Professional and College Basketball Forums banner

241 - 260 of 4436 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Agreed, occasionally decent St. Marys and BYU isn't enough to challenge a team that wants to make some noise in the dance. It just engenders complacency at exactly the wrong time. Teams need that blast furnace of real competition to really find their edge.
So let's get the Gonzaga to A10 campaign started. (And it would give St. Louis a nearby western opponent!)
 

·
Piker
Joined
·
8,502 Posts
Discussion Starter #242
Bob McKillop in the right place
Dana O'Neil
ESPN.com | October 20, 2014



BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The coach, young enough to be considered on the rise yet seasoned enough to turn heads at bigger schools, was at the intersection most successful coaches find themselves standing at during their career.

To stay or go?

He knew all of the reasons to leave -- bigger salary, bigger budget and the perceived prestige that comes along with all of that.

What he wanted to know, though, was what drove a man to stay?

Longevity is often roadkill in college coaching, run over by coaches on their way to better jobs, or administrations patrolling for replacements. That doesn't give a young coach looking for advice too many places to turn.

Only six current Division I coaches are eligible for gold watches from their current employers -- Jim Boeheim (heading into Year 39 at Syracuse), Greg Kampe (31 at Oakland), Bob McKillop (26 at Davidson), Tom Izzo (20 at Michigan State), Phil Martelli (20 at Saint Joseph's) and Fran O'Hanlon (20 at Lafayette).

This particular coach, who asked to keep his name private, opted for someone like himself, someone who has tasted the riches of NCAA tournament success on a small-school budget.

He called McKillop.
With his perfectly styled gray hair and impeccable manners, McKillop may resemble the Southern gentlemen from Davidson, North Carolina, but he is first, foremost and always, a New Yorker. His answer was fittingly blunt.

"What do you want to be? A mercenary?" McKillop remembers saying. "It's about fit. In order to do this job well, you have to sink both feet solidly in the door. You can't try the job. You have to commit to it. If you look at this job as some sort of corporate climb up the ladder, it's a mistake."

That's an especially interesting perspective this season, as McKillop and Davidson join the Atlantic 10.

With Power 5 autonomy and cost-of-attendance payments threatening smaller-budgeted schools, the line in college athletics is being redrawn just as coaches, who once always jumped to the next best thing, seem more inclined to sit still. The A-10 used to be a stepping-stone league -- John Calipari, Thad Matta and Sean Miller are all alums.

But thanks largely to the league's success, there isn't such a rush to jump.

"Make the job you have your next job," is how UMass' Derek Kellogg referred to the new way of thinking among coaches, a motto Kellogg, VCU's Shaka Smart, Rhode Island's Dan Hurley and Dayton's Archie Miller have (so far) followed.

Can that mindset survive after the money is split even more unequally? Even with better facilities and a stronger infrastructure, can teams compete and succeed once autonomy is realized?

McKillop, at once a league rookie and coaching dean, stopped worrying about those questions years ago. He has remained at what was, until this season, a Southern Conference school with tough admission standards and a tiny enrollment. He's won 61 percent of his games, nine conference coach of the year honors, and appeared in seven NCAA tournaments, most memorably his Stephen Curry-fueled Elite Eight run in 2008.

Is that success?

It depends on your definition, or more, who's defining it.

"He told me you don't need all of this other stuff to validate you," said the younger coach McKillop counseled. "A lot of it can be intoxicating -- whether it's financial, prestige, celebrity, whatever you want to call it. And there's a lot of noise and a lot of voices around us telling us what success is, but Bob is a person who has listened to his own voice and done what makes him happy. That's a pretty powerful thing to achieve."

McKillop didn't come to such wisdom without some soul-searching. Other schools have wooed him -- if St. John's has an opening you can bet his name will be linked to it -- and he even once was tempted to leave.

In 2006, right when Curry came to campus, McKillop interviewed with Seton Hall. The pull to go home for the Queens, New York, native was strong, as was the lure of playing in a league he'd long admired. Seton Hall instead went with Bobby Gonzalez (insert required slap to forehead here) and two years later, McKillop went on that joyful ride to the Elite Eight.

"You realize that home is where you raised your family, not where you were raised," McKillop said.

Asked if he recognized that immediately, McKillop nodded, "I reconciled it."

