Time For A Change

Carmody glum

So much for holding out until the end of the season.  After numbly watching the NU hoops version of Groundhog Day in another loss at Penn State yesterday I’m only printing what nearly every one of you now realizes – it is time to replace Bill Carmody.  This plea is not full of venom or disdain, but rather objective and calculated.  One that says now is the time.  Coach Carmody (NU career record 154-173) is in his 11th season at the helm in Evanston, the Big Ten’s second most tenured coach.  We’re one loss away from cementing yet another sub-.500 conference record and will have failed to muster a winning season in conference since 1968.  There is a small chance Coach Carmody might salvage an NIT bid this year which would be an unprecedented third straight bid (lost both in the first round @Tulsa, @URI).  In relative terms Carmody would own half of the six total “postseason” bids in school history and have done so in three consecutive years.  Objectively, one might argue this appears to be progress.  I say it is no longer enough. 

It is remarkable we’re writing about this less than two weeks after NU nearly upset the #1 team in the nation at Welsh-Ryan WITHOUT our best player, John Shurna, who sat out due to a concussion.  The ‘Cats followed-up that performance with a scintillating home win over then#24 Illinois.  That one week blip appears to be an anomaly in a sea of an inconsistent season that has seen little to no defense, long stretches of no energy within games and at times appearances that the head coach has given up.  To be fair, Carmody, like so many before him, has been snakebitten with the type of karma that seems to surround programs that haven’t developed a winning culture.  All you had to do was watch Wisconsin manhandle NU thanks to John Gasser’s triple double (or watch Gasser’s game-tying 3 vs Ohio State) to get a snap shot of the bad bounces we seem to get.  You see Gasser was headed to  NU – done deal. Then a spot opened up on Bo Ryan’s squad thanks to Diamond Taylor getting tossed off the team for buglarizing several dorm rooms.  Gasser pledged his future to old state U and NU was left scrambling.  There are countless tales like this.  Kevin Coble’s freak injury in 2009. John Shurna’s weekly MASH visits.  Every school has their share of these types of challenges, but somehow they seem to manifest themselves with the key players time and time again at NU. 

I give Coach Carmody a lot of credit.  He has managed to inch the program in opponents’ mindsets from “gimme win” to “expect competitiveness”.  But it’s not enough.  The Northwestern basketball program has yet to achieve consistent mediocrity and that is no longer acceptable.  Fitz has raised the bar.  Many of these very same readers on LTP are clamoring for more heat and expectation on the football program as this past season left a pretty bad taste in our mouths.  And that was a winning season.  Fitz is coming off of a losing conference record (3-5) after two straight 5-3 finishes (’08,’09) and folks are squawking.  Carmody has had one .500  conference mark (2004) in eleven seasons.  Across the board NU’s Athletics programs come with expectations of excellence.  Why should basketball be any different? When you consider it is the second in command in terms of revenue generation, the reasons for change become readily apparent.  And just to clarify, the fact Carmody has one year left on his contract doesn’t mean anything. If NU wants to make a change they can and will (it’s called a buyout). 

What makes me think that a new coach will be any different? There is no guarantee it will be. It could get worse. However, not being willing to change with the expectation that we need to take the program to the next level is not a solution.  A good friend told me yesterday that Googling and Wikipedia-ing potential coaching candidates during the Penn State game was his equivalent of “hoops porn” as it gave hope to those of us that are sick of enduring the pain.   We’re going to have a month plus of speculation time and a never-ending supply of new post material to dive in to on this subject matter. Today is not the day to go down the road of connecting Jim Phillips’ dots to Kevin White at Duke and therefore surfacing Chris Collins. Or the inevitable mention of Craig Robinson or even the untested X’s and O’s but proven recruiter Tavaras Hardy.  That is for tomorrow and the next day and the next day. 

Today is simply about voicing my want for change.  I want to hear your voice as well.  The administration reads this forum, respects it and also looks to it as a finger on the pulse of the fan base.  It’s painful for  me to write this as we’re talking about someone’s livelihood here. I don’t discount that.  I remember writing a personal letter to Coach Carmody when I saw him outcoach Bo Ryan early in his NU tenure at Welsh-Ryan.  It was something to behold.  I can’t remember a coach deserving so much credit for a win.  I thought for certain we’d found the guy who would take us to the next level.  In just his second season, Carmody got NU to 16-13,7-9 and you thought – “wow”.  After a step-back in ’03, Carmody got NU to 8-8 in conference and earned 2004 Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.  We then seemed to pleateau and while competitive went 6-10 in both ’04-’05 and ’05-’06 with the real struggle many seasons being our below average results out of conference.  Then we went south big time and won just two conference games in ’06-’07 and bottomed out in ’07-’08 with a 1-17 Big Ten mark.  How Carmody survived that two year stretch is beyond comprehension.  Henry Bienen is how, as the former president who brought his fellow Princeton hoops buddy to town staunchly stood behind Carmody once even referencing he didn’t even now how long his contract was as if to underscore how secure he was with Carmody. 

