Posted on: May 3, 2011 9:39 am
Posted by Eric Angevine
The University of Wisconsin recently announced that head hoops coach Bo Ryan's contract with the school has been extended through 2016. Should he see the contract through, Ryan will be 68, and have been in charge of the Badgers for 15 years.
Ryan's Wisconsin teams are consistently undervalued in the world of college hoops. They rarely land the big-name recruits, but always seem to be in the thick of the Big Ten race. Ryan seems to enjoy taking teams full of kids with names like Krabbenhoft or Stiemsma and turning them into NCAA contenders.
In fact, Ryan has taken the Badgers to the NCAA tournament in each of the ten years he has been in Madison. His rather unusual career has unfolded entirely in the state of Wisconsin, despite his early roots in Pennsylvania. Ryan spent 15 years at Wisconsin-Platteville and won four DIII championships before he got his DI shot - a two-year stint at Wisconsin-Milwaukee that seems like little more than a perfunctory stop-over on the way to the university system's plum job.
Ryan has been a very good coach at Wisconsin. His 242-91 record since taking over at the beginning of the 21st century grades out to a 72.7 percent winning percentage in a very tough conference. His career, taken as a whole, is pretty impressive, even though so much of it happened in the lower levels of the NCAA system. In the final analysis, will Bo Ryan be a Hall of Fame coach, or just a very memorable one?
If we're talking about the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Kansas City, then Ryan seems like a shoo-in. His career, when all said and done, will most likely resemble those of men like Pete Carril and John Chaney, coaches who never made the Final Four, but came to define their respective programs. Each of those men is enshrined in KC already. If Ryan coaches 15 or 20 years in Madison, he'll likely have many more successful seasons and become the program's most legendary bench leader. He is already two spots from the top of the school's all-time basketball wins list.
The Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. is a little more difficult to predict. The Naismith Hall honors coaches from all levels of the game, from high school coach Bob Hurley, Sr. to women's coach C. Vivian Stringer to those who made their mark in the pro game, like Pat Riley. It's hard to guess whether a Final Four is necessary for Ryan's chances there - Carril and Chaney are both Naismith enshrinees as well - or how his DIII success might be weighted by enshrinement committee members.
The good news is, Ryan still has a few years of security and stability in which to reach for that big final weekend of the season. Even if he doesn't make it, it's important to note that Ryan has taken the team to more NCAA tournaments (ten) than the program had attended in all of the years before he was hired in 2000 (seven). In addition, his name has become synonymous with a rugged, winning style of basketball; hoop aficionados will generally smile and give a small shake of the head if you mention a "Bo Ryan team".
Ryan's impact on college basketball is already undeniable. Over the next five years, he has a chance to lock down an even larger legacy and a guaranteed Hall of Fame invite.
Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: April 15, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: April 15, 2011 2:18 pm
Posted by Eric Angevine
Could a Horizon League coach end up making the leap to leading the Miami Hurricanes?
No, not that one. Brad Stevens would actually be taking a step down if he headed to Coral Gables. The man who's on the radar in pastel paradise is the one who actually won the Horizon League's regular-season championship this year, and skunked Stevens' team twice in the process. Had he done it one more time on March 8 in the Horizon tourney final, this year's national runner-up would not have even made the Big Dance, in all likelihood.
I'm talking about the head coach of the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers, who is a candidate for the Miami job, according to a tweet from the always-accurate Jeff Goodman. "Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter, according to sources, meeting with new Miami AD Shawn Eichorst tonight in Wisconsin," Goodman tweeted the evening of April 14.
Reviewing Jeter's work at UWM, it's tough to determine exactly what he'll bring to the job if he's offered the Miami position. Jeter's Panther teams haven't been particularly consistent at anything over the past few years, though defensive rebounding often pops up as a positive in looking at the numbers. Jeter had his best team in 2005-06, his first season at the school after Bruce Pearl left. That squad made the NCAA tournament, beat Oklahoma and lost to Florida in the second round. No UWM team since has made it back to the Big Dance. This season, Jeter's reward for winning the Horizon was automatic entry into the postseason NIT, where his team promptly lost to Northwestern by nine points.
None of that makes Jeter a bad coach. It's not easy gaining ground in the shadow of the mighty Butler Bulldogs, after all. But it will make Jeter a tough sell to the fan base, should he be offered the job. Then again, it can't be as tough a sell as one more year of Haith, which was an onerous proposition to most 'Cane fans.
If you want recent ACC history to back up why this might work (based completely on unrelated circumstantial evidence, but still), look at former Wright State head coach Brad Brownell, who had a pretty sharp first season at Clemson.
Jeter was a candidate for the Bradley University job when it was open last month, but withdrew from consideration to stay at UWM. If Miami, and a familiar boss, come calling, he may find the combination too sweet to turn down.
Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:25 pm
Posted by Matt Norlander
You haven't seen too much of it here at the blog, primarily because we don't see it as a major crisis, but the alleged spitting incident that took place in Madison, Wisc., Saturday afternoon still isn't going away. So long as Badgers coach Bo Ryan is doing interviews, he's fielding questions about Spitgate.
Ryan went on Jim Rome's radio show this afternoon, and the host of course asked Ryan his thoughts on Sullinger's claims that he was spat on both before and after the game.
