Blog Entry

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

Posted on: March 17, 2010 2:08 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2010 2:16 pm

Bobby Gonzalaz beat Fred Hill twice this season, and he had a better record, better RPI, better shot at the NCAA tournament, and a better overall team than Hill did, too. By any normal measuring stick, Gonzalez was safe and Hill was on his way out. But Gonzalez is a crazy person who alienated nearly everybody, and Hill is not that at all. So though it came as a surprise, it actually makes sense that the crazy coach was fired Wednesday while the coach with four consecutive losing seasons was retained.

And let this be another lesson to all coaches.

If you didn't learn it from Billy Gillispie, learn it from Bobby Gonzalez.

You can treat people poorly, rant, rave, curse out reporters and enroll prospects with questionable characters, if you want. But if that's the route you take, you'd better be super awesome at winning basketball games. Otherwise, you won't last long. Gonzo is the latest example.

Speaking of, do you remember what I wrote in my Big East preview back in November?

"Bobby Gonzalez has his most talented team to date, and if all goes right the Pirates could make a run at the NCAA tournament. But is it really possible that all goes right? Gonzalez has brought in gifted but questionable-character guys in Keon Lawrence (transfer from Missouri) and Herb Pope (transfer from New Mexico State), and most believe things will blow up, sooner or later. If so, Gonzalez could pay with his job. But if he can somehow blend Jeremy Hazell (22.7 ppg), Robert Mitchell (14.6 ppg and 8.0 rpg) and Eugene Harvey (12.5 ppg) with his newcomers, then this team will finish in the top half of the Big East, for certain."

After I wrote that, Gonzalez called, cursed me out, told me I didn't know what I was talking about, you know, the usual. It was the single strangest yelling match I've ever had with a coach -- and I've had plenty -- because he kept asking why I wrote it was "inevitable" that his team would blow up even though I never used the word "inevitable." I told him that. He told me I was lying. Then we spent the next five minutes arguing about whether the word "inevitable" was even in my Big East preview. As you can see, it wasn't, but Gonzalez could never acknowledge that, for some reason. The call ended with him hanging up on me. He later expressed his displeasure to an SNY reporter, which led to SNY describing a "clash" between me and Gonzalez, which led to me addressing it in the blog.

And now here we are four months later.

And Gonzalez is out of a job.

One questionable-character guy I mentioned in the Big East preview (Keon Lawrence) caused an auto accident while driving the wrong way on the Garden State Parkway in the preseason, the other popped a Texas Tech player in the private parts in Tuesday's loss. Make no mistake, these are the things -- along with Gonzalez's personality -- that led to Wednesday's dismissal. It wasn't the losing. It was the enrollment of troubled prospects who embarrassed the university, and Gonzalez's divisive attitude that routinely did the same. Simply put, Seton Hall was tired of being portrayed negatively by a coach who didn't win enough to make him worth the trouble. So the school took the first step toward fixing the problem, and the first step was to make a change at the top.

Since: Feb 18, 2010
Posted on: March 18, 2010 1:27 pm

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

Parrish way to blow yourself...

The rest of your preview was spot on as well...


A testament to the talent Jim Calhoun has assembled is the fact that the Huskies lost their top three scorers from a Final Four team and are still good enough to make the Final Four again. Hard as that is to believe, it's true. With Kemba Walker and Stanley Robinson back in the mix, the Huskies have a nice core. Combine that with a healthy Jerome Dyson (was averaging 13.2 ppg before an injury ended his season) and a top 10 recruiting class featuring Alex Oriakhi, and it's clear UConn is plenty talented enough to remain at the top of the Big East.


