Wooden’s shoes: In college basketball, following a legend is not all it’s cracked up to be #Woodens #shoes #college #basketball #legend #cracked. Here is what we have for you today on TmZ Blog.
Becoming a head coach in NCAA Division I basketball is challenging enough. There are 60 new head coaches for the 2022-23 season, which averages out to each position turning over once every six years. And think of how Jim Boeheim, now in his 722nd year at Syracuse, is impacting that statistic.
Duke’s Jon Scheyer is one of those new coaches. He enters his new position in the worst possible way, if you think about it. If one becomes a new head coach of a program that just lost 25 games, there is no direction to travel but up. Scheyer’s predecessor, Mike Krzyzewski, won more D-I games than any coach, ever.
Being the new head coach at Duke has many advantages: Cameron Indoor Stadium, the remarkable alumni base from inside the basketball program and out, the Duke campus, the moderate weather in a North Carolina winter, the legacy of championships and Final Fours.
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In this case, it also carries the burden of following a legend.
History shows that can be a tricky proposition.
Consider this list of others who came directly after some of college basketball’s all-time greats. Six of the seven reached the Final Four, two won NCAA championships, but the median tenure was six years, and four were forced out or fired. It’s a delicate dance.
Gene Bartow, UCLA
Followed: John Wooden.
Wooden’s accomplishments: 10 NCAA championships (record), 12 Final Fours (record), 88 consecutive victories (record), seven consecutive NCAA Division I titles (record).
Bartow’s record: Two seasons, 51-10, one Final Four, two NCAA Tournaments.
Overview: One of the great gentlemen in the history of the game, Bartow told the Los Angeles Times in 1993 he left UCLA so soon after arriving because UAB, which was beginning a D-I basketball program in the late 1970s, “offered me three times what I was earning.” Bartow went on to win 350 games in 17 years with the Blazers, reaching nine NCAA Tournaments. But the LA Times’ Danny Robbins reported in that article Bartow once had sent a letter to the NCAA’s director of enforcement indicating he’d feared booster Sam Gilbert while Bruins head coach. When Bartow died in 2012, the great Marques Johnson told the LA Times Bartow “was just not ready for the kind of vitriol thrown at him when he took Coach Wooden’s place. He never came to grips with it, and it bothered him more than anything.” Bartow was inducted to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
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Bill Guthridge, North Carolina
Followed: Dean Smith
Smith’s accomplishments: Two NCAA championships, 11 Final Fours, 879 victories (record).
Guthridge’s record: Three seasons, 80-28, two Final Fours, three NCAA Tournaments.
Overview: Guthridge was a Carolina assistant coach for 30 years before Smith made the decision to retire in October 1997. Guthridge was 60 then and took over a team led by stars Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter. That team lost in the national semifinals for the second consecutive season. Guthridge’s third team also made it that far, after a disappointing regular season that included 13 losses and resulted in a No. 8 NCAA seed. Three months later, Guthridge announced his decision to retire, saying he thought a vacation in Europe might reinvigorate him. “You’re just exhausted,” he told reporters at his retirement.
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Mike Davis, Indiana
Followed: Bob Knight
Knight’s accomplishments: Three NCAA championships, five Final Fours, 902 victories (record).
Davis’ record: Six seasons, 115-79, one Final Four, four NCAA Tournaments.
Overview: Davis drew the toughest assignment of any coach, ever, who followed a legend, because Knight’s dismissal was tremendously controversial. IU president Myles Brand fired Knight after an investigation into his conduct in practice – specifically a filmed incident in which he struck guard Neil Reed in the neck — led to the imposition of a “zero-tolerance” policy in May 2000 for future incidents. When a student claimed Knight grabbed him by the arm months later, Knight was out, and Davis was in. Davis’ first team earned a No. 4 NCAA seed after finishing third in the Big Ten and reaching the conference tournament final, and the next year the Hoosiers shocked college basketball by reaching the NCAA championship game from a No. 4 seed. But all of Davis’ teams lost double-digit games, and IU fans still angered by Knight’s dismissal were loathe to accept that. Davis decided in February 2005 he would announce his resignation following a game at Penn State, and The Sporting News broke the story after the second half began. He finished the season and reached a fourth NCAA Tournament.
