Thursday, April 10, 2008

New Coach - Trent Johnson

LSU appears to have hired Stanford's Trent Johnson as its new basketball coach.  At first blush, this hire does not have a "wow" factor to it.  I don't know much about Trent Johnson, and he wasn't really a guy talked up on the media circuit in the 2 months since John Brady was fired.  However, Les Miles didn't have a wow-factor in his hiring either, and he has turned out great.

When this announcement was made, it introduced more questions than answers.  Why is he leaving Stanford for LSU, a move most would consider a downgrade?  What does he bring to the table?  Is he a recruiter?  Is he a motivator?  Is he an X's and O's guy?  

Some of these questions began to be answered by reading former Stanford great Mark Madsen's blog.  Of course, I try to read Madsen's blog every day, if only to find out if he's going to be in any dance-offs soon.  

Madsen says of Trent Johnson:

"This man deserves the very best because he is a first class individual and one of the best basketball minds in the business."

"Trent Johnson is one of the best communicators in the basketball world."

"He's secured multiple Sweet 16 performaces, a huge recruiting pipeline into Los Angeles, Oakland and throughout the East Coast, as well as one of the best X's and O's coaches in the nation."

That's enough for me for now.


Anonymous said...

Question...Why do you say, "Why is he leaving Stanford for LSU, a move most would consider a downgrade?" Here's Stunford's NCAA Tourney History
Year....Overall Record....Conference Record....Postseason Finish
2000-01....31-3....16-2 Pac-10....NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
2003-04....30-2....17-1 Pac-10....NCAA Tournament Second Rd.
1997-98....30-5....15-3 Pac-10....NCAA Tournament Final Four
2007-08....28-7....13-5 Pac-10....- - -
1941-42....28-4....11-1 PCC....NCAA Champions
1999-2000....27-4....15-3 Pac-10....NCAA Tournament Second Rd.
1998-99....26-7....15-3 Pac-10....NCAA Tournament Second Rd.
1988-89....26-7....15-3 Pac-10....NCAA Tournament First Rd.
1936-37....25-2....10-2 PCC....- - -
By my count that's one Championship way back in 1942 - then a smattering of appearances with one final four and one elite eight and EIGHT TOTAL appearances in 70 years! Not exactly a program steeped in tradition.

LSU easily matches and exceeds that.
Please explain...

Richard Pittman said...

I don't think your information is correct. According to their Wikipedia page, Stanford has been to 16 NCAA tournaments, including 15 since 1989, and have only missed once since 1995. They've advanced past the 1st round all but twice in those years since 1995. That's a pretty solid record over the course of almost 15 years, much better than ours. They didn't have the success in the 80s and late 70s that we had, but they've been a much superior program over the last decade-plus.