Monday, February 26, 2007

Another Take on Tubby...

Tubby is a good coach. Not a great coach but a good coach.

Good coaches can win with certain types of players. Great coaches can win with a variety of players.

Let's look at the NBA. Coaches are constantly moving around from team to team, many times fired from one team for doing a bad job, only to be picked up by another team where they do a good job. Flip Saunders was fired from Minnesota after two bad seasons. He was hired after one season off by the Detroit Pistons and has them atop the East and looking like the only team capable of defeating any team in the West. Jeff Van Gundy was ousted at New York and is now in a two man race with Jerry Sloan for coach of the year. Did these coaches all of a sudden learn how to coach during their time off? Probabaly not. They spent most of their time doing color commentary and in Van Gundy's case sleeping during the day and drinking blood from young teenager necks. Good coaches can win with players that fit their system, players that respond well to their coaching style. Great coaches on the other hand are always in contention, no matter what type of players they have. They are able to adapt their coaching style to the type of players they have. Greg Popovich, Jerry Sloan ... these guys always seem to get the most from their teams regardless of talent, experience or personalities.

Now back to Tubby. Tubby is a good coach. He has a certain style of play, a certain personality that many players respond well too and he is able to get the most out of these players. Tubby's biggest problem is his inability to adapt. Sadly, this is one of the most important traits in a college head coach to keep his program at an elite level. Tubby coaches one way, a good way. A way that has provided him with enough success to reach a national program such as Kentucky and be constantly brought up in conversations for positions in the NBA. I think Tubby's biggest problem is his ego. He is unable to try new things with a team, and coach a way that he is not used to. This is what makes Krzyzewski and Pitino the two best college coaches right now. Both of these guys speak about the changes they have to make in their coaching styles each year.


Blogger Natty Bumpo said...

Vampires make me giggle. In fact, I'm pretty sure Eddie Jordan is also a vampire. That makes 2 NBA coaches that are vampires.

February 26, 2007 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Jumping Bull said...

So Popovich is able to adapt his coaching style?..."Tim, go out and get 25 and 12 for me tonight, the rest of you do whatever it is you do. I don't know Tony, just get some assists to Tim, and Ginoboli, get a haircut you damn hippie..." and T-monk has obviously been drinking Natty's Koolaide on Jerry Sloan, I mean, you know, because Jerry Sloan has won so many titles in the last 20 years. I realize you said that these coaches "are always in contention" but Jerry Sloan couldn't buy a trip to the NBA finals on But since I have a huge man-crush on Deron Williams, I'd be ok with Jerry proving me wrong this year. Anyways, that's neither here nor there. One of Tubby's problems is that he doesn't scare anybody - not opposing teams and fans, nor even his own players. Not that he has to blow a gasket just to get his players to listen to him, but he needs to start instilling the fear of God in some of these guys (read: Joe Crawford). Nobody in the SEC is scared of playing Tubby and the Cats anymore. It's kind of like UK has become the North Korea of the SEC - people have just stopped worrying about them over the last couple years. So I guess that means Kentucky better hope that Tubby has an A-bomb stored up for March.

February 26, 2007 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Jesus' Son said...

TMonk, I find your commentary intriguing and confusing. I agree Tubby struggles very much because of his inability to adapt. However, I think the lack of pure talent that has been recruited as resulted in his players inability to adapt to his system. 3 years ago Tubby’s system worked and I struggle to believe that in that short period of time his style has completely been destroyed. I think an overwhelming reason UK is struggling very much is the great disparity of pure talent on the team.

Also, I understand what you are saying about NBA coaches adapting, but this is like comparing Hustler to Playboy. The 2 are just completely different and good in their own way. On one hand, the NBA builds teams over years, whereas, in college teams must be completely rebuilt every 4 years. This is why coaches in college are so much more important since, in theory, the only person left after 4 years is the coach who must instill the system into a new set of players. However, in the NBA, the players are much more important to a team, more so than the coach. It is much more important that the coach adapt to his players, but this does not always happen. For example, Phil Jackson. Great with Shaq, mediocre without Shaq. Is it his system that is wrong? No, it’s his players and lack of talent, except for that Kobe guy. However, it’s impossible to say he is not a great coach.

