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Mack vs. Rick

  • I understand where you are coming from. I don't agree with your entire sentiment, but I do especially agree with 15 years being a long time and too long in most cases. New blood is good for programs to maintain a competitive advantage. It doesn't always require the head guy to be changed out, but without some constant change at the assistant level, it's hard to keep the "country club" mentality from kicking in.


  • Most of these coaches have had more than a decade to build their program. I realize that your heart bleeds for Rick Barnes, but give me a frigging break if 15 years isn't enough, dude. Your post is cheap hyperbole.

    It is not a sad commentary on the basketball program at Texas if Rick Barnes is fired 15 years into his regime when his program is declining so poorly that they not only miss the tournament, but that they can't even approach a winning record in their own conference. For once, we should be cheering that the leadership driving decisions in athletics isn't a pack of pussies who covet their position more than they covet winning, therefore change is an unnecessary evil in their mind.

    I know you like to brag about the talking point, along with everyone else who can work the bullets from the Bellmont press releases, that Texas hasn't missed a tournament in Barnes' tenure. Well, they're missing it this year. The tournament includes 68 teams each season. It moved to a 64 and then a 68 team format more than 2 decades ago. When he's fired, Texas doesn't have to rehire Bob Weltlich. It's a different era and the talent within the state is different too. Raise your expectations for what Texas should be achieving, don't ask me to lower mine.

    And btw, the old line about "those who know basketball know that Rick Barnes did a great job with the Kevin Durant team" is so full of shit that it stinks up every thread in which it appears. That team achieved. They didn't underachieve, they didn't overachieve. They achieved. It was typical Rick Barnes. He had them play well enough for people who follow Texas basketball to be mildly pleased with the outcome. Anything beyond that is a wishcasting defense of a coach some of you value too highly at this point.

  • Saying the Durant team achieved is right. We have people that expected them to cut the nets down. Seriously.

  • Nope, nope, nope. If we fire Barnes after this shitastic season we'll be blacklisted by the entire CBB coaching community.

    We'll be lucky to get the head coach/unpaid volunteer from Chaminade to come here.


  • Yep. Unfortunately, the reaction to that is to overstate how they performed and then to drop in the typical, overused "those who know the game" bullshit. Of any major sport, basketball is the least nuanced and the least strategic and none of the sports involve splitting the atom or painting the Mona Lisa. Texas had a transcendent player and another set of terrific young players and they went to the round of 32. Barnes did not work some sort of magic that season.

  • No. Players get noticed for offense more than for defense, especially in high school and most especially in the bizarre creature known as AAU. Bradley, Thompson, Balbay, Mason, Ibeh, Holland, Joseph, Ward, James, Ivey, and Thomas were all superior defensive players from day one,, and there are several others who were very good, even as freshmen, like Buckman.

    There have been some guys who were not good defenders, but the statement that Kevin Durant was the worst defender Barnes ever coached was really just a joke he made. J'Covan Brown and Jordan Hamilton were a lot worse than Durant was in each of their first 1000 minutes.

  • No one said he did. I merely pointed out that team performed better than expected over the course of the season, despite the disappointing tournament result.

    It's easy to pick apart an opponent's position in a debate when you misrepresent it.

  • McClellan is another guy that is a horrible defender.

  • Completely false. Hopefully you're being sarcastic.

    This post was edited by NYHorn 15 months ago

  • McClellan is a horrible basketball player. He has the talent and athleticism to be a NBA rotational player, but doesn't have the desire to work at his craft to become one.

    Never have I seen someone so talented look so lost on the basketball court. He has no handles and shoots whenever he feels like it. Obviously the benching had no affect on his attitude. I'm beginning to think that it would be better off for him to transfer after the season.

    X & O's aside, players need to be held accountable for developing their craft as much as the coaches need to be held accountable for the offense and defense they run.

    Most colleges in the country recruited him so a lot of people thought he would become a good player.

    That said, Barnes is really at a crossroads with his tenure at Texas. He needs to sign Frazier and Randle because this team even with a year of experience is devoid of a closer. Not saying there isn't a guy on this team that can't become one.

  • I'm positive he was being sarcastic. We could do better than Barnes, but we wouldn't have our pick of coaches like we would in football. As much as I do like and support Barnes, I'd be very interested in seeing if we could get a young coach like Smart or Stevens to see what they could achieve with the current roster. I really don't like the idea of having career coaches in most cases and I do think Barnes has gotten to a point where it would be easier for the program to fall back (like we have in the prior 3 years) than advance in prestige. All I want is a perennial top 15 program that has the pieces in place every year to make it past the Sweet 16 if things fall right and challenge for a Final Four every 5 years or so at least. Winning a championship is the obvious goal, but that's much harder to do in basketball than in football due to the single-elimination tournament and drawing a bad match-up along the way. As long as the pieces are in place every year, eventually, the stars will align for Texas to play for the title.


