A few additional links below, but I want to talk about the Timberwolves for a moment.
Yesterday the Wolves announced that they were going to conduct a coaching search. Interim Head Coach, Sam Mitchell will be a part of the process, but they are doing their due diligence. I have a few thoughts on this (TLDR...skip to 3 and 4 if you must)
1 - Glad they are moving forward in this manner. This is a critical crossroads for this organization and they absolutely have to be right in their coaching search. I don't have a problem with Mitchell, but getting this right is too damn important. Waiting a year before you realize it isn't the right fit is too late.
2 - Typically, I don't believe that Glen Taylor is adequately suited for this decision and my confidence level that he'll get this decision right is very low. But the fact that he is not sticking with the status quo and keeping Mitchell (who by all accounts didn't do anything to show he doesn't deserver the job, while not exactly showing why he does) shows me that he is at least understanding the importance of this decision. Maybe Mr. Taylor gets this right. I think there is enough out there to guide him in the right direction that he won't screw it up.
3 - I really think this decision and hire is one that will absolutely define this organization for the next generation. Hyperbole? Overstating? I don't think so.
This collection of talent is unique and rare. The wrong coach can relegate this team to being good but not great and as these players mature they will move on to other markets where they will be competing for titles. This organization may never in my lifetime have an opportunity like this with such talent that compliments each other and seems to have the right mental makeup to be elite.
If this works out, and this group is playing for titles (dare I say even winning one or two), it sets this organization on a whole new path. Winning perpetuates winning. Free agents want to play here and people want to watch this team and the brand that is Timberwolves Basketball is forever changed from what it is now.
If this is a bad hire and the team never amounts to much more than a playoff also-ran...the organization may never recover. Why? Because like I said, they may NEVER get this kind of a collection of talent again.
4 - So who should they hire? Personally I am fully on board with doing whatever it takes to get Tom Izzo. I think he has the makeup and the basketball intelligence to be a great NBA coach. Is that hire taking a bit of a chance? Yes, but I think he would be the right kinda chance to take. In addition to being an X's and O's guy that is ideally suited for the NBA, he is also a coach who knows how to develop and communicate with young talent. Obviously it is a different level but he has been dealing with young and elite talent for years, and he has shown he can communicate to them and get them to play as part of his system. That is no small feat.
You plead with him to be the guy who finishes what his good friend began. It has major motion picture written all over it. And the movie ends with an NBA Championship in Minnesota.
If Coach Izzo isn't interested, I would be happy to see them go hard after Tom Thibodeau. I would love to have a guy who can teach this team some elite level defense. Add a shooter (Buddy, Buddy, Buddy) and this team will soon have no problem scoring points. Defense and rebounding are going to be important and could make them an elite team.
Stay tuned at Canis Hoopus for all your TWolves news as this coaching search play out.
On to some Nugz
rant over, but I passionately follow the Wolves and Twins and Vikings as well.
- The NFL Draft is coming soon. And tonight the NFL releases team schedules. Who will the Vikings get to open their shiny new stadium with? Daily Norsemen will have you covered.
- Twins almost have more losses in 8 games than the Warriors had over an 82-game season. But is there some upside? I love a good optimist.
- APR Scores have been updated and the Gophers continue to do well. 14 programs have earned recognition from the NCAA. The total number of programs earning an APR Recognition Award is the 4th most in the country, most in the Big Ten.
- Gopher Baseball beat South Dakota State in their mid-week game and is set to face a good Maryland team this weekend. They have won 5 consecutive games and 9 of their last 10.
- Sara Groenewegen has been recognized as one of 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.
- Tubby Smith to Memphis.