Tag Archives: Bob Huggins

Mike Krzyzewski is as Overrated as Roy Williams is Underrated

When the question of the best coach in men’s college basketball gets asked, many immediately respond with Coach Mike Krzyzewski. He has over 1,000 career wins, five NCAA Championships and is currently the man leading USA Men’s Basketball at the Olympics.

His career numbers are impressive — since the 1983-84 season he has only missed one NCAA Tournament. There’s been 12 Final Fours, 12 ACC regular season championships and 13 ACC conference tournament championships.

From the 96-97 to 00-01 seasons Duke won five straight regular season titles. The final three years of that stretch included three straight ACC tournament championships to go with the regular season titles. There were two Final Four’s, with an NCAA Championship in 00-01.

That was easily the most dominant stretch of Coach K’s coaching career.

While Duke won the NCAA Tournament in the 2014-15 season, it’s been six years since they’ve won the ACC regular season, and five since they’ve won the ACC Tournament. That’s a decent drought for a coach considered head and shoulders above his peers.

Back to the question — Who is the best coach in men’s college basketball? How many names were brought up before Roy Williams? I personally don’t put him in my top 5, which is telling since North Carolina is one of three teams I follow closely.

He’s often labeled as a coach who gets by with the talent on his roster, one who lacks the ability to make in-game adjustments. Sometimes it seems as if UNC finishes games with more timeouts than they started with.

Furthermore, there’s criticism that he’s been unable to land top-tier high school prospects in recent years. It’s pretty impressive when you can be accused of relying on your team’s talent, while also being blasted for the lack of it.

Williams has won 16 regular season conference championships, including seven as the head coach of UNC. He has two national championships in eight trips to the Final Four.

Yet, he’s overlooked by the public, underrated amongst his own fan base.

Where Coach K and Duke don’t have an ACC regular season championship in six years, Williams and UNC have three. That’s telling for two elite coaches in the same conference — with a large gap in how they’re perceived by the public.

Coach K very may well be the best coach around, but good ol’ Roy deserves some respect as well.

For what it’s worth, here is my top 5 list of active men’s college basketball coaches:

  1. Rick Pitino (7 Final Fours, 2 National Championships)
  2. Tom Izzo (7 Final Fours, 1 National Championship)
  3. Mike Krzyzewski (12 Final Fours, 5 National Championships)
  4. John Calipari (4 Final Fours, 1 National Championship)
  5. Jim Boeheim (5 Final Fours, 1 National Championship)

Active wins leaders:

  1. Mike Krzyzewski, 1043
  2. Jim Boeheim, 989
  3. Roy Williams, 783 (8 Final Fours, 2 National Championships)
  4. Rick Pitino, 743
  5. Bob Huggins, 719 (2 Final Fours)

While I applaud Krzyzewski for building Duke into the power it is today, I still can’t shake the feeling that too many of his teams in recent memory have underperformed. Top-level talent should produce consistent top-level results — both in the regular season and postseason.

This is why I give Pitino and Izzo the top spots, they’ve done more with less.

Coach K is overrated — somehow the coach who has won more games than anyone, hasn’t won enough. Roy Williams is underrated — viewed as a man just trying not to screw up a program that runs itself.

‘Tis how it goes when you’re the head men at Duke and North Carolina.

E-mail Zak at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @playorbplayd.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Bryan Horowitz

When Saying Something As Silly As “36-1”, You Need To Man Up.

The Kentucky Wildcats maybe the best team in the nation, and are on the right path to go undefeated to a historic 40-0 record., however there was just one thing that the Wildcats weren’t the best at going into Thursday night: that one thing was confidence.

West Virginia freshman guard, Daxter Miles Jr., opened up to reporters a day before the #5 Mountaineers took on #1 Wildcats, and the Wildcats sure made him pay for what he said Thursday evening in Cleveland, Ohio.

“I give them props,” Miles Jr. said “I salute them to getting to 36-0. But tomorrow they’re going to be 36-1.”

Miles would go onto say that the Wildcats “don’t play hard” and that the Wildcats should be on pins and needles and should be scared of the Mountaineers.

“They should be more intimidated because they have the high standard, and we are coming for them.”

As if the Wildcats need an extra incentive to beat another team on their road to a perfect season.

Miles would later go on to predict that the Wildcats would have a lot of trouble passing the ball Thursday night because of the press that the Mountaineers apply to the opponents offense, in which the Mountaineers were going into Thursday nights game into forcing turnovers on a 28.3% of possessions that leads the nation in that statistic.

Bob Huggins, West Virginia’s head coach, was less confident when speaking to reporters before Thursday nights game.

When he was asked if their press can stop the Wildcat offense he said,”I don’t know. I hope so. It’s going to be a long day if we can’t.”

Well, Thursday night rolls around and it was pretty much a done deal from the start for the Wildcats. The Wildcats literally demolished the Mountaineers. Seriously, it was a humiliation. The Wildcats would go on to rout the Mountaineers with a final score of 78-39, the largest margin of win in the Sweet 16.

It was reported that after the game, Miles Jr. hid in the bathroom to wait out reporters. Finally an assistant told Daxter that he had to come out and face the music. After all, the post-game frenzy was all about him and what he said the day before (Miles Jr. would go on to not score one point the entire game). When Miles Jr. came out, I guess you could say he did his best impression of Marshawn Lynch when he said “They played great” 10 times.

Having confidence is a good thing. Seeing a freshman having confidence is great. Unfortunately, having too much confidence can lead to a consequence when you predict a win against an undefeated team.