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Rick Pitino, Louisville
Followed: Denny Crum
Crum’s accomplishments: Two NCAA championships, six Final Fours, 675 victories.
Pitino’s record: 16 seasons, 416-143, one NCAA championship, three Final Fours.
Overview: This was one of the few circumstances in which one legend followed another. Pitino already had one NCAA title and four Final Fours on his resume when the opportunity to become Louisville’s coach developed. The one problem is that he earned that title and three of the Final Fours 75 miles down the road at Louisville’s fiercest rival, Kentucky. That caused resentment in the state, but Louisville fans were delighted to land one of the game’s all-time greats. Pitino’s tenure was not without its problems, though. He was involved in a public scandal when the messy details of an extramarital affair became public through the woman’s arrest in 2009 for allegedly extorting Pitino. Three years later, he had Louisville back in the Final Four, and a year after that led UL to an NCAA title. But 2015 brought another scandal, when the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” alleged there had been parties at the Louisville basketball dorm involving paid sex workers. That got the program put on NCAA probation and the 2013 championship vacated. When Louisville was cited – though not initially by name – in the 2017 FBI investigation of the basketball talent game, Louisville fired Pitino soon afterward.
Sean Miller, Arizona
Followed: Lute Olson
Olson’s accomplishments: One NCAA championship, five Final Fours, 776 victories
Miller’s record: 12 seasons, 302-109, seven NCAA Tournaments
Overview: Miller technically followed two coaches who served in an interim capacity: Kevin O’Neill, because of health issues that kept Olson from coaching in 2007-08, and then Russ Pennell when Olson suddenly retired on the eve of the ’08-09 season. Olson’s departure was necessitated by a stroke he had suffered that initially went undiagnosed. That disrupted recruiting for a damaging period, which left Miller’s first team light on talent, but he reached the Elite Eight in 2011, his second season. That marked the first of five Pac-12 regular-season titles and the first of three trips with the Wildcats to the regional finals, but he never broke through to the Final Four. In 2017, one of Miller’s assistant coaches was arrested by the FBI, which precipitated an NCAA investigation that led to Arizona declining to extend his contract and eventually to his firing in April 2021.
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Kevin Ollie, UConn
Followed: Jim Calhoun
Calhoun’s accomplishments: Three NCAA championships, four Final Fours, 920 victories
Ollie’s record: Six seasons, 127-79 record, one NCAA championship, two NCAA Tournaments
Overview: Ollie finished an impressive playing career in the NBA in 2010 after 13 seasons. He immediately joined Calhoun’s staff as an assistant coach. But he took charge of the Huskies well ahead of schedule when the latest ailment of several that interrupted the latter part of Calhoun’s coaching career led him to retire at age 70, well before he’d intended. Ollie had been a part of the staff for UConn’s 2011 NCAA title, and in his third year he delivered another, the most improbable in the school’s history. UConn advanced from a No. 7 seed in the 2014 tournament to an overtime win in the first round to defeat opponents seeded No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the way to the title. Ollie got a sweet contract extension, but the Huskies earned only one more NCAA appearance and plunged to two losing seasons. He was fired in March 2018 after the school self-reported allegations of multiple NCAA rules violations. The school called it a for-cause firing and declined to pay the remainder of his contract. In January, an arbitrator ruled the university owed him $11 million.
Hubert Davis, North Carolina
Followed: Roy Williams
Williams accomplishments: Three NCAA championships, nine Final Fours, 903 victories.
Davis’ record: One season, 29-10, one Final Four, one NCAA Tournament.
Overview: Davis told The Sporting News he was expecting to extend his contract as an analyst at ESPN when Williams called 2012 and offered the opportunity to join his staff. “I wasn’t even thinking about it,” Davis said. “I had no intentions of coaching. I thought I might coach my oldest son in middle school, but I was happy with ESPN … As soon as he asked me, ‘Yes’ just came out.” He did not expect to become the head coach until Williams said he was retiring and preferred Davis be his successor. The first season was rocky, including five losses by more than 15 points, but Davis’ tweak to the Carolina system – allowing Brady Manek to play as a stretch-4 rather than a traditional big – created a late-February renaissance and eventually a run to the NCAA title game. The Heels began his second season ranked No. 1 by the Associated Press.
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