Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:23 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 1:26 pm

Pat Knight won Press Conference of the Year

By Gary Parrish

Stephen F. Austin won at Lamar earlier this week.

The final score was 62-52.

"It was just a bad game," said Lamar senior Mike James, at which point his coach chimed in.

"OK, let's go," Pat Knight said while basically shooing James from the press conference. "You don't have a clue what it takes to win."

And it only got better from there.

Video: Harsh love

"I'm unhappy with these seniors," Knight said. "We've got the worst group of seniors right now that I've ever been associated with. Their mentality is awful. Their attitude is awful. ... To come into a game like this with no emotion, just flat, is terrible. It's unheard of. And I'm not gonna protect them."

And so he didn't.

"We've had problems with these guys on the court, off the court, classroom, drugs, being late for stuff. ... You can't do all that BS and then just expect to be a good team and win games," Knight added. "And if people have a problem with me being harsh about it, I don't care. I came here to clean something up."

Let me be the first to say I don't have a problem with Knight being harsh about it.

I love it.

I mean, I absolutely love it.

I talk to coaches all the time and lots of them hate their teams. They scout like hell, put in good stuff, then watch their idiot players act like idiots and screw things up. It's maddening. But so few ever publicly hold their players accountable. Tom Izzo will do it. Bob Huggins, too. But Pat Knight just took it to a new level, and if he's spent his entire first year at Lamar struggling to get the attention of the players he inherited I'm guessing he finally has their attention now.

So good for him.

I wish more coaches would follow his lead.

This is not the NBA, after all, where coaches are paid to deal with egotistical professionals. This is college basketball. And if we're gonna spend time talking about the so-called father-son relationship that exists between a college coach and a college player, what's wrong with a college coach holding his college players accountable the same way a father might hold his sons accountable?

Nothing, I say.

Pat Knight just made it clear to his players that he's finished covering for them.

I mess up, it's on me.

You mess up, it's on you.

There's a lesson there to be learned.

And I bet his problematic seniors have finally learned it.

"These kids are stealing money being on scholarship with their approach," Knight said. "They need to grow up."
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 19, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 5:34 pm

Matta says Sullinger will play Tuesday vs. Lamar

By Jeff Goodman

Looks like Thad Matta doesn't come to this space all that often.

My suggestion to the Ohio State coach was that he shut down his star big man, Jared Sullinger, for the time being. Let him relax over the holidays and sit out tomorrow night against Lamar and later this week against Miami (Ohio).

However, Matta told the media this afternoon that Sullinger, who has battled back spasms and now a foot injury already this season, will play on Tuesday.

It makes no sense.

The last we saw Sullinger he was hobbling off the court on crutches, shortly after his team defeated South Carolina.

That was Saturday.

It was diagnosed officially as a bone bruise to his foot and I may be overreacting, but there's just no reason to risk throwing out there the guy who will ultimately determine whether you can make a deep run in March.

Let him sit back and listen to Christmas music. Just take it slow.

Evidently, Matta disagrees.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 9:58 am

Bob Knight commits secondary recruiting violation

By Matt Norlander

Just because you're long out of the coaching game doesn't mean you can't commit an NCAA violation.

It's looking like Bob Knight talked to a couple of recruits on the phone, and since those recruits have verbally agreed to play at Lamar, where son Pat Knight coaches, then an NCAA violation did indeed take place. Only basketball staff members, with a few exceptions, can speak with recruits about joining any sports program. Even though Bob Knight is Pat's father, he's considered a person of influence; it's why universities do their best to get famous alums around the schools as frequently as possible. Those notable alums can't speak directly to recruits, but their presence can have an influence.

It must be noted Knight had a near-flawless record with the NCAA during his coaching career. His Hall of Fame tenure at Indiana revolved around winning a ton of games (and three national titles), graduating his players and not breaking the rules. The fact this likely secondary violation has occurred drips with irony.

From the Indianapolis Star:
Regarding his conversation with Bob Knight, Minton said, “He told me that he thought I’ d be a good fit for the program and said he hoped he’d see me at Lamar.” The Beaumont Enterprise reported last week that the players “attended the Lamar football game Saturday and talked by phone with Bob Knight.”

NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said he couldn’t comment specifically on the Lamar situation because he didn’t know the details. He added, however, “Generally speaking, telephone calls to prospects can only be made by coaching staff members or those listed in the exceptions.” The exceptions include the university president and academic advisors.
Lamar is reported to be dealing with the situation internally right now, and it's likely they'll self-report and receive a slap on the wrist. Pat Knight, who's about as different from his dad as you could expect, didn't hide from the issue. In fact, in the following  135 words, he sounds a lot like Pop.

“It was a quick hello on the phone and that was it,” he told the Star. “We recruited the heck out of the kids. He had nothing to do with that. I mean, he just was excited we were recruiting Indiana again and wanted to say hello to them and that was it.”

Pat Knight added, “At least I’m not paying them. The NCAA should look into guys that are paying players and not worry about guys that are doing it the right way. ... I don’t care if my dad is a celebrity or not. I think it’s (expletive), honestly. The guy is my dad. If he wants to say hello to a recruit, he can. If we get reprimanded, fine. They need to check into guys that are outright cheating instead of nickel-dime stuff like that.”

And ... scene. Thank you, Pat Knight.

Photo: AP
Posted on: July 19, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 10:06 am

Pat Knight more comfortable at Lamar

By Jeff Goodman

Pat Knight is the first one to admit it.

``It was the best thing that happened to me,” said the former Texas Tech coach. ``I haven’t had this much fun since I was at Akron.”

That was a dozen years ago – when he spent one season as an assistant with the Zips.

Now Knight is the head coach at Lamar – after being fired at Texas Tech following three-plus seasons and a 50-61 overall mark.

