Friday, September 14, 2007

National Sportswriter Sees Men's Basketball in Decline

Does Ron Guenther have his blinders on? Anyhow, Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News writes an excellent summary of the failings of the Illinois men's basketball program. It includes several revealing (and depressing) quotes from Bruce "Almighty" Weber:

"Sometimes we have comments from parents and they'll say to us they don't
understand ... people are like, 'What's wrong? Why is there the negativity?' "
Weber said. are aware that you have landed a grand total of ZERO recruits in this class and that you whiffed on all of your top six targets, right?

"We've had a couple bad breaks, and we have to keep plugging away and hope some good things will happen. Coach the heck out of them, and you hope that sooner or later you get a top kid to realize it's OK to come here." Bad breaks? Hoping something good happens? Bruce, recruiting means the ability to sell your program, your school and your abilities as a coach. Obviously what you are doing ain't working. And a top player won't want to go to Illinois when he sees a program in decline. Quit "hoping" and learn how to recruit, or get out of Champaign.

But don't expect the Illini to pay big money to sign some sort of recruiting star. It's not how they want to do things. They didn't flash big cash for Weber, either. They have the program they wanted, it would appear. Excellent observation by DeCourcy. The best athletic director operates on the cheap. He got Weber for cheap, knowing that Weber would never leave for another job. Coach Guenther sacrificed a short-term gain (the magical season of 2004-05) for long-term decline, which is now rearing its ugly head.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guenther is way too gutless to ever make a move to replace Weber. That would require guts and a willingness to admit you've made a mistake, 2 qualities Guenther does not possess.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone think Guenther will be gone by the time Weber is fired? I'm a little worried Guenther will be in charge of the next hire as well.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Guenther's in for the long haul. If Herman hasn't seen fit to fire him by now, he's never going to. Guenther knows what's best for the school and will be there until he's carried out horizontally.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Herman will not fire Guenther. I do believe that Herman has said something to the effect of "If there is a better AD in the country [than Ron Guenther], I'd like to know who it is." I agree wholeheartedly with Chancellor Herman's stance.

Notwithstanding that, rumor has it that Guenther will retire within 2 or 3 years. There's a guy over on the IlliniBoard who I think has a great shot of becoming the next AD.

1:42 PM  

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