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Final Four weekend is such a frenzy of activity that some very interesting reading can often fall through the cracks if you don’t get lucky enough to run across the right thing at the right time. I thought that I would share some things that I have run across recently that may be interesting to the Wolfpack & ACC-centric College Basketball Fan.
===> Award Time
The ACC Area Sports Journal handed out their 2005 ACC Basketball Awards. I like their “other awards” down at the bottom and agree in their choice of the Wolfpack’s Tony Hanes as best color commentator in the conference. I had the pleasure of listening to most of the commentators this year on XM Satellite Radio and Hanes is a noticeable step up from the other analysts in the conference.
===> Upper Classmen Important
Houston Chronicle has an interesting look at the important roles that upper classmen have played on this year’s two best teams (and on recent teams in the Finals).
= > Dave Odom to UVa Link Central
Earlier in the day it sounded as though Dave Odom may be is coming back to the ACC to coach at Virginia. But, later today Odom issued a statement through the University of South Carolina that claims that he is not interested in the job.
I lot of folks have a lot of differing perspectives here. I’ll save the bulk of my comments for later in the event that it materializes. In summary – I think that hiring Odom would be a safer move than many give it credit and I don’t understand how the hire could be passionately criticized. Odom is certainly not the home run that many Cavalier fans wanted, but he is a proven commodity who has a very strong institutional fit at Virginia. As Brad commented, Odom would be a ’17′ at the Blackjack table. Couldn’t agree more.
One faction of fans that should definitely keep their mouths shut are the historically ardent Herb Sendek supporters at NC State. Based on Odom’s historical record, one would think that there is no way that these people could do anything but praise the decision…but that doesn’t seem to be the case. After taking over one of the worst programs in the history of the ACC, Dave Odom achieved success that dwarves anything that Herb Sendek has ever sniffed – No coach in Wake Fores history won the amount of games that Odom did in his 12 years in which he: attended 11 consecutive postseason tournaments, won two ACC Championships, comprised a 101-87 ACC record, and finished in the Top 10 three times.
===> Stabilizing Strategy
Gregg Doyel comments that, “At 62, Odom could coach the Cavaliers for five seasons, stabilize the program as he did at Wake Forest and South Carolina, and then retire — giving way to an A-list hire.”
I think that this perspective is astute and such a strategy would be a solid one for Virginia.
Over the last few years I’ve heard many Wolfpackers float a similar strategy trying to connect our pepetually unopen job with Bobby Knight. Of course, there is a lot more off-the court risk in Knight than in Dave Odom, and there is no chance that many in our spineless, cowering community would ever take such a public relations risk on Knight (despite the fact that Texas Tech has received anything but national publicity and attention through their association with Knight.) Regardless, the idea is the same and we will see if it will work at Virginia.
Doyel also commented in his piece to “watch for Charlotte’s Bobby Lutz to make a full-court press for the USC job” after he missed out on the Tennessee job. Whenever coaching moves are made like this Dominoes start to fall in strange places. Had Mike Brey ended up in Charlottesville, many wondered if Notre Dame would have turned their eyes to the Catholic on our sidelines.
With UNC’s historically strong relationship with the Gamecock job (Frank McGuire, Eddie Fogler), it might not be out of the realm of possibility to see one of the rising members of the Tarheel family get a look in Columbia.
=== > Neighborhood Watch
Barry Jacobs provided Duke Basketball Report with a breakdown of Final Four appearances from area schools over the last 20 years. (Remember, NC State effectively gave up nationally competitive basketball in 1990 and is yet to decide that we want to compete with Duke’s and Carolina’s of the world. So, it is no surprise that we will be absent on the list; 1983 was 22 years ago).
Jacobs shared the following summary that I found very interesting: “The ACC placed 29 teams in the Final Four in the 31 years since the NCAA Tournament field expanded in 1975 to accept multiple entrants from the same league. Of that group, 20 (69.0 percent) reached the ACC Tournament final the same year they got to the Final Four, including Duke in 2004. Fifteen of 29 (51.7 percent) won the ACC Tournament, most recently Duke in 2001. UNC was eliminated in this year’s ACC Tournament semifinals. The only Final Four entrants from the ACC that failed to reach the semifinals were sixth-seed Virginia in 1984 and No.4-seed North Carolina in 2000. “
=== > 9 National Champions
The ACC Area Sports Journal encapsulates the ACC’s 9 NCAA Champions in summary form.
=== > Pitino vs Tubby
While we are charting info. I found this Pitino vs Tubby conversation very interesting.
===> blah blah blah Season in Review
KenPom reviews some of his comments throughout the season. Interesting stuff.
What coaches are on the hotseat next season in college basketball?