Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby edogpgc » 21 Mar 2012, 18:38

Pwnt. Guess he's waiting out Greenberg at Va. Tech. :mrgreen:

The fans need to chill the F out, though. Don't get me wrong, I definitely wanted Shaka a lot and was wrong about thinking we would get him, but it's not like getting him meant championships for life, and not getting him means the program is doomed to failure. There are definitely other quality candidates out there.

The search gets more interesting now - it was all about Shaka up to this point. Now, there are still quality candidates, but it's not clear who we will zero in on next.

Nova, I do like Frank Martin quite a bit. At K-State, not exactly a basketball powerhouse, he's been to the second round or better in 4 of the last 5 years. He's done it with both highly-rated and lowly-rated recruits. Concerns are his recruiting doesn't seem to be great (though hard at K-State, and would be much easier at UI), and he obviously comes across as kind of nuts - I think a non-trivial percentage of fans would just not like him. I would be satisfied with that hire. He is not really rumored to be a candidate, though.

The next name thrown out there a lot is Anthony Grant. If it was 3 years ago when he was coming from VCU, I would've been excited to get him - conference titles there every year, superb recruiter, lots of experience as an assistant at a very successful high-major. But, he really hasn't done much at Alabama, in a weak SEC, so I doubt he would do that much at UI (I don't think Alabama is that bad of a job).

Guenther and Weber really did some major damage to the program.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby JichaelDick » 21 Mar 2012, 22:55

As the native Alabamian on board, let me let you in on something--that job fucking sucks. There is some talent here, but outside of DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe a couple of years ago, you're not looking that great. Plus, with Alabama winning 2 of the last 3 national titles, basketball is really just a nice little diversion from spring football. Saying he hasn't done much at Alabama is a bit of a copout--his first team struggled a tad but got better as the season went along, last year's team absolutely should have been in the tournament and went 12-4 in that "weak" SEC, and this year's team--after some internal issues that have worked themselves out--hit their stride at the end of the season and probably should have beaten Creighton (and it should be noted that the Alabama D held McDermott to one of his worst shooting performances all season).

Now, Grant isn't that great an offensive coach (or at least he hasn't been at Alabama), but the defense he has plays well, and he has a pretty solid group of youngsters coming back in Levi Randolph, Trevor Lacey, Rodney Cooper, Trevor Releford, and Charles Hankerson that should develop nicely. If he finds a shooter in the class of 2012, he might have something scary in the SEC next year (although Kentucky's still the gold standard). In other words, I think you could do a helluva lot worse than Anthony Grant.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby edogpgc » 22 Mar 2012, 07:04

JichaelDick wrote:As the native Alabamian on board, let me let you in on something--that job fucking sucks. There is some talent here, but outside of DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe a couple of years ago, you're not looking that great. Plus, with Alabama winning 2 of the last 3 national titles, basketball is really just a nice little diversion from spring football. Saying he hasn't done much at Alabama is a bit of a copout--his first team struggled a tad but got better as the season went along, last year's team absolutely should have been in the tournament and went 12-4 in that "weak" SEC, and this year's team--after some internal issues that have worked themselves out--hit their stride at the end of the season and probably should have beaten Creighton (and it should be noted that the Alabama D held McDermott to one of his worst shooting performances all season).

Now, Grant isn't that great an offensive coach (or at least he hasn't been at Alabama), but the defense he has plays well, and he has a pretty solid group of youngsters coming back in Levi Randolph, Trevor Lacey, Rodney Cooper, Trevor Releford, and Charles Hankerson that should develop nicely. If he finds a shooter in the class of 2012, he might have something scary in the SEC next year (although Kentucky's still the gold standard). In other words, I think you could do a helluva lot worse than Anthony Grant.


Yeah, I agree we could do worse than him, and I could definitely talk myself into him. But I assume their athletic dept has a bunch of money from football, and his predecessors had a moderate level of success there. I thought he was going to do really well there, but it hasn't happened yet. Re; his offense, yeah, his Pomeroy profile looks like Weber's - really good defenses, terrible offenses.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby JichaelDick » 22 Mar 2012, 08:05

By the time Gottfried left in 2009, the program was where Illinois is now...mediocre with no real shot of getting better. Grant's at least gotten it back on the right track.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby nova » 22 Mar 2012, 08:15

Grant is an interesting choice. Obviously, Illinois is a step up from Alabama but he's in a similar place as Shaka Smart. He's at a comfortable place where he can effectively recruit the players he needs. I doubt hes chasing checks; the trend seems to be more intent on building programs than searching for a payday.

Like I've said before - I think the best coach would be somebody like Mick Cronin, Chris Mack or Archie Miller. Cronin's run in the tournament is only improving his stock, and by no means is Cincinnati a destination job.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby CourtesyFlush » 22 Mar 2012, 09:20

Cronin and Mack are solid choices. What they did to rally their teams after the brawl earlier this season is remarkable.

