No matter how bad he is, running off a coach is nearly always a risky thing to do. We’ve seen it a bit around here with Wake Forest and NC State both running off coaches and paying the price for years.
In Raleigh, the fans grew to detest Herb Sendek. Thing is, he got the Pack to the tournament. He was a bore and so were his teams, but they did at least get to the post-season consistently.
Sidney Lowe? No. Mark Gottfried? Hell no. Sendek left in 2006 and State has never really been much better. We think Kevin Keatts will get it done, but he has a lot to overcome still.
And after Wake got rid of Dino Gaudio (in retrospect probably smart), they bizarrely hired Jeff Bzdelik, who the fans just hated. They replaced him with Danny Manning and we thought he’d be good, but he wasn’t much better, with just one NCAA tournament appearance to his credit.
When he was let go, quite suddenly, well he wasn’t hated like Bzdelik was. That was truly ugly. But no one was happy. Teams tend to take on the personality of the coach and while Manning was a brilliant player and a superb big man coach, he’s an introvert and quiet and he never really sparked the Deacs.
So when he took over at Maryland after Mark Turgeon quit, sick of the abuse from Terp fans, we had a pretty good idea of what might happen. And so far, it’s been on target: Maryland has been awful under Manning.
Since he took over, Maryland has lost to Northwestern, beat Florida (not bad), Lehigh and Brown…then lost to Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin before beating Northwestern in double OT, then losing to Rutgers and, Wednesday night, Michigan.
That’s 4-6 so far under Manning and five of the last six.
And the schedule is going to be really tough with the most likely win at major rival Nebraska.
Okay, that was gratuitous. But take a look: how many wins do you see?
Manning has almost certainly ended his chance of keeping the job and we can’t imagine fan frustration is less now than it was under Turgeon.
Someone is going to want the job - lots of people actually. But the chances of hiring Nate Oats, Bruce Pearl, Andy Enfield or John Calipari are going down fast.
And we’re not totally joking about Cal. No he’s not taking the Maryland job. It’s a big step down. But why should it be? Maryland should be a monster job. Can you imagine if they had hired a young Mike Krzyzewski? Or a young Lute Olson?
The right guy can transform Maryland into a powerhouse. When Lefty Driesell infamously called it the UCLA of the East, people rolled their eyes.
Thing is…it still could be. But anyone who looks at how the Terps treated Turgeon has to factor that in. No one should have to put up with that.