We know what the guy on the left has done - how do we evaluate that replacement coach to his right? How does any school replace a legend?
Every now and then, we like to feed you a little trifecta of samplers from around the SBNation, giving you exposure to content you may not otherwise come across, as well as providing ourselves with an opportunity to spark some discussion of our own as we off-shoot from these topics.
This week we take a look at three similar but completely different bits:
*** John Rook of the UConnBlog has a nice piece on new UConn men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie. The situation that the Huskies are going through is certainly unique, given their convergence of staff changes and imposed sanctions, but the overall idea is something universal. When you change coaches - especially when you change coaches from a legend to a nobody - how does the lens through which you evaluate their performance change? This is eventually going to matter to a team like Gonzaga or Davidson, or at Akron once Keith Dambrot leaves.
You may all know Brett Hein from his work here on Damian Lillard
during the draft, or perhaps you know him from his BYU blog Vanquish the Foe. Anyways, they have an interesting read on whether BYU's football program
has "peaked" in its abilities under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Again, parallels probably exist here with regards to Gonzaga.
Under Mendenhall, the Cougars have consistently been "average" to "very good" but have never really reached beyond that. Mendenhall has restrictions that are built in to his coaching and recruiting by the school's faith, and Gonzaga doesn't have that but does have a similar arc of success.
In Mark Few's 13 seasons at Gonzaga, the Bulldogs have never been worse than 23-11, but have never been better than 29-4. Last year was the first time ever that Few's squad didn't win the WCC regular season crown or the conference tournament. That still got them a 13th straight NCAA tournamant appearance...but only a 14-13 career record in the tournament itself. Four times ('00, '01, '06, '09) the Zags have reached the Sweet Sixteen, but never further.
Some would say that's a great track-record for a "one-bid conference" team like Gonzaga. Others hold them to a different standard. What do you think?
*** Lastly, on a..umm...lighter note? A good little description of 1) just how fickle fans can be, and 2) just how eager those who promote to those fans can be when it comes to covering up that fickleness. The Miami Hurricanes are leasing space in Sun Life Stadium right now, which holds just over 75,000 fans. At their "home" opener against Bethune-Cookman, the photos in that post show you that the stadium might - might - be half full, which would put the crowd at a really generous vague estimate of 30-35,000 by yours truly.
I am aware that sports facilities and teams inflate their numbers by announcing tickets-sold, not asses-in-seats type numbers, but to announce that crowd as 39,000+ is laughable at best. I know it's Miami, and the weather is either gorgeous or unbearable depending on whom you ask, and there's a bajillion other things going on...but has Miami really fallen that far, that a cupcake home opponent after a bad road loss completely destroys everyone's desire to attend? Oh well.