New “D’s Corner”,
“Bo DON’T know”!
Look, I hate all things Duke, if there was/is a “I Hate Duke” club I could be the Chairman!
That being said, I have always respected their program for doing what they do best (to my chagrin) which is win! They’ve now won a total of five NCAA basketball championships under Mike Krzyzewski since he took over the program in 1980 with countless amounts of Runner-Up, Final Four and Sweet Sixteen appearances. Duke won their 5th title Monday night beating Wisconsin in Indianapolis 68 to 63 but I’m not here to talk about Duke because what they did (see above) is “old hat’!
Naw, I’m saving my rant for Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan who (prior to Monday night) I’ve always liked and who’s team I rooted for but then again (see above) I would root for escaped convicts if they were playing Duke so that’s not really a good litmus test. In reality I had no ‘dog in the fight’ but I tend to lean towards the ‘underdog’ whenever such a situation resides so Monday night was no different. After building (what I thought was) a sizeable lead against Duke late in the second half Wisconsin was four minutes away from glory but Duke being Duke went on a 12 to 5 run and put the game away. So ‘dummy me’ expected after the game a while obviously upset coach over losing probably the biggest (and maybe last of this magnitude…he is 67) game of his life a well thought out, mature, contrite and conciliatory concession response from Coach Ryan once the media came calling. Especially, after the comments over this past weekend by Kentucky player Andrew Harrison towards Wisconsin player Frank Kaminski (saying “F” him and calling him the “N” word) and the media backlash Harrison (deservedly so) received. And while Harrison did apologize (which Kaminski accepted) some of Kentucky’s players were also ‘called out’ (deservedly so again) for NOT shaking hands after their loss to Wisconsin and showing ‘poor sportsmanship’.
But what we got instead was a sore loser coach showing ‘poor sportsmanship’ who spent the entirety of his time with the media after the game ‘whining’ about the referee’s (who were bad…for BOTH teams) and the NCAA system of ‘Rent A Player’ or ‘One and Done'(which is really more on the NBA than the NCAA)!
Coach Ryan went on to boast how Wisconsin doesn’t do ‘Rent A Player’s’ and how he “likes to build from within (sic)…it’s just the way he is”! Oh really? So are you trying to tell me coach that if you had a chance to sign a Jabari Parker or a Jahlil Okafor knowing you’d probably only have them for one year you wouldn’t take em’? You can ‘miss me’ with that one coach! Duke didn’t create this process (I can’t even believe I’m defending Duke right now), the NBA stipulates that college basketball players must be 19 years of age and ONE year removed from high school in order to enter the NBA draft. Sounds more like an NBA thang versus a NCAA (or Duke) thang! I remember a time when Coach Krzyzewski himself hated this process (anybody remember the William Avery, Corey Maggette and Elton Brand years?) but guess what he did once it became the ‘lay of the land’? He adapted and accepted it for what it is (like it or not).
So since Coach Ryan wanted to come off like he runs such a ‘pristine’ program I decided to do a little homework on his Wisconsin program to see just how ‘above it all’ his program REALLY is. But what I found was while he’s done great things with his players ON the court for the last 14 years at Wisconsin (multiple Big Ten championships and NCAA appearances) his success rate for his players OFF the court reads a little sumpthin like this…they have the lowest graduation rate for Black players (ZERO…ZERO?) and the third lowest overall! They have historically graduated less the 50% of their players (Black, White or other…) for years!
Based on those facts he should take a page from Coach Krzyzewski, Coach John Calipari of Kentucky and coaches from other top programs who have learned how to exploit this process…hell, at least they ain’t lying and pretending that it’s something different than what it really is! Why not adopt these coaches philosophies Coach Ryan? It’s not like your graduating your players anyway! I think the Coach Krzyzewski’s and Coach Calipari’s of the world would prefer to call it…’Won and Done’!
I guess Coach Ryan was right when he says they don’t do ‘One and Done’ at Wisconsin…sounds more to me like he prefers ‘ALMOST Won…and DUMB’!