"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Friday, March 23, 2007

Andy Katz separates reporting from rumor-mongering

Andy Katz did a good job on ESPN Radio this morning when asked about the open job at Kentucky. Rather than proclaiming (of his own accord) any 'leader' or 'best fit' for the job he indicated that UK will attempt to speak with Billy Donovan -- and that based on Donovan's situation at UF (father moved there, extended family spends most of the year there, complete control) he will stay put in Gainesville. BTW -- doesn't TC have all of that at MU .... and make the same amount of money as Donovan?

OK, back to Badger Andy. Absent Donovan, Katz believes that Tom Crean, Mark Few and Jay Wright are in a group that UK would consider if/when Donovan turns it down. He refused to speculate on which of these folks might be the best fit. Smart move, this is where Andy usually crosses the line with Crean and other coaches -- and compromises his credibility. TC very well may be interested in UK (he'd be a fool not to be) and the interest may be mutual -- but UK has to go through the paces with Donovan.

Katz also indicated that Barnes and Gillispie might listen if approached but won't go to Lexington. He said that Calipari won't be the next coach in Lexington either.

That's a better way to do it, Andy. No proclamations, no fiction and no rumor-mongering.


Anonymous said...

To listen to some "experts," Crean is going to Iowa, Michigan AND Kentucky. He will divide his time equally between all three. What if he gets them all in the final four the same year? Then Andy Katz will have a story.

Chas said...

Hey guys, while I'm still recovering mentally from my own team, just a thought or two on Crean, coaching rumors and Andy Katz.

The whole "Badger Andy" thing in reference to his UW ties is cute, but it smacks of the whole way Domer Homers spent last year attacking Adam Schefter of the NFL Network for reporting on NFL interest in Charlie Weis -- Schefter went to Michigan. Weis denied anything of the sort -- until nearly 8 months later -- so the ND accusations were that a Michigan journalist was seeking to undermine and sow seeds of speculation and division regarding Weis. Not sure that's the kind of comparison you want.

Sticking with the college football theme. There is a common practice by certain coaches -- assistant and heads -- along with their agents who happily love to make sure their names get floated for almost any job opening. This practice is not uncommon in college basketball either (John Calipari, Ernie Kent).

I know the public statements of loyalty from Crean. I also know the requisite trust fans are required to have and want to have in their coach and what he said.

With all that, isn't it at least feasible that Crean or his agent are at least not discouraging rumors of Kentucky interest in him?

Gene Frenkle said...

Chas, I think you are dead on. Being a Michigan native, familiar w/the Schefter thing, and also knowing how Larry Brown and his agent worked things in the past, I wouldn't be totally surprised.

And like you said, Crean doesn't have to do anything. His agent could be floating stuff out there to keep his "client" in the spotlight.

If Crean were to take a job at the big four, I wouldn't be shocked or blame him. He's left his mark on MU for a whole generation of players and fans already.

I would be surprised if he went to some other program other than those four (plus MSU).

The only exception would be if he felt the fans/school turned on him, or the players tuned him out. He's been at MU for 8-years. A pretty-good run for any coach.

Anonymous said...

1)Coaching carousel at MU, 2)inability to recruit true big men and 3)late season fall off. Come on TC isn't going anywhere until these issues are addressed.