I was just going to comment on my distinguished colleague’s article. Then, I read it. So, due to the fact that it was complete bullshit. I decided to write my own.
Jim Calhoun is Uconn. As much as Geno Auriemma is the women’s program, Calhoun is the men’s program. Calhoun takes players who aren’t necessarily top recruits, and rarely are good citizens, and turns them into great teams and great individuals. Kemba Walker is the first McDonald’s All Amercian Uconn has had since Rudy Gay left in 2006. The other big name coaches (Roy Williams, Mike… umm Coach K, Bill Self) get High School All Americans every year. With the fascists at the NCAA forcing High Schoolers to spend a year in college now, these recruits are critical to programs.
In a comment you said,
“You really think recruits solely come to UCONN for Jimbo?,” well, yes actually they do. They know what he has produced since 1986. He turns great athletes that have been somewhat overlooked into NBA stars. Of the guys he coached currently in the NBA you could create a pretty solid team. Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Caron Butler, Emeka Okafor, Charlie Villanueva, and Rudy Gay have all turned out pretty good.
To say that Calhoun is washed up, is just a lack of research. Calhoun is 556 and 204 in his career at Uconn. Connecticut had one bad season in recent years in 2006-07, the season after the departure of Marcus Williams, Josh Boone, Rudy Gay, and Hilton Armstrong. Since then they are 55 and 14. And also, they did just lose in the National semifinal, so I guess all but two coaches in the country are washed up.
This is a program that means very little to people outside the state of Connecticut, but means everything there. Uconn is not like a University of Texas, UNC, or Kansas where they can recruit in state and get guys who grew up dreaming of playing there. Uconn has local kids growing up wanting to play there, but Connecticut produces rich, five foot five white kids, not basketball players.
To say that this game was lost because of a lack of heart is also not true. Uconn did not give up. On the contrary, by the end they were playing too forcefully, AJ Price was trying too hard to run the show, and everyone went cold. You also failed to mention that MSU was playing in front of a home crowd.
The “distractions” you speak of took place when the NCAA tournament had already started and did not seem to affect Uconn all that much until they lost in the final four to a number two seed in an away game. Obviously this occurred as a result of the distractions. Unless you are speaking of the reporter telling Jim Calhoun, basically the CEO of one of the only currently profitable corporations in Connecticut, that he ought to take a pay cut. The reporter, who was first off, not a real reporter, and second of all, a douchebag, deserved to get yelled at, and did. Look at John Calipari’s new contract and go tell him to take a paycut.
It would be a shame for Calhoun to leave because it would turn Connecticut into purely a women’s basketball state. The state needs Calhoun or else the program will end up in ruins.
“It’s time for you to go Jimbo. Not because of your health, but
because the program shouldn’t be about you.”
The program is about him, just like any good college program should be about the coach. They have four years max to make guys mesh and win. Calhoun has done this as well as anyone else for the last 23 years. He may be underrated in fact. Uconn was ranked #2 in the preseason, and lost their smartest and best defensive player (Sorry Thabeet, you’re a pussy) to injury. They finished #3. I guess you would have only been happy with a national championship. Washed up, yeah, so’s Tom Brady.