  • I agree completely. For instance, here you are attempting to rebut something that was never directed at you and never considered your position on the matter, but you certainly won with that response.

    I quoted the guy I was responding to, another confirmed that response, and I responded to them. It's not hard to follow.

  • Barnes has said constantly that they have to encourage McClellan to shoot. Given the Dr. Barnes/Mr. Rick personality, I don't know how that message comes across.

    I do think that they want him to become a closer, as you put it, and I don't know if he wants the job, frankly.

    Signing Randle and Frazier puts McClellan in the Jordanaires, and would be good for everybody.

    To me, the biggest disappointment so far is Ridley. He and Ibeh (0-1) combined for 1 of 4 and two points last night. Neither one of those guys is trusted on the floor at the end of games, when their shot-blocking (especially Ibeh's) would be valuable.

    Now, that had nothing to do with last night's game, but it's somewhat like 2009 and 2010, when people could and did play off of Mason and Balbay and clogged the path to Pittman and James. Now, you can guard the perimeter (and people do... they pressure Felix and Lewis and McClellan 30 feet from the bucket) because they know that Ridley can't make a layup and Ibeh can't catch. Sure, they're going to get better, probably a lot better. But right now, it's a big problem.

    “Kansas may wind up number one in these polls, but that would be so unfair to Texas...” -- Len Elmore, 2/13/11

  • But you said you wanted to fire everyone that's not at a championship level right now, and you gave the golf team a pass. I'm pretty sure golf would have been on your list until last May. Burning down the house is a dumb way to run any business.

    The time to fire Rick Barnes is not this year, when he's in full rebuilding mode. He is a solid high D-I coach. I actually trust him to get the most out of this group. He does have a good defensive team, and that takes effort and a plan.

    The time to build a case to can him is the next time he has a really good team and crushes it with the demand to control every pass and shot. That last happened in 2011, for those of you scoring at home. It probably happened in 2010, too, but I know what happened in 2011.

    Mack lost me after another OU blowout, and he didn't even apologize. If Barnes does land the players he's after, he will have to do something with them. Even if he doesn't, this team should be considerably better next year. If they're not, then I'll most likely be with you.

    “Kansas may wind up number one in these polls, but that would be so unfair to Texas...” -- Len Elmore, 2/13/11


  • I suggest reading "The First 90 Days" as a good starter on how to handle a program, department, or business that needs to go into full turnaround and then move on to other case study literature from there, or try doing the same yourself before you advocate what is "dumb" for "any business". There are occasions in which a scorched earth policy is the best route, usually when an organization is resource rich and output poor and the competition is beginning to put significant distance between your company and them in terms of overall performance. Your assumption that no business should face it is incorrect. Beyond that, it's actually a safer move inside a non-profit that is guaranteed to not have to close its doors, so it has even more merit in the AD instance. Hell, taking it one step further, it is what every coaching regime change in the history of ever has done in any sport. You'd have no problems if the next guy after Brown came in and tossed all but a couple of assistants and a couple of infrastructure guys out of the program if his team went 6-6 next season, yet you argue here that that kind of scenario is "dumb".

    You reference Rick Barnes being a solid D-1 coach, but I question when the last time was that you actually removed your emotion from your position and reviewed his output for what it is. He's not developing players the way he used to, his recruiting isn't where it once was, and his on court performance has never been worse. He's atrophied in his role, and so has his program. The team being put on the court right now is not going to magically develop into an Elite 8 group in 2 years. The iffy guys that were taken are still iffy and he's shown no proclivities for being able to retain near-NBA or NBA level talent for more than 2 year stretches any time recently.

    You want to believe that this is a Norman Dale type of earnest developer of skills who knows what he is doing and no one but the most discerning of eyes can see it. That's not happening at this point in this guy's tenure. He still doesn't know jack shit about how to put together an inbounds play. He doesn't understand free throw shooting in any way, shape or form. His offenses are and always will be a joke, as is the offensive development of his talent. The simplest answer is the right one here. Barnes got lazy in his willingness to learn new things, lost his connection to Ro Russell, for which he'd gotten too dependent, and he's gotten too old and comfortable in his current position to actually change his behavior while still on this payroll.

    You Barnes apologists are getting more and more limber in your contortionist maneuvers for supporting the guy, and it's not at all eerily reminiscent of where many Mack Brown folks were just a few years ago.

