Tag:John Pelphrey
Posted on: March 14, 2011 10:57 am
Edited on: March 14, 2011 7:00 pm

Coach Speak: Tourney coaches in demand

Would Missouri's Mike Anderson take over at Arkansas?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Amidst all the general fun of preparing for the NCAA tournament, quite a few coaches got bad news this weekend. So let's take a look at some of the big ones and try to get a handle on where each program may turn.

List of D-I coaching changes

First, a ground rule. I'm going to assume that interim coaches will not be retained. Loyal assistants tend to get jobs when a successful boss moves up the ladder, not when he's fired. In addition, coaches who are currently playing in the NCAA tournament will be targeted, but can't be taken seriously as flight risks until we see how they fare in the Big Dance.


John Pelphrey (69-59 at Arkansas): This move feels one season premature. Pelphrey spent this summer tracking down elite talent for the Razorbacks, netting a top ten class. Off-court issues may have contributed heavily here. Several Arkansas players were suspended last season while being investigated for rape, and Pelphrey was recently implicated in a minor recruiting scandal. If Arkansas administrators can get their top choice, Mike Anderson, the recruits will probably stay, but they won't be able to get serious about that until Missouri is knocked out of the NCAA tournament. Also, the first person Anderson will talk to about the job is his mentor Nolan Richardson, who parted company with the university under a cloud. Marquette's Buzz Williams has also been mentioned as a prominent candidate.

Paul Hewitt (190-162 at Georgia Tech): If Pelphrey got a short leash, Hewitt got the longest. Five NCAA appearances in 11 years isn't a bad accomplishment, especially when one of those went all the way to the championship game. The problem was that the seasons in-between were so bad. The Yellowjackets were 11-17 in '05-'06, 15-17 in '07-'08, 11-17 the year after that and 12th place in the ACC. Finishing tied for 10th this season was the last straw. AD Dan Radakovich has indicated that he's willing to spend top dollar to get an elite coach, but speculation so far has centered around Richmond's Chris Mooney, Alabama's Anthony Grant and Xavier's Chris Mack. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Tech legend Kenny Anderson has expressed interest in coming on as an assistant, which could only help recruiting.

Keno Davis (46-50 at Providence): I've always felt that the odds were against Keno from the beginning. He had only been a head coach for one (admittedly strong) season at Drake before moving up to the big time, which didn't give him much experience to draw upon. He wasn't from the area and had no ties to the program, really. Losing games might not have gotten him fired this quickly, but the offseason criminal activity of his players and a litany of de-commitments from recruits pointed him out the door. Some fans are calling for the return of Pat Skerry, who left Davis to become an assistant at Pitt last year. Other names are Fairfield's Ed Cooley, Duquesne head coach Ron Everhart, and Harvard's Tommy Amaker. Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins has wide support as well.

Pat Knight (50-60 at Texas Tech): Pat never really had much of a chance at Tech. Even his father had a hard time making the program truly relevant, but he brought enough of the national spotlight that Red Raider fans now crave more. The search has really zeroed in on two candidates at this point, and both are available. Billy Gillispie had his greatest career successes in his home state of Texas, and would add some steak to the sizzle the program wants if he is hired. Tech fans are also looking at current Nebraska coach Doc Sadler, who was an assistant at the school from 1991-1994, coaches tough defense, and has the drawl and personality that could make him a good face man for the program. 

Jim Boylen (69-60 at Utah): Rick Majerus made it a sin to lose at Utah, and Jim Boylen lost quite a few over the past two years. Not only games, but players. There was a mass exodus after the '09-'10 season, which led to more losing this year. As the Utes head to the Pac-12, it's time to show that they belong on the big stage, and they'll do that by chasing a top-flight coach. No doubt, they'll wish-list Mark Few, as most Western programs do, but he's proven difficult to lure. One sensible choice that's been bandied about is Dave Rice, an assistant to Dave Rose at Brigham Young. Some have suggested that Virginia's Tony Bennett may be lured back to the expanded Pac-10, and St. Mary's Randy Bennett and Old Dominion's Blaine Taylor have generated some interest as well. Would New Mexico's Steve Alford like to get a piece of this action?

Just as the firings began to come in earnest following postseason losses, so will the hirings. The difference being that losing in your conference tournament means you get fired, and losing in the NCAA tournament means you get hired.

