read the column before commenting.
     
  10. Buda Horn

    Buda Horn Well-Known Member
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    Wow. Youre going to regret that take in either 2 weeks or 13 months.
     
  11. OkayHorn

    OkayHorn Resident Cibolo-Schertz Texas Ex
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    47-46 refutes ALL of it. You’ll never live this post down my man.
     
  12. Dog from Duck Hunt

    Dog from Duck Hunt Well-Known Member
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    The thing with you and Shaka is just getting weird at this point.
     
  13. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    It won't change in 2 weeks or 13 months.
     
  14. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    The truth is weird to some people. I've listed quite a few supporting facts. I'm not the silly one.
     
  15. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    You didn't read the column, either. Clearly.
     
  16. OkayHorn

    OkayHorn Resident Cibolo-Schertz Texas Ex
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    I’ve always admired you putting your huevos out there with your takes and your predictions. These types of articles keep me intrigued and entertained. Keep doing you.
     
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  17. OkayHorn

    OkayHorn Resident Cibolo-Schertz Texas Ex
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    Hence my original post.
     
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  18. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    Funny watching some of you argue with a column you haven't read.

    It speaks to something...
     
  19. snoop9928

    snoop9928 OB's Tex-Mex Czar
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    But ...but ... he's done a terrible job this year!

    No, he's actually done a very good job this year, so much so that he deserves to be a candidate for Big 12 coach of the year. I wouldn't say he deserves to win the award, but he's a worthy candidate.



    Lololol
     
  20. BobHorn

    BobHorn baby steps
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    Can you re-word this in layman's terms?
     
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  21. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    I don't know that I put anything out there. I mention in the article that he might prove to be a failure.
     
  22. UTRULZ

    UTRULZ Well-Known Member
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    47-46, probably ends year 3 with a losing record. Damn good coach? Do you think he’s our coach after next year? The B12 is a real basketball conference, not a mid major.
     
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  23. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    You left out all of the supporting detail provided. Why?
     
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  24. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    k.
     
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  25. Buffalosoldiers

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    I rushed to read the comments after seeing the headline.
     
  26. Hookah Horns

    Hookah Horns Well-Known Member
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    Lol, Ketch doubling down on dumb.
     
  27. OkayHorn

    OkayHorn Resident Cibolo-Schertz Texas Ex
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    My point is you knew full well your take would get a huge backlash. I’d rather get your honest personal takes than fanboy jibberish you see on rival sites.
     
  28. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    FIFY
     
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  29. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    Oh, I knew the sillies would come out.

    Notice, no specific points are being refuted and the one attempt to do so thus far ignored facts.
     
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  30. Alex Dunlap

    Alex Dunlap Any Updates on Desmond Harrison?
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    This could be at 8-10 pages by 7am.
     
  31. dentonhorn

    dentonhorn OU Sux
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    Never saw another word either.
     
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  32. bkennedy404

    bkennedy404 Well-Known Member
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    I’m all in with @Ketchum after beating down OU!

    Love to read his thoughts on UT basketball right before that game.

    I’m all Shaka now, seriously
     
  33. dontmesswithtexas

    dontmesswithtexas Well-Known Member
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  34. Alfordjm

    Alfordjm Thanks for comin’ out
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    I am not ready to make a decision on Shaka yet. And will probably be the most logical comment in this thread. He got dealt a shitty hand this year no doubt.
     
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  35. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    Suuuuure.;)
     
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  36. snoop9928

    snoop9928 OB's Tex-Mex Czar
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    Bc the facts are we are 6-8 and will likely be 7-10 in conference play. 17 wins at a school like Texas is ridiculous. That’s with a top 5 draft pick in the paint.

    Yeah he’s done a good job with the jones situation, but candidate for big 12 coach of the year? Insane
     
  37. Jester East Alumni President

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    PSA: the Elvis link is a waste of time. Thought it was going to be something cool. It was not.

    Cliffs: An extra in the background of a scene in Home Alone looks vaguely like Elvis with a beard. That’s it.
     
  38. killerbeandip12

    killerbeandip12 Well-Known Member
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    Devils advocate. A good coach would have won a conference title in 6 years in the colonial athletic Association and Atlantic 10 conference.
     
  39. Dog from Duck Hunt

    Dog from Duck Hunt Well-Known Member
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    You have a weird habit of labeling your opinion as the truth. You picked a bunch of stats that paint a positive picture. There are plenty that can be picked that paint a very negative picture.

    When you take a highly subjective and largely meaningless statement like “is someone a good coach”, you can offer any number of facts on either side. Good compared to what? Our last coach? Reasonable expectations? An objective and results-based analysis? Performance relative to the talent on the roster? Performance relative to preseason expectations?

    Your incredibly condescending and frankly bizarre habit of making definitive statements and then acting indignant when anyone disagrees is tiresome. I’m out.
     
  40. soman1972

    soman1972 “Keep on keeping on” - Bozans
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