Along with no regrets, he's never second-guessed his decision to stay put. He considers his players his sons -- when Jouni Eho was married in 2005, McKillop showed up at the wedding ... in Finland. He likens his memories with them to photo albums stuffed with pictures from holidays.

"You don't divorce yourself from that," he said simply.

Instead McKillop has embedded himself in the school in a way that sounds too apple-pie-perfect to be true.

His three kids are all Davidson alums. His picture-perfect house with the requisite white picket fence sits across the street from the team's practice facility (that, McKillop said, can be a drawback for his wife, Cathy, when the short walk home from a bad practice doesn't give him time to clear his head).

Recruits are treated to dinner there -- Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley still remembers the chicken Parmesan he was served on a visit -- and players meet there regularly. There's a preseason dinner, complete with some sort of freshman dress-up tradition -- "I can't say exactly what happens. That's a secret," Curry said with a laugh -- and the end-of-year celebration is held there, too.

"He reminds me a lot of my dad," Hurley said, referencing longtime high school coach Bob Hurley Sr. "He's at a place where he's happy. My dad always thought, 'I know who I am. I need Jersey City as much as Jersey City needs me.' I think it's the same with Coach McKillop. There's a great message in that for all of us."

The message McKillop preaches above all else is spelled out in a sign in the Davidson locker room: trust, commitment, care, or T.C.C., as his players have abbreviated it.

Those letters, plus a 30 for his number, represent the only body art tattooed on Curry's body (it's on the inside of his wrist). During his run to the Elite Eight and in his five years in the NBA since, Curry has embodied those principles as well as anyone. Respectful and polite, he is as revered for his simple decency as he is for his lethal shooting.

Curry said his most influential teacher, along with his parents, was a man who now coaches on a court named in his honor, yet acts like he started his career a week ago.

"It's that humble spirit that he has," said Curry, who remains close to his college coach today. "Those three attributes apply to how you build a team, but it's also about everything you do in your life. That's how he carries himself. I can't tell you how many times when I talk to my teammates we talk about T.C.C. It's a part of everything we do."

T.C.C., really, was at the crux of the message McKillop delivered to the young coach who sought his advice -- to trust his own voice, to commit to something, and above all else, to care about what he's doing.

Coaching is defined by numbers -- wins, losses, salaries, budgets, and of course, Sweet 16s, Elite Eights, and Final Fours. But really it's not unlike any other job. The good gigs are about more than the paycheck.

Bob McKillop has the numbers.

He also has something that can't be quantified.

"Being happy where you are?" the young coach said. "That's a really cool place to be."



http://m.espn.go.com/ncb/story?storyId=11729969&src=desktop&rand=ref~{"ref":"http://t.co/SXHjHYizBC/s/qoRY"}
 

·
Piker
Joined
·
8,502 Posts
Discussion Starter #243
Josh Verlin ‏@jmverlin 7 minutes ago
Saint Joseph's announces freshman Markell Lodge will sit out the 2014-15 season to "concentrate on academics"

Jon Rothstein ‏@JonRothstein 1 minute ago
Saint Joseph's freshman Markell Lodge will sit out the entire 14-15 season to focus on academics, per the school.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,458 Posts
Yep. No Lodge this season.

Hawks' front court was already a weak spot. Now it's even more dire.

Will struggle to finish .500.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,622 Posts
Yep. No Lodge this season.

Hawks' front court was already a weak spot. Now it's even more dire.

Will struggle to finish .500.
I guess this means that Bembry won't make any All A-10 teams since he will now be ineligible playing for a bad team. I am told that is a big factor in player selection.
 

·
Jump Hook Assassin
Joined
·
1,868 Posts

·
Piker
Joined
·
8,502 Posts
Discussion Starter #255
Doesn't sound too crazy... I assume y'all are thinking 4 bids this year for the league?
It depends how well the A10 does out of conference and if the league has parity. If the league represents well nationally in OOC and beats up on each other in conference then at least 4 bids would be in the cards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,871 Posts
They would be the only people ever.
I've done some heavy lifting in Rochester after Bona games and always have a good time. However, I wish the Bonnies, if the off-campus games are absolutely necessary, would play them in Buffalo instead. We get much, much more coverage in the Buffalo News than the Rochester D&C.
 
241 - 260 of 4436 Posts
Top