Times are tough in Austin: recently, Rick Barnes has lost Avery Bradley, Jordan Hamilton, Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, all of whom grabbed for NBA gold,Â and also Sheldon McClellan, Julien Lewis and Jaylen Bond, who all transferred after last season.
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And last season the Longhorns were just 16-18 - hardly great programming for that Longhorn Network.
Now Barnes has lost Ioannis Papapetrou to Euroball: Papapetrou has signed with Olympiacos BC.
That's a lot to overcome. One more bad season and Barnes might find himself really unpopular and may regret not taking State's recent offer more seriously.
Barnes, a native of Hickory, has a noted affection for the ACC and Tobacco Road (not the best term if you've actually read the book, but, in the spirit of Tom Lehrer, it's what we call home)
Even though State didn't work out, consider this: Barnes, as we said, may be under considerable pressure by the end of the season. The State job, though, is gone and Mark Gottfried is recruiting well enough to keep it for awhile.
That's not necessarily the case at Wake Forest, where Jeff Bzdelik is as unpopular as any coach we can remember, or at least with a vocal faction of Wake fans.
Another poor season for him and Barnes might find the Wake job highly attractive. It'd be a good recovery for A.D. Ron Wellman too, who has become unpopular with a significant number of Wake fans largely as a result of his standing by Bzdelik.