Miller is interesting...there was a lot of talk last year on the NC State blogs/boards about him after Sean Miller announced he was staying at Arizona. I see him going the low major route before going to a high major program like the Illini.

You guys could always go the NC State route and hire an ESPNU personality. Dino Guadio, anyone?
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby JichaelDick » 22 Mar 2012, 09:21

Hey, Gottfried's worked out well so far. Gaudio wasn't that great, but he's better than Jeff Bzdelik, I'd think.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby Briandong79 » 22 Mar 2012, 09:22

While I agree Cincy isn't a destination job, isn't Xavier at this point? I guess I'd be more surprised about Mack moving on than I would have if Smart jumped.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby mj3528 » 22 Mar 2012, 09:23

Briandong79 wrote:While I agree Cincy isn't a destination job, isn't Xavier at this point? I guess I'd be more surprised about Mack moving on than I would have if Smart jumped.


Xavier's coaches always leave. I would not say it is a destination job.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby edogpgc » 22 Mar 2012, 09:26

mj3528 wrote:
Briandong79 wrote:While I agree Cincy isn't a destination job, isn't Xavier at this point? I guess I'd be more surprised about Mack moving on than I would have if Smart jumped.


Xavier's coaches always leave. I would not say it is a destination job.


Yeah, the Xavier coaching tree is $$$, and Mack has been recruiting very well, and has 2 S16s in 3 years. I would be happy with him. Cronin took over a mess, but I'm not really sold on him.

Mack graduated from Xavier, fwiw.

Also, they are very... white.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby Bricks » 22 Mar 2012, 09:54

JichaelDick wrote:Hey, Gottfried's worked out well so far. Gaudio wasn't that great, but he's better than Jeff Bzdelik, I'd think.


Bzdelik hire = train wreck. Cross-threading a bit here, but Bzdelik's an example of why I don't see Donahue working out at BC: the style works at lower tier programs that have to rely on methodical play, but it won't win over recruits. And you need talent in the ACC.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby nova » 22 Mar 2012, 10:29

edogpgc wrote:
mj3528 wrote:
Briandong79 wrote:While I agree Cincy isn't a destination job, isn't Xavier at this point? I guess I'd be more surprised about Mack moving on than I would have if Smart jumped.


Xavier's coaches always leave. I would not say it is a destination job.


Yeah, the Xavier coaching tree is $$$, and Mack has been recruiting very well, and has 2 S16s in 3 years. I would be happy with him. Cronin took over a mess, but I'm not really sold on him.

Mack graduated from Xavier, fwiw.

Also, they are very... white.


That's the thing - you're not going to get that black long-term coach. Especially not when the Board of Trustees is making it an open secret that they're under pressure to hire a spook minority.

I said this in the Shoutbox yesterday, but it will be tough finding a black coach who will accept this job. In the likely case that a black coach doesn't meet Illinois' lofty/unreasaonable expectations, the alumni, donors and fanbase are going to call him an affirmative action hire and pretty much prove why those black trustees need to stfu. Instead of plopping in a black coach because it's the right thing to do, hire a guy who has an up and coming black assistant who could potentially take over the program in the instance that the head coach moves on or gets fired.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby JichaelDick » 22 Mar 2012, 11:13

BTW, what's the word on Colonel Angus' all-time favorite player, Chris Collins? To me, it'd be a terrible hire, as the Krzyzewski coaching tree is, by and large, awful(Brey is the only semi-consistent winner in that group and he's made all of ONE Sweet 16 and Amaker has done well at Harvard after struggling at Michigan). However, there are some folks on Twitter (Dookie Seth Davis the chief one) beating the drum for him.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby nova » 22 Mar 2012, 11:19

JichaelDick wrote:BTW, what's the word on Colonel Angus' all-time favorite player, Chris Collins? To me, it'd be a terrible hire, as the Krzyzewski coaching tree is, by and large, awful(Brey is the only semi-consistent winner in that group and he's made all of ONE Sweet 16 and Amaker has done well at Harvard after struggling at Michigan). However, there are some folks on Twitter (Dookie Seth Davis the chief one) beating the drum for him.


I would hate the move if I were an Illinois fan. What does he bring to the table besides his Duke pedigree? Duke hasn't exactly been killing it on the recruiting trail (#AustinRivers=overrated) and they have gotten steadily worse technically over the past four or five years. I think Collins would almost have to do a turn in the Valley or the OVC before he could make the leap straight to a job as esteemed as Illinois.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby JichaelDick » 22 Mar 2012, 11:25

My thoughts exactly. I really think if Collins wants to leave Durham (which is certainly possible) and get back closer to his home, he'd take the vacant Southern Illinois job. If Weber doesn't get it first.
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