Photo: US Presswire

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: March 10, 2011 10:39 am
Edited on: March 11, 2011 8:24 pm

Unlike Pearl, Pelphrey's crime could be costly

Posted by Matt Norlander

It’s not as bad as Bruce Pearl, but it’s definitely in the same ballpark.

And Arkansas coach John Pelphrey’s most likely going to lose his job over it. A photo. Another freaking photo. A photo that looks as harmless as the coach so wrongfully taking part in it.

At least Pelphrey didn't lie about it, unlike Pearl. But, to be fair, Pelphrey hasn't been in the same room with people from the NCAA and been given a chance to lie. Also, in his defense (?), Pelphrey did not invite recruits to his house and ask them to go forward and pretend it never happened.

There should be a new rule instituted, or at least a code amongst college basketball coaches: Unless there’s a blood relation, no more pictures taken with anyone under the age of 18. Ever. It’s best not to chance it. Because things like this happen. Things get out. Things are now always getting out, coaches, don't you know that? Yes, you do. Yet this still goes on. The temptation seems Teflon to consequences, no matter how harsh.

Amazing that Pelphrey not only breaks the rules and visits a couple of high school juniors, but then he willfully puts evidence out there. Only a matter of time, in this culture, until the no-no falls crosses the wrong eyes and gets in the wrong ears. The Arkansas coach couldn’t stay away, and now the Arkansas administration will have its hand forced. Or maybe guided, seeing how many believe Pelphrey’s a dead man walking, as is.

This seems to be the tipping point of Pelphrey's tenure.

The symbiosis of this, and how it's ironic as well, is Pelphrey had quite the 2011 recruiting coup. With a heralded class coming in, he was  believed to have at least two more years to turn ship in Fayetteville. But an 18-12 season and a 7-9 SEC record was apparently not enough to warrant him sticking around to reap the rewards of his apparently shady recruiting.

The irony here is unavoidable. Bruce Pearl still has a job for lying and covering up, and then breaking rules after confessing to his lying and cover-ups. Now, here comes Pelphrey, a fellow SEC coach who's probable to be cut loose from the Hogs for a crime far less egregious, but just as illegal.

Photo: AP
Posted on: February 7, 2011 10:19 am
Edited on: February 7, 2011 10:20 am

Coach Speak: Hot seats come in pairs

Posted by Eric Angevine

Hot Seat

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.

Arkansas coach John Pelphrey grimaces as his chair heats up.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.

To my mind, the least likely pair to fall is the Beilein/DeChellis double bill in the Big Ten. Their relatively strong records show just how tough the league is from top to bottom. The most likely is the Lowe/Hewitt duo in the ACC – both coaches have had ample time and talent to build winning programs and haven’t come through.

Quotable Coaches 

My parents station wagon in 1982 had a better sound system than what they're using at the Superbowl. What's going on???”

 -Xavier’s Chris Mack (@CoachChrisMack) joins the Twitter takedown of SB halftime show

“No idea.”

-Roy Williams gives rare insight into his thoughts on how to prepare UNC for Wednesday's visit to Duke

“We still feel he’s not going to play and we have to go forward with that. Just because you’re out of a cast, you have to be 100 percent before you come back, and he’s a ways from that. It’s progressing well for his career. It’s being done the right way and he’s got to be honest with us about how he’s doing.”

-Mike Krzyzewski tempers expectations for Kyrie Irving’s toe sans cast

"The court's the same length, the basket's the same height, and they put the same amount of air in the ball. I don't give any lip service to changing how we do things because we're playing on the road. We do what we do and it's either good enough or it's not."

-Auburn coach Tony Barbee channels ‘Hoosiers’ after a road loss at Georgia

“Sorry Vol Nation I tried my best. I'm so disappointed right now. The future is bright. Te Amo Mucho. Si.”

-UT temp head coach Tony Jones (@TjonesLive) apologizes as his fill-in stint for Bruce Pearl ends in a loss

"We've played three times on (national TV) and stunk."

-Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters following a 73-61 setback to floundering league foe Butler

“If Ohio State needs motivation... All they need is to watch ESPN's montage..of Talking heads saying..They will lose to Wisconsin... tonight.”

-Ohio State assistant Jeff Boals (@JeffBoals) plays the ‘no respect’ card on an undefeated team via Twitter

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:
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com