Friday, January 11, 2008

Basketball in the New Year

First, allow me to apologize for not being more interactive with my commenters. Lately, I have been exercising an unintentional and certainly unplanned "post 'em and leave 'em" strategy. I endeavour to do better. It is also clear that I like the English spellings of many words, like 'endeavour' and 'calibre', neither of which my spell-check likes.

Anyway, on to basketball.

Something stinks in here, and I believe it is the rotting corpse of John Brady's good will and reputation. I am far from a reactionary or a pessimistic, but I do believe the handwriting is on the wall about what kind of a coach John Brady is and what kind of a program we have with him leading it. That is to say, John Brady is an average coach and he builds an average program.

It's a program that will, forever, be occasionally good, usually not, and sometimes painful to watch. It will be a team that brings in some questionable talent, and that loses good players who grow unhappy with him and the system. He will lose out on good in-state talent, get to the tourney 2 of every 5 years, and occasionally tantalize you with the prospect of greater success.

I don't like running coaches off but it's not like we haven't given John Brady a chance. The dude has been our basketball coach longer than Houston Nutt coached Arkansas. He's not among the deans of SEC basketball coaches. Only Billy Donovan has been at his team longer than Brady has. The guy has gotten the opportunity, and has shown that he will never make LSU basketball anything other than average, with occasional success and more frequent failure.

Heck, if we can find someone who could just lock up the top in state talent, we'll be a consistent tournament team, which is all I really expect out of this program. I don't expect us to be like Duke or UCLA or North Carolina. I don't expect us to be consistently in the top 10, or even the top 25. I just want to be occasionally there, and always within sight of it.

I think we need another coach to get there.


Anonymous said...

Watching the basketball team is very painful. I like John but I really think it's time for a change.

Totally Spoiled

Richard Pittman said...

I don't know if I "like" him, but I have no active dislike for him. I think it's just time to acknowledge that the program he's built is not consistently good, and is not like to improve under Brady, who's been given every chance in the world.

uberschuck said...

I think you are being way too lenient on Brady. His coaching skills are terrible. Ironically, I think you underestimate is recruting. He's brought in awesome talent. Tyrus Thomas and Stromile Swift were both lottery picks. Glen Davis, Ronald Dupree, and Jabari Smith (briefly) all made NBA rosters. Taz Mitchell has a decent chance to make an NBA roster.

I think Brady is a moron with a poor understanding of basketball. Consider his statements after the 61-39 loss to MSU on Wednesday.

"When the game was on for 30 minutes or so, I thought we defended them well enough to win the game. They scored 61 points in our building. I don’t even really count the last 10 because the game is over. It’s fair enough to tell our team we held them to 54 points in our building. If you tell me before the game that that is the amount of points Mississippi State scores, I like our chances to win. I like (Mississippi State head coach) Rick (Stansbury) and his team is OK, but I don’t think they guarded us any special way."

I've got navel lint that is smarter than John Brady. Now, with 10 minutes to go the score was 43-29. With one fourth of the game remaining the deficit was half as much as our entire score. MSU scored 18 points after that, but Brady doesn't want to count the last 10 because he thinks the game was over by then (as if a guy whose team scored 39 can call 10 points insignificant!). Really, it was over long before that. In a way, you could say it was over at the 30 minute mark because we never managed to reach 43 points. Yeah, we got held under 40 in our gym, but he doesn't think there was anything special about the way MSU guarded us. Does that mean our shooting is naturally sucky without any defensive pressure?

Actually, I've seen these guys shoot well, so it can't be that. It's the coaching that blows. Fire Brady today. Let Butch Pierre be the interim coach. It will double as his audition. Then go after a good coach when the season ends...maybe Tubby Smith would like to be in the SEC again.

Poseur said...

I'm with Jason. I deeply loathe Brady. He's an awful coach, and players under him usually do one of two things: regress or transfer. Look, I know players transfer, but some of the attrition in our program has been ridiculous, mainly because Brady can never see past a player's faults to see what he can do well.

Actually, our skill isn't that poor right now. And the SEC is down. An average coach should at least be able to get us to the NIT and maybe to the NCAA's with this squad right now. But he has no conception how to run an offense and despite LSU usually having terrible guard play under Brady, he's running a FOUR GUARD offense. We're getting killed on the boards.

I hate him. Hate, hate, hate him. Not only do we lose, we're not even fun to watch.

jimherehi said...

He has to go. And, he has to know his time has come and gone. His poor coaching skills are not fair to his players and certainly not fair to the fans who buy tickets to the games. I bet that the women's basketball games will draw more fans to the PMAC than the men's. If he were a football coach, he would have been gone years ago.

I agree with Pittman, all we will ever be with him is average with an occasional better than average team. Every year there seems to be a reason for our dismal production - someone is hurt, or someone is on some sort of probation, or someone is not playing up to his potential. You name it, we have heard it. Other teams have these same problems and they seem to survive.

The good players that he has recently had would have gone to LSU anyway - Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas, Brandon Bass - to only name a few. They did not go to LSU because of John Brady.

I felt sorry for Glen Davis last year because he passed up going to the NBA because he had visions of being on national championship team. The only problem was that he had John Brady for a coach.

Anonymous said...

He has to go. Period. The end. My wife and I were at the ball game last Wednesday night and there were chants of "Fire Brady". This situation cannot be ignored any longer.