  • I don't think defending Barnes makes you an apologist. It's possible to defend him against stupid remarks yet realize him for what he is. When you say things like can't put an inbounds play together (pretty stupid), doesn't understand free throw shooting, and his offenses have always been a joke........you're opening a can of worms that gets people off the real topic needing to be discussed.

    Rick can coach, Rick can dial up inbounds plays (I've seen a large number the last 3-4 years when we've been declining), the free throw shooting stuff is mostly minimal, and his offensive efficiency numbers are pretty solid at Texas.

    Did Rick decide to build a foundation of players or were we rebuffed on the trail and simply had to settle? Combination of both?

  • What is the real topic that you think needs to be discussed? If we're talking about whether or not Barnes should be fired, then aspects of his coaching that he's failed at in recent years (offensive efficiency, free throw shooting, recruiting impact freshmen) are the topics that need to be discussed. With the talent that Barnes has brought to Texas and sent to the NBA, his offensive efficiency should not be "pretty solid." It's clear that he doesn't know how to coach an offense and relies on having a star offensive player to carry the burden of poor offensive sets.

  • I think a history lesson is in order for this one.

  • Dang it, bierce! It is just like you to pull all of those facts out of your arse, and ruin a perfectly good nonsensical argument!

  • I got my popcorn and I'm on the sidelines, an I'm yellin' GO, BOB, GO!

    Sorry, gordosan, I ain't got no popcorn emoticon. popcorn

    Dang! I just conjured one up! Just type [ popcorn ] without the spaces before and after popcorn.

    Wonder whut else I can come up with?

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by BudreauReye 15 months ago

  • Let me know what his offensive sets are, what we're running and what each guy should be doing. Shouldn't be a problem if it's so clear.

  • Getting back to the point, you are now OK with the golf program because it won last year? But if you give golf a pass, you're not really evaluating that program, are you? You're just saying it doesn't matter how we get the results, as long as we get them?

    You really think that UT, as a brand, would have positive results from firing anyone that hadn't won a championship in the last five years? I'm not sure about that. I do agree that a new AD would be proactive... it's almost a cliche to read, "The AD (GM) didn't hire that coach," or "He's not his guy." These programs are small enough that it's difficult for a coach not to bring in his own people. But it's unquestionably different for one division to change personnel, compared to the entire department.

    But you're not going to take agreement for an answer. In the post above the one you responded to, I agreed that McClellan doesn't seem to be willing to take important shots, and that Ridley has been a big disappointment. Where we disagree is that I have seen highly ranked players who looked like total duds as freshmen become players. If you watched Jeff Withey lately, he's one.

    Nonetheless, I also agree that recruiting and skill development have fallen off. The 2011 roster was a complete mismatch, almost evenly split between players who could play and players who couldn't, although Dogus Balbay was a defensive whiz and J'Covan Brown was a scorer. Whether they were recruiting mistakes or badly developed, it really doesn't matter.

    And it is beyond debate that Barnes needs a good PG to be his extension on the court. Put a freshman out there who was in no way ready for prime time, with very little in the way of help and this is what you get. But where companies thrive on consistency, and improving results, and operate in markets to achieve that, sports doesn't. 10-6 football teams go to 4-12, and vice versa.

    I can show you records of coaches who have had long-term dips, or bad seasons, and bounced back just fine. You've clearly seen enough; I think he deserves a chance to manage a reasonably experienced roster.

    The debate almost doesn't matter. I can't imagine Dodds not leaving the decisions on these positions to his successor, unless they quit first.

    “Kansas may wind up number one in these polls, but that would be so unfair to Texas...” -- Len Elmore, 2/13/11

  • Thanks for your comments, Bob. I want to add that we should consider the future impact of adding Rob Lanier back to the coaching staff. It is going to be a couple of years at least, before the full effects of that can be fully felt

  • If that's what he needs, Barnes can only hope that he and Lanier will have enough time to help RB get back on track.

    “Kansas may wind up number one in these polls, but that would be so unfair to Texas...” -- Len Elmore, 2/13/11

  • His assistants are a big sticking point for me. I think that has really fallen off since he took the job at Texas. You can see it in the lack of development with big men.

    In Barnes' 15 seasons at Texas, he's been in the top 40 of Offensive Efficiency 9 times. In the top 15, 5 times and in the top 10 three of those seasons. The last four seasons have produced one in the top 40, with this year checking in at 303. It's obviously horrible and worse than it's ever been right now. Is it because he can't coach offense or draw up an inbounds play or teach free throw shooting? CLEARLY NOT. You don't just magically jump in the top 10 three years in a row without knowing what the hell you are doing. The 2010-2011 team checked in at 40 and our "basketball fans" thought that was the best they'd ever seen a Rick Barnes team play.