I am a WVU fan myself, and I had confidence going into Thursday nights game for sure. You weren’t going to hear me say that we were going to lose that game. I ran my mouth (all in a joking manner) to a couple of my UK friends and to other friends of mine. It’s now very clear that karma came knocking on my and the Mountaineer nation door.

A person or players word now means everything and choosing what you say wisely can be a bit of a struggle: case and point, Daxter Miles Jr.

Be careful what you say now because karma may just have other plans for you. Congrats on the huge rout of my boys, Wildcats.

 

 

 

 

Bob Huggins Tells it Like it is in West Virginia

I usually get a good kick out of reading or hearing a Bob Huggins interview. The man is not afraid to hold anything back. He certainly speaks whatever is on his mind and doesn’t shy away from anything. This time, he didn’t hold anything back when he blasted both Marshall University and their head basketball coach Dan D’Antoni.

This past Sunday, West Virginia played in their annual game, Capitol City Classic, against the Marshall Thundering Herd in the state capitol of Charleston, West Virginia. It was an ugly win for the Mountaineers as they squeaked by the Thundering Herd 69-66.

Bob Huggins hasn’t really shown all that much care in the world for the game. He pretty much doesn’t talk about it at all. He feels as if this game is beneath him and his program, but he has also accepted the fact that it will be played no matter what. However, a comment by D’Antoni set him off.

“I heard suggestions for a home and home. Here’s my suggestion: Morgantown, Charleston. Next year Charleston, Huntington and just keep it that way. It’s good for the state. If they back out now, they’re afraid of us. We’re coming back.” D’Antoni said.

^HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

As you can imagine, taking a shot at the Mountaineers didn’t sit well with Huggins. Why should it?

I listened to the interview and I’ve read about it as well. Huggins appears to be grumpy and ornery (when is he not one of the two) with his interview with Tony Caridi. Here is some of what he had to say. It’s not word for word of what he said, just little snippets.

I probably coached a thousand games. And now I’m scared. Scared to play Marshall. Scared to death…must have been when I turned 61 that the fear set in because I’ve never been afraid before. But that’s what the word is. I guess I’m getting old….

The whole thing’s comical. I happen to get the paper. We have a little column about what a rivalry we have. But really the headline is the University High girls. And above that Trickett’s in limbo. And they think this is a rivalry.

Tony: You do not view this game as a rivalry?

Tony…how can it be a rivalry when they don’t even write about it in the paper. I mean, those are the guys asking me the questions. ‘Is this a rivalry?’ Well obviously not you don’t write about it. I mean, rivalries they put on the front page. They can’t wait, you know what I mean? They get very excited. We obviously don’t get very excited.

Tony: So would it bother you if the game went away?

(without hesitation) Huggins: No.

Tony: It would not?

Huggins: No. Not at all. Not at all.

He definitely made it seem like he just didn’t want to talk about this whole ‘rivalry’ with Caridi. He pretty much had this whole D’Antoni comment as ‘laughable’ and just made it seem like it isn’t news worthy.

He really hates this game and he expressed how much he hates it.

Let’s be honest. I have all the RPIs of all the people we’ve played this year. Going into the game Marshall was 270. After playing us they jumped all the way up to 237. Now, you know what that would do for us if we happen not to win? We were I think 36 coming into the game.

You try not to play anybody below 200, you know that. And now they want to play twice in a year? Are you kidding me? Why don’t we do what’s best for West Virginia University and the state of West Virginia. I don’t think it’s my job to support them. I don’t think that’s part of my contract.

He can say I’m afraid all he wants. I’ve probably coached 1,116 more games than he has. It’s ridiculous to say something like that. We’re afraid. Yeah, we’re really afraid. It’s crazy, we’ve beaten Duke. Mike’s a pretty good coach. Was I afraid? I wasn’t afraid playing Duke. Played Boeheim. Used to play him every year. He’s a pretty good coach, I wasn’t afraid. Why would I be afraid?

And the thing that’s most laughable and I’ll get in trouble for saying it I know but I’m to the point in my life where I really don’t care. How about this: “we’re back.” That was their sixth loss in a row. ‘We’re back’ alright. Honestly it becomes laughable. It’s laughable. So they lose by three, “we’re back.” It’s their sixth loss in a row. Three of them at home.

My fear is that our people get caught up in this stuff and do something that’s not in our best interest. It’s not in our best interest to play a team who…….this is the fifth time in ten years that they’ve been 160 in the RPI or worse. How’s that in our best interest? It’s not in our best interest. It’s not in the best interest of West Virginia basketball.

Let the double barrel shotgun unload, Huggins:

Now (for us) to go to Charleston, I think it really is good for the kids that can’t get here and that kind of thing. Now think of this if you’re Marshall and no one’s coming to your games why wouldn’t you want someone that’s going to fill the place up. They’re not going to fill our place up. It’s not equitable. He wants to sit here and act like it’s equitable, it’s not equitable. We play in the number 1 RPI league in America. And has been for quite awhile. Conference USA’s RPI as of today they’re the 15th ranked conference. How is that equitable? It’s not equitable. It’s laughable.

The word that stands out the most to me during this interview is the word he used to describe the game: equitable.

So there you have it. Huggins’ feelings of how he feels about the Capitol Classic Game. As you can see, it’s not pretty. He’s not too happy to have to drive down I-79 to Charleston to play them once a year. Huggins just wants Marshall to just shutup and stop trying to make this a rivalry. It’s not going to be a rivalry if Huggins or Mountaineer nation has anything to say about it. It’s cute Marshall wants it to be. Keep thinking WVU is scared, D’Antoni. I’m sure they find that very cute. Keep taking your ridiculous shots at WVU, Marshall. We’ll just come back with more firepower. Huggins will supply the ammunition and shoot you down.