The past three seasons gave the glimmer of a Phoenix.  The combination of Kevin Coble’s emergence (and then demise) followed by the emergence of John Shurna while upticking our recruiting haul with the likes of Drew Crawford and JerShon Cobb had all of  us set for expecations that were un-NU-like.  As I’ve mentioned before, I think Jim Phillips has the chance to offer a new coach an actually enviable task.  You have an NIT level team coming back in 2011-2012.  How many new coaches at BCS level schools get to walk in when the program isn’t in full rebuild mode? I realize the sell job at NU is a tough one, despite what we may tell ourselves.  However, the combination of NU’s imminent facility overhaul combined with the actual players on the floor are a pretty interesting selling point. Heck, I’d even keep Kevin Coble’s cell phone handy as who knows what he’d think if a new coach was coming to town (not sure of eligibility rules – but can you imagine?).   The alternative of waiting makes the “get” that much harder. 

There is one major caveat to this proposed action. That is, Dr. Phillips needs to know the intentions of the current roster.  Will guys like JerShon jump ship if Carmody leaves? What about the incoming recruits? The entire premise of making a move now is based in part on the assurance your team returns.  All it takes is a Drew Crawford to say “see ya” and then the proposition for new coach to be takes a turn down rebuilding row. 

If we wait until after next season the team roster for 2012-2013 looks unwinnable from a front line perspective.  “Here you go new coach, you’ve got some talented players, but good luck having Drew Crawford play center.”  It wouldn’t be unthinkable for NU to win 18+ games next year and the momentum that would give a fresh coach with recruiting skills is something you can’t emphasize enough.  It is challenging at NU. But, in our lifetime someone will get us over the hump.   I refuse to buy in to the fact it can’t be done in Evanston.  I will continue to point 30 yards south of Welsh-Ryan as the proof point.  But, the key is to kick-start our coach to be and leverage the level that Carmody has gotten our program to.  To start over by waiting another year will make it that much more challenging and as my age continues to go up, my patience and tolerance for accepting NU hoops’ streak to continue goes down. 

I respect Coach Carmody’s basketball knowledge. He’s the kind of guy I’d love having a beer with to go over chalk talk.  I think he has done many good things at NU as our players graduate, they’ve got good character and he’s made us competitive night in and night out.  After 11 seasons that simply isn’t enough.  It’s time for a change.

Let the discourse begin.

2011 Recruiting – The Poll Results Are In:

LTP Poll Question:

What are your thoughts about the 2011 recruiting class?

  • I’m a wait-and-see type of fan (44%, 171 Votes)
  • Good, not great (32%, 125 Votes)
  • Love it, best yet in Fitz era (22%, 85 Votes)
  • Disappointed (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 393

    • Chadnudj

      @LTP: It would be charitable to say that people complaining about Fitz are of extremely low intelligence….just because a few imbeciles believe that Fitz should have a national title by now (in a relative upswing in terms of the Big Ten’s competitiveness) doesn’t make them right, or lend their views credence.

      However, I think the time may be right to replace Carmody. Not because he’s a bad coach (indeed, he’s probably the best coach Northwestern has EVER had, which is saying something). He’s improved the program pretty tremendously in his tenure (and yes, I realize that saying this is faint praise, but we’re about to head to ANOTHER NIT appearance, hopefully)…..but we need more. And I don’t know whether the passion is there anymore from Carmody.

      Find a passionate, young, smart head coach. Require that he keep Tavaras Hardy (our team’s best recruiter) on staff. And see what happens….Thanks, Bill Carmody, but I just think it’s time to change.

    • Lake The Posts

      @chadnudj – thanks for the thoughts. You hit on the exact sentiment re: Carmody I am aiming for – “thank you, but it’s time for a change.” I don’t think fans here of any kind are of “low intelligence”. I actually think there points are merited. Specifically, there is a big picture love of Fitz for all the good he does, however, that shouldn’t preclude us from being objective about the problems – and there are problems – that exist among a team that is defensively deficient. I think those that are gameday critical think there is a sentiment of rah-rah for anything Fitz does and that he is a football deