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Mack vs. Rick


  • 1) Regarding Golf - up to the point in which Spieth was signed, I was for Fields hitting the road, yes. Once he landed that guy, I was fine with seeing what would come of it, but not ecstatic. This is a quarternary sport of interest for me in what I follow at Texas, starting with football, moving to basketball, then baseball, then all others, so I can't attest to any depth in research on how I saw things. The same idea (signing Spieth) would be true if Barnes signed the acknowledged newest version of Kevin Durant in the spring signing period. You and I both know that everyone felt like Durant would be special, although no one understood how much, so it's not absurd to look at a recruit at a time of signing in things like golf and hoops and feel ok making a coaching bet along those lines. Is Randle the next super star of college basketball and the kind of transcendent player that earns the guy signing him the benefit of the doubt? You tell me, as you follow that end of recruiting more closely than I do.

    2) As to Night of the Long Knives issue, we seem to be shouting across a chasm at one another on the practicality of it. You take the premise seriously and address the notion of what the consequences would do to a brand like UT. While I would love to see it and brought it up, I don't for one second honestly think that UT has the gumption or desire in its DNA to allow something that dramatic to unfold. A new AD firing 3-4 coaches over a year's time plus chunking the female AD is about as far as I think anything would go, and I absolutely think the program, brand, etc., could handle that kind of turnover.

    3) We do not disagree that highly ranked players can go from looking like shit to standouts over a few years. I have seen it in the major sports at every level. Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux from years 1 to 3 in MLB are easy ones without PED helping. Michael Huff at Texas. Payton Manning from his rookie year to year 3. The list and the beat go on. Where I disagree is in the concept that Barnes has any of that kind of talent and magic going on right now within his program. Of course we can argue the unknown future as to whether that happens by 2014, but really, nothing has come close to that in the last 5 years at Texas.

    4) The list of coaches who have had dips and then recovered while at the same post and during a tenure stretching beyond 12 years is limited. You can cite Paterno, Bryant, Calhoun, Donovan, and others, who are the exceptions, if you'd like. However, at least acknowledge that these were men who had brought home hardware before they had their dips. They had earned the benefit of the doubt. The problem with the Barnes recovery notion is that the dude hasn't earned the option except from those who have incredibly low expectations for Texas basketball with which to begin. I'm not sitting here saying that Texas can wave a wand in hoops and bring home titles with the right coach. I'm saying that making the NCAA tournament is not the standard and this isn't 1985.

    5) Dodds is not going to have a choice in regard to Barnes. Staying with the long knives allusion, those things are being sharpened. I've stated from November forward that this team won't make the tournament and that it was going to cost Rick Barnes his job. Blood is needed to sate the hungry shark tank, and his will suffice. Dodds isn't the final decisionmaker, he doesn't have the energy to fend off the mob, and it isn't worth the time or interest of Denius, McCombs, and Jamail to poopoo and overrule everyone else as they did with Brown this December. If the premise is that Dodds is currently strong enough and ready enough in his position to fend off people who want Barnes gone, then you should doublecheck your calibrations.

    6) Regarding companies thriving on consistency, again, this is an incorrect platitude smeared across the entire business landscape. Companies in turnaround and start-ups inherently do not thrive on consistency and cannot win with it. They both need continued big improvements to continue to survive and in the turnaround case, a catalyst for change is needed fundamentally, usually in the form of a partial or near total destruction of the management and cultural infrastructure. What is good for the cash cows and the stars is not good for the dogs and the question marks in the growth share matrix.


  • Let's exercise this, then.

    On inbounds plays, do you think that Rick Barnes is above average, average, or below average at managing those situations compared to the other 350-ish D-1 head basketball coaches?

    On offensive coaching (development & strategy together), do you think that Rick Barnes is above average, average, or below average at managing those situations compared to the other 350-ish D-1 head basketball coaches?

    Regarding free throws being "mostly minimal", are you claiming that free throw shooting is an immaterial part of a team's ability to win (please offer something beyond Memphis 2008 in support of this position)? Or just that a coach can't affect it?

    You type as though Barnes' coaching skills are a given. I don't think I am the only person watching this guy's career unfold who is questioning this as a given in 2013.

  • 1) I follow it; I'm not an expert. But landing Randle and Frazier are like betting that the two cards in the deck you need most will be coming up (speaking of another game I'm not that familiar with). They'll be better next year regardless; those guys are what they need at the right time.

    2) Agree on the possibility and the impact.

    3) Thus my statement that if Barnes can't do it next year, he's earned his ticket out.

    4) I respect the tournament but I don't overrate it. I think a lot of fans (both casual and rabid) do. I believe that making the tournament consistently is a fundamental strength of a program. I understand your point and agree that just making it is far from optimal performance. Barnes's biggest problem inside and outside the program is that he hasn't won a n-c. You allude to this. He overcoaches because of it.

    5) We're just going to have to agree to disagree here. I think the new AD gets to pick the coach, if a change is made. I say that because of many years of watching these things occur, not because I make it a practice to follow office politics.

    6) I failed to make my point clearly. Fortune 500 companies, healthy ones, I suppose you could say, don't see their revenue fluctuate 50 or 60 percent from one year to the next, if you considered wins like revenue. But sports doesn't operate like that. The line between winning and losing can be thin, and the results drastic. Texas doesn't have a huge deficit in talent compared to other B12 schools, but it is young and inexperienced. If Ridley were averaging a double-double, which would be outstanding yet not unreasonable, the entire floor would be opened up and the guards would be significantly more efficient. Instead, he's averaging 3 (!!) and 6 in the B12. It's a disaster. I don't believe that's all Barnes's fault, but I'll go with you that he's as close to losing this job as he's ever been.

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

  • What type of inbounds plays are we talking about? Under the basket situations where we are trying to score? I'd say Texas is average here.

    I'm of the opinion that Barnes can coach offense but that he overcoaches the shit out of it to the point his players don't play relaxed. But this isn't an X's and O's issue........this is a grind his players to a hault issue. He understands everything that goes into offense from a strategy standpoint IMO. We've seen Texas run triangle, pick/roll, flex, etc.....Texas has done a lot of things over the years.

    I'm not saying either about free throw shooting. I'm saying the difference between average and the great free throw shooting teams is pretty minimal. If you can hit in the 67-70 percent range, it's a success. Coaches can help guys with form but it's just you as a player on that stripe. For the most part, Texas has fallen in that range. If a guy sucks he gets blame, if he's J'Covan Brown, Rick gets nothing. So you tell me.....

    I think it's time for Barnes to go but not because he doesn't understand the game of basketball. Rick has lost his patience and it's affected his ability to teach. I'm not interested in waiting for next season.

  • What are people looking for in terms of inbounds plays? For me personally, are we getting a shot we want? How many years did Texas get that open 3 in the corner? Are people looking for the bunnies at the goal or the lob? I consider that a breakdown in the defense rather than some great play a guy drew up. It's not like people just routinely score on us either. I don't see Bill Self just lighting us up everytime they inbound the ball.