Tag:Pat Knight
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: 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: 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
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

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Posted on: March 8, 2011 11:52 am

MU's Williams generating Buzz at Texas Tech

Buzz Williams is a native Texan, but would he leave the Big East for Lubbock?

Posted by Eric Angevine

So, Pat Knight is out at Texas Tech. Not too surprising. He had the same impossible task Sean Sutton had when he took over a Big 12 program from his Hall of Fame father, if not worse. The Red Raiders don't have anywhere near the hoops pedigree that the Oklahoma State Cowboys do, but their expectations are now sky-high because they once got lucky and hired Bobby Knight for a cameo appearance.

I suspect the younger Knight will get another chance. But where does the Texas Tech administration turn now? Newspapers across the Lone Star state are throwing out wish lists, so let's examine some of the more rational suggestions:

Billy Gillispie (Ronin): His name always comes up first, and for good reason. The guy was a barn-burning success at UTEP and Texas A&M before he got in over his head at Kentucky. Texas is his home state, and he'd likely be welcomed back into the Big 12 with open arms. Billy Clyde looks like the top choice right now.

Buzz Williams (Marquette): Another straight-shootin' Texan, which is why his name seems to come up when locals start dreaming. I don't know how much money Tech has to spend on this kind of hire, but I'd have to think it would take a pretty good upgrade to entice Williams from the powerful Big East to an also-ran in the shrinking Big 12. They'd love his free-wheeling style down in Lubbock, though.

Joe Dooley (Kansas): If you can't beat 'em, hire 'em. Dooley's is one of the top names to come up for every open job when assistant coaches are interviewed. He has a pretty good deal where he is, and he's seen other former KU assistants (Tim Jankovich at Illinois State being the most recent) struggle to succeed when disconnected from the Allen Field House magic. Then again, he probably doesn't want to wait forever, and the Big 12 is a soft landing no matter what.

Doc Sadler (Nebraska): I scoffed the first time I read this, then it came up again and again. He's a former Red Raider assistant who is well thought of at the school, so maybe they will make a run at him. Sadler would have to judge for himself if the risk is worth it: is he jumping before he is pushed out of the Big Ten-bound Husker program, or is he giving up just before new facilities and a new conference home turn things around?

These are the most frequently mentioned names for the gig, and it's not a bad list. The issue at this point will be finding the right fit vs. reaching for the exciting, sexy headline pick. Which is not to say that the headline pick is always a fraud - look at Steve Lavin's first year at St. John's for proof that it can work. But there might be an assistant coach out there, perhaps someone as near as Rodney Terry or Russell Springmann from Texas, who is the right fit for the job, yet won't get his due as a candidate because he's not a big name. We watched other large-conference schools (Oregon, DePaul and Wake Forest come to mind) go through this last summer only to be turned down repeatedly.

Having just attended the CAA final yesterday, I'd like to throw another name into the hat. Old Dominion's Blaine Taylor is not a Texan and has no ties to the state that I'm aware of. But the former Montana Grizzlies point guard just won back-to-back conference championships, can recruit, coaches tough defense and has a way with the media. If his team pulls another upset or two in the NCAA tournament this season, he'll be a very hot commodity. Someone at Tech should have the vision to look far and wide to find Taylor and others like him who might be ready for the next step, regardless of name recognition.

Updated NCAA Division I coaching changes

Photo: US Presswire
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Posted on: March 7, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: March 7, 2011 11:44 am

Knight will leave Texas Tech after Big 12 tourney

Posted by Matt Norlander

We have our first major-conference coaching casualty of 2011.

After it was first reported Monday morning by Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com, Dennis Dodd confirmed through the school that Texas Tech coach Pat Knight has been fired. He will remain with the team until its run in the Big 12 tournament ends this week.

Knight never got it going in Lubbock. He took over midway through the 2007-08 season, when his father, Bob, abruptly left the coaching business. Pat always had a huge shadow to live in, what with the fact his dad is still the all-time leader in career wins in men's college basketball. Still, Lubbock seemed a good place to try and escape that shadow, or at least not be consumed and overwhelmed by it. It's not a hotbed for hoops, and expectations are anything but lofty.

But consistent losing, and many times in uncompetitive fashion, can't follow a coach for more than three season at the BCS-conference level. So Knight's gone, and he'll likely get another shot at a mid-major school some time in the near future.  

The Red Raiders are a 13-18 team that finished 5-11 in the Big 12 this season. Knight has gone the past three seasons with a 46-53 record and no NCAA tournament appearances.

Photo: AP

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Category: NCAAB
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