``There’s no BS in recruiting now,” Knight said. ``No cheating. I’m a flip-flop, old-school guy and now I don’t have to put on a show.”

Knight is the first one to say he was spoiled, taking over the job at Texas Tech when he father, Bob Knight, retired.

Knight was set to take the year off this season, and likely do some broadcasting work, but then he was contacted when the Lamar job opened up.

He made some calls – and was told the same thing by everyone. It’s one of the best jobs in the Southland and he’d take over a team that has the talent to compete for one of the top spots in the league.

``That’s why I took the job,” he said. ``The pieces were already in place. I just needed to get some help up front.”

Knight has four of the team’s top five scorers back – including guards Mike James (12.5 ppg), Anthony Miles (11.9 ppg) and Devon Lamb (9.5 ppg).

``They were enamored with the 3 last year and they are streaky shooters,” Knight said. ``But those guys are really quick.”

Then he added a pair of junior college frontcourt guys in Nikko Acosta and Stephen Coles.

``They can shoot the 3, post it and also drive it,” Knight said. ``In our motion offense, we don’t need them clogging up the middle.”

Photo: AP
Posted on: June 29, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 10:13 am

Bob Knight set to be honored by alma mater

By Jeff Goodman

Bob Knight will finally be honored by his alma mater.

Knight’s son, Pat, told CBSSports.com that Ohio State will honor his father when Lamar plays in Columbus on Dec. 20.

My dad’s excited about it,” Pat Knight told CBSSports.com.

Pat Knight was the head coach at Texas Tech for the past three-plus seasons, taking over in the middle of the 2008 season after his father retired. The younger Knight was fired after last season, but wound up getting the job at Lamar in the Southland Conference.

Knight said that the previous staff had already scheduled road games at Kentucky and Louisville. He needed another “buy” game and asked the current players at Lamar what team they wanted to play.

They agreed on Ohio State, which also happened to be the program that Bob Knight played for from 1959-62. Knight was a reserve on the 1960 national championship team.

Pat Knight then called the Buckeyes, who agreed to the game – and also recommended honoring his father either prior to or at halftime of the game.

``They’d been trying to get him back up for a basketball or football game, but it just hasn’t happened,” Pat Knight said. ``So this will be fun, for him to go back and them to honor him.”
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: April 7, 2011 11:47 am

Knight should relish rare second chance at Lamar

Pat Knight should relish his rare second chance at Lamar.

Posted by Eric Angevine

I've honestly always had mixed emotions when a legendary coach hands his job over to one of his kids. On the one hand, it seems unfair to other rising coaches who may be more qualified, but never even get a chance to interview. On the other hand, it usually feels unfair to the man who gets the golden opportunity, as well. Sure, he's getting a big-money job early in his career, but the weight of expectation is almost always too heavy to carry.

We've seen a lot of this recently, with Pat Knight and Texas Tech being only the latest example of how tough it is when this sort of thing happens. The first example of this that I remember clearly happened at DePaul. For younger fans, it's hard to imagine that DePaul was once one of the greatest jobs in America, thanks to the legendary Ray Meyer, who compiled 724 wins there and made a Final Four before handing the job over to his son, Joey.

Joey had a pretty long run of 13 years at the school, and made the NCAA tournament seven times over that span. But he was never his dad, and when the Blue Demons finally parted ways with him, that was it for his big-time coaching career. He's bounced around the NBDL ever since. Not exactly where he thought he'd end up, I'd wager.

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In that respect, Pat Knight is extremely lucky right now. He was given another shot immediately. The shot he probably should have had in the first place. The Lamar Cardinals haven't been to the Big Dance since 2000, and they can use the notoriety that will come from Knight's presence. Knight, on the other hand, can use the relative anonymity of coaching in Beaumont, Texas to build his own coaching profile under an appropriate level of scrutiny. This is, honestly, the type of job he should have had in the first place. Something that can be truly his.

The Big 12 actually has given us previous examples of the value of going it alone. When Eddie Sutton came to Oklahoma State, he had Scott Sutton as an assistant coach, then, later, his son Sean joined the staff. Scott was unwilling to wait for dad to retire, and headed out and took an assistant's job at Oral Roberts under Bill Self. He worked his way up to the head coaching spot and built a real reputation as a giant killer, knocking off Self's Jayhawks at one point, and taking the Eagles to three straight NCAA tournaments. Since then, he's been a bit of a victim of his own success, with the team's RPI falling as larger schools began to avoid the Summit League upstart (Oakland, beware). Still, one gets the sense that Sutton can climb the coaching ladder if and when he wants to take the next step, based on his own accomplishments.

Scott Sutton's younger brother, Sean, had the Joey Meyer experience, but much worse. He played and coached under his famous dad, then took over for at OSU in 2006 after Eddie struggled with prescription painkillers and alcohol abuse. Sean was out just two years later, with a 39-29 head coaching record and, eventually, addiction issues that mirrored what his father had gone through. Now he's an unpaid assistant to none other than his big brother Scott, at ORU.

There are some good things about being a crown prince, and that's all most of us tend to see. We devalue our own experiences of toiling in obscurity and working our way up the ladder, daydreaming of the privelege and ease of the handpicked successor. But today's crown princes don't have the guaranteed job for life, the way someone like England's Prince William does. They tend to get one brief shot to prove that they're loaded with magic DNA and then they're thrown on the scrap heap if they prove to be ordinary, or even above-ordinary mortals.

In that respect, Pat Knight is lucky. He has a job that allows him do what he loves. His short stint at Tech gave him a national profile that was actually very positive: Pat projects a likeable sort of forthrightness without the overt bullying and fit-throwing his father has been known to engage in. He may actually be a really good coach some day, and he has the opportunity to prove that notion on his own merits.

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