I really enjoyed this SI article on Bruce Weber and coaching expectations. Some excerpts...
Good is not good enough in college sports anymore. Close gets you fired. Being a nice guy and following the rules buys you, at most, an extra year. College sports look more and more like pro sports, with multimillion-dollar salaries, pro-style arenas and win-yesterday mentalities. Schools used to take pride in having programs, not just teams -- a team's success varied, but you had to think twice before dismantling your program. Now this year's team needs to win.
It has become increasingly clear: Schools and coaches work together, but they are not really in this together. The money has gotten too big. Trust is gone. Winning is too important. Alumni and fans use the best stretch in a team's history as a baseline; the new coach needs to do at least that well to survive.
This is so true. I have heard a lot about the history of basketball success here at Minnesota and people are doing exactly what Rosenberg is talking about. We have had some excellent stretches but it has never been sustained and a four or five year run of being pretty mediocre with a couple NCAA Tournament appearances is really what the baseline is for this program. Tubby has not exceeded the baseline but he isn't below it either. Eventually Rosenberg even touches on Tubby's situation at Minnesota little bit.
Weber will be next, and it makes you wonder how long Smith can last at Minnesota. Smith did a good job this year after his best player, Trevor Mbakwe, was lost for the season because of an injury. But at some point, Minnesota's new athletic director won't care that Smith was a splashy hire. He will expect Big Ten championships.
There is nothing wrong with desiring and even demanding competitiveness within your conference. But we so often miss the oint about building a program and how that sometimes means you will have down years or that it takes time to build a program.
- Looks like the Gophers might be without a senior this afternoon when they face Northwestern.
"Ralph Sampson III tweaked his knee, so I am not sure about his status for (Thursday's) game," Smith said. "He has been out of practice the last couple days. But the kids are ready, we are ready."If Sampson cannot go Elliott Eliason will get the start in his place.
- The Minnesota Daily discusses cutting sports at the University, a decision that will need to be made by a revenue sport minded athletic director. (and excellent article and a must read)
- ESPN Insider blogger, Chantel Jennings predicts the entire Big Ten Tournament. She has Northwestern beating us, I'll send her an e-mail after we win today.
- Gopher baseball needed 16 innings to beat Hamline last night.
- Gopher Women's Basketball freshman, Rachel Banham was arguably the best freshman in the country. At least her stats may support it.
- We already knew this but it was officially announced that the Gophers will be in the 2013 Maui Invitational. Since some of you can't go to the UNLV football game, maybe you can make it to Maui over Thanksgiving instead! Potential opponents are Duke, Missouri, Louisville, Memphis, Northern Iowa, Stanford and VCU. Should be a great opportunity to get some big wins and build up a strong SOS.
- Dana Wessel's notebook talks about the Gophers going back to two-a-day practices leading up to the Nebraska game and the Big Ten Tournament. The goal is to get back to fundamentals and get the team focused for playoff basketball. We'll see today if it paid off or not.
- Brian Bennett of ESPN's Big Ten Blog talks extensively about the Gophers getting advice from the Baylor staff on how they used Robert Griffin III.