Jamie Dixon has never won fewer than 20 games, never missed the NCAA tournament in six years as a head coach. But this should be his most challenging season considering Sam Young (19.2 ppg), DeJuan Blair (15.7 ppg), Levance Fields (10.7 ppg and 7.5 apg) and Tyrell Biggs (6.4 ppg) are no longer around to dominate the Big East. Meantime, Jermaine Dixon is recovering from foot surgery. So, at the moment, the Panthers are without all five starters from last season's 31-win team, and even the greatness of freshman Dante Taylor -- the McDonald's All-American scored 27 points in Pitt's first exhibition -- won't be enough to ensure a smooth transition.


Buzz Williams was tremendous in his first season at Marquette, but this is where he'll earn his paycheck. That program-changing class of Jerel McNeal, Dominic James and Wesley Matthews is gone, and Lazar Hayward is the lone returning starter. He averaged 16.3 points and 8.6 rebounds last season, but he's never had to carry a team the way he'll need to carry this team. Making things worse is that freshman point guard Junior Cadougan tore his Achilles tendon in a preseason workout and is out for the season. Bottom line, this is a rebuilding year for Williams, and it won't get easier until Cadougan returns and is joined next season by Vander Blue, a star shooting guard from the Class of 2010 who committed to Marquette last month.

Since: Jul 12, 2007
Posted on: March 18, 2010 11:34 am

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

I only roll 7s so Im always a winner.

Weighted dice help. lol

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: March 18, 2010 12:37 am

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

Wow, he sounds like a total idiot.  And you let him keep talking after he initially cussed you out, Parrish?  Interesting.  I would have hung up after that, just to make sure I didn't say anything I'd regret.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: March 17, 2010 9:44 pm

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

DFW_Poke: Rolling a seven is only a winner on the come-out roll...after that, it's a loser.  That's why they call it "crapping out" when the shooter rolls a 7.

Since: Jul 27, 2009
Posted on: March 17, 2010 7:44 pm

Bedtime for Gonzo

A lot of other coaches did worse and were not let go - apparently Seton Hall still thinks the year is 1989 and they should be a Final Four contender once in a while - PJ is long gone, wake up - you cannot recruit with or keep up with the Beast Big Boys - sorry, just reality
5 years in a therapist's office should get Gonzo straight.  

Since: Jul 12, 2007
Posted on: March 17, 2010 5:53 pm

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

IT IS GAMBLING, and Gonzalez rolled a 7.  More like he rolled snake eyes. A 7 is a winner in craps.

Since: Apr 5, 2008
Posted on: March 17, 2010 4:36 pm

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

I rarely comment, but I read Parrish regularly.  This article is very good, but I think that's par for the course. The guy can write and he's got cajones.  That's a good combination for this job.  Keep it up, GP; some of your readers are not illiterate and angry...

Oh, by the way, Mitchell was reportedly charged with kidnapping and robbery today.  The charges include duct-taping 8 people and robbing them in their home.  Really.

Since: Dec 15, 2008
Posted on: March 17, 2010 3:39 pm

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

From NY Times: "A Pirates player, Robert Mitchell, was arrested in Newark on Tuesday and charged with kidnapping, robbery, burglary and possession of a weapon, according to a law enforcement official in Essex County. Mitchell was accused along with another person of breaking into a home in South Orange, duct-taping eight people and stealing cash and personal items."

Sorry I asked if Mitchell will be back...

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: March 17, 2010 3:37 pm

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

Right move by Seton Hall, the success rate doesn't justify the negative attention. In Gonzalez's defense, I think anyone in his shoes would have made the same gambles.

The current Big East, NY market, trying to restore a great program, are factors which could make you swallow some pride to get more talented. Hope and pray these kids don't make a fool of you and just win games.

IT IS GAMBLING, and Gonzalez rolled a 7.  

That's why Gary Parrish is the #1 read in college hoops! (Even though his crush on John Wall is overdone and borderline creepy)

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: March 17, 2010 3:08 pm

There's a lesson to be learned from Gonzo

"Nobody wants to see anybody lose their job", "It's the kids left behind that are really hurt by this situation", yada. yada, yada.  Yeah, I know.

Still, must feel pretty good to be dead right, huh, Gary?!

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