Lastly, seeing you say Coach K and Pitino are the 2 best coaches in college literally made me throw up in my mouth. Coach K can’t dominate with a roster of McD all-Americans or a roster of the greatest basketball players in the NBA, practically a dream team. If anyone can’t adapt, it’s Coach K. Remembering that loss to Greece still sickens me. Pitino also flopped in the NBA. Therefore, for now I’ll say both are not “great” coaches.

So, I’ll say, I concur in part but respectfully dissent in part.

February 26, 2007 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Jesus' Son said...

To clarify, I'm not saying Coach K and Pitino aren't great coaches, they are. I'm just saying I disagree with TMonk's reasoning why they are great

February 26, 2007 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

We have talent this year. Perry Stevenson, Jodie Meeks, and Derrick Jasper were each All-Americans at certain venue's in highschool. Joe Crawford and Randolph Morris should both be All-American candidates, but neither will achieve that during their careers. Ramel is a third year point guard who has had considerable experience for a Junior.

Tubby reminds me of Tyler Smithhart picking an NBA Live team. Tyler will play well with a guy like Darrell Armstrong, and draft him in the 3rd or 4th round of a fantasy draft. In Madden, Tyler will play a good game with Michael Vick at the beginning before anybody has learned the defense, and then choose to play with the Falcons for a dynasty league. The comparison is that Tubby will just play people based on what they are doing at certain moments. Now there are some players, freshman to be exact, who can get hot and maybe should stay in games because they bring energy. If Woo gets an and-one he plays 30 minutes after that. If Jasper turns the ball over, Tubby sits him down for the rest of the game.

Tubby's style has not fallen apart, he just doesn't have the type of players that are responding to it. Tubby talks every year about running with these more athletic guys, but we never do. He makes lineup changes in the middle of the season because he is obviously out of answers. Duke gets all-americans but not all-americans respond to the same style. These Duke teams are vastly different from the Brand, Avery, Langdon, Battier team. Both loaded with all-americans but Coach K knows how to handle different players. And as for the loss to Greece, we'll see how USA does after a few summers playing together. Remember this was the first one.

As for Popavich, Timmy has been declining for two years, and Ginobli isn't as athletic he used to be. Tony is still Tony. Bruce has lost some of his defensive abilities. But the Spurs still remain a team to beat in the West. They integrate new players every year and blend established talent with rookies and awkward white guys. Popavich is a master.

February 26, 2007 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger Jumping Bull said...

To Ginobili not being athletic anymore, I give you his 24 straight points against the Hawks last week. Yep, his athleticism has really declined. Greg's still the most handsome coach in the NBA though.

February 26, 2007 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Jumping Bull said...

By the way, is Runs still on suicide watch after Sunday's game?

February 26, 2007 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger Runs With Two Horses said...


I am indeed, very much so.

I'm also worried that T-Monk's post is far too rational. But I'm excited that he's on a first name basis with most of the Spurs.

February 27, 2007 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Runs With One Horse said...

Can we start playing find the spelling/grammatical errors with these posts? Did you delete the spell-check option from your computer? I'm is confoosed.

February 27, 2007 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Leonard Peltier said...

I guess I lose, because I couldn't find any spelling errors this time. Well done, T-Monk. Stay rational. To JB, Pop = handsome? You need to lay off the peyote, kemosabe.

February 27, 2007 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Runs With One Horse said...

This is why we play the game:

"Probabaly not."

February 27, 2007 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

I hate all of you. More than you will ever know.

February 27, 2007 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Natty Bumpo said...

Hey, I just pointed out that vampires make me giggle.

February 27, 2007 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Thelonius Monk said...

Not you Natty. You are excluded.

February 28, 2007 at 1:18 AM  
Blogger Codename Curveball said...

I would just like to make a motion to change the official pronunciation of UK to its phonetic, "uck". In this way, many clever rhymes can be made utilizing the words suck, luck, fuck, guck, and schmuck. And three cheers for Mr. Bumpo for posting on vampires (one of my favorite pseudospecies).

February 28, 2007 at 10:52 AM  

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