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Red Raiders report: Getting inside

The Sports Xchange
 
Strategy and personnel · Getting inside · Notes, quotes
 

The differences between Pat Knight and his father, Bob, are quite striking.

Pat Knight did take over for his dad as Texas Tech's coach and continued running the same motion offense. But Pat could never fill his father's large shoes and replicate that legendary career, which produced a record 902 victories with stops at Army, Indiana and lastly Texas Tech.

Instead, Pat Knight was fired at the end of the regular season and then coached out the string as the Red Raiders fell 88-84 against Missouri in the first round the Big 12 Tournament. Tech finished 13-20, leaving Knight with a 50-61 record after taking over for the last 11 games of the 2007-08 season. He was 16-42 in Big 12 play.

At the end, his father seemed more irritated by Tech's decision to let his son go than Pat was himself. Bob Knight did not exactly fire any salvos at the Tech administration when commenting on the matter doing television broadcasts during the Big 12 Tournament, but he made it clear he was not pleased.

"He's not as understanding as I am," Pat Knight said. "That's between us, father-son stuff. But it's tough on him. I think it's even more tough on him than it is on me right now. But I loved it (at Tech). It's a great place."

The inability of a senior-laden team to fulfill expectations for an NCAA Tournament bid this season led to Pat Knight's dismissal. In fact, he said before the season he did not deserve a contract extension if the Red Raiders could not advance that far. Not only did they miss out an NCAA bid, they failed to produce a winning record after playing in the NIT last year.

With so many seniors playing key roles, Knight's successor will not inherit much experience, or perhaps even talent. Forward Robert Lewandowski will be the most seasoned player next season when he returns as a senior. Two freshmen, forward Jaye Crockett and guard Javarez Willis, played more minutes late in the season.

Knight encouraged Tech officials to announce his firing before the Big 12 Tournament. The move enabled Tech to get a jump on the hiring process and will be one of the first decisions new athletic director Kirby Hocutt must involve himself in, though he has not yet officially begun his duties at Tech.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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