Ryan stopped just short of calling Sullinger a liar, but he did toe the line pretty close. He also echoed sentiments about the crowd, the enthusiasm, etc. that he's said to media for the better part of the past three days.
“In America you can say anything, so I just I don’t — event management handles all that,” Ryan said. “But the amazing thing is, students, so many videotaped that post-game (celebration) because they wanted to save the moment forever , so I would think that, if anything — plus our whole Kohl Center is under surveillance cameras … so do you find it surprising that something hasn’t been, you know? So you go with it, let people talk about it, and we get ready for Purdue. But our fans are the best. You’ve seen this place, you know what it’s like. I know one thing: this head coach has our students’ back.”
Ryan's doing what you'd expect: backing the Bucky fans 100 percent, as there is no evidence to force him to turn his heel. No faulting him there. For the record, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta backed up Sullinger's claims in Monday's Big Ten conference call with media.
Rome then flatly asked Ryan if he believed Sullinger was making his story up. The Wisconsin coached largely dodged that question and continued to rah-rah.
“For me to have a hypothetical for a hypothetical, I don’t know,” Ryan said. “I just know we beat them for that 40 minutes, the place was electric, the university’s been just nothing but good things talked about and that’s the way we feel. We just feel really good about the atmosphere and our guys’ performance.”Still waiting for the back-and-to-the-left film to surface from this, which seems more and more unlikely. Perhaps we do have a new rivalry budding here, though, considering these allegations and the fact Wisconsin gave Ohio State its first loss in football and basketball this season. The next page-turn comes in the regular-season finale, when the Buckeyes host the Badgers.
Yes, the Nut House should be pretty prepared for that one. And it's same to assume the fans will keep their mouths clean — but certainly not closed.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: February 7, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 12:58 pm
Posted by Matt Norlander
If it's going to take another big win or two or six before Wisconsin gets the pub and love it deserves, how long is it going to be until Jordan Taylor is seen as one of the best in the country at his position?
Voters for the Bob Cousy Award need more evidence, apparently. A day after Taylor went for 30 points and six assists in a beauty of a game against Michigan State, the 10 finalists for the best-point-guard-in-the-country award were announced Monday, Taylor getting snubbed. Xavier's Tu Holloway was also somewhat-egregiously kept off the dwindled list.
Your finalists, in alphabetical order:
Back to Taylor, who is averaging 17.8 points, 4.6 assists, 4.4 boards per game. You could build an argument around him being overshadowed by a better player on his team in Jon Leuer, but even Leuer continues to be criminally under-appreciated at his own position (power forward).
No wonder Bo Ryan so frequently looks like this.
Taylor's in the top 10 nationally in 11 categories, most notably turnover percentage and offensive rating. Only seven other guys give the ball away at a rarer rate than Taylor — none of those players are the ones listed above. Taylor is eighth; Kemba Walker is 36th. More than half the finalists don't even crack the top 100 in ball security, arguably the most important facet of point guard play.
As for the offensive rating, Taylor's the 10th-most effective offensive player in the nation as of Monday afternoon. Awesome numbers. In fact, Wisconsin has three in the top 10, which has got to be bending hoops laws in some way, perhaps hurting Taylor by proxy. McConnell of Saint Mary's is seventh in offensive rating, for the record.
Award-snubbage isn't the most desirable of topics — college basketball already has about 25 too many statues handed out each year — but the stiff-arm delivered to Taylor here is eyebrow-raising. Few players (read: much less than 10) contribute with incredible effectiveness in nearly every offensive category like Taylor does. Is it possible he's being overlooked because Wisconsin's still fighting off an unfair stench that lingers from the Big Ten's past play. Yep.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: February 7, 2011 10:19 am
Edited on: February 7, 2011 10:20 am
Posted by Eric Angevine
Today, I’m going to single out two coaches from each of the Power Six conferences who are likely on their way out after the season. Before I do that, I want to congratulate the nation’s Athletic Directors for not firing anybody mid-season this year. After watching programs like DePaul and UNC-Wilmington struggle to find new leaders after firing coaches in January, perhaps the notion that it’s better to finish the season before handling your business is taking root again.
Now, on to our Power Six Pink Slip Pairings:
ACC: NC State’s Sidney Lowe (2-7 in conference) and Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt (3-6)
Big Ten: Michigan’s John Beilein (4-7) and Penn State’s Ed DeChellis (5-6)
Big 12: Texas Tech’s Pat Knight (3-6) and Nebraska’s Doc Sadler (3-5)
Big East: Providence’s Keno Davis (3-8) and South Florida’s Stan Heath (2-9)
Pac-10: Oregon State’s Craig Robinson (4-7) and Arizona State’s Herb Sendek (1-10)
SEC: Arkansas’ John Pelphrey (right, 4-5) and LSU’s Trent Johnson (2-6)
Not all of these men will be fired, but you can bet each has a sizable contingent of fans who would pay good money for a firecoachx.com domain name right about now. A couple of honorable mentions go to Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel and Miami’s Frank Haith. Both coaches have let promising programs slide, but each is overshadowed by more deserving colleagues in his own conference.
Speaking of Wisconsin, here’s OSU’s next – and possibly most dangerous – opponent, Bo Ryan, talking about his team’s on-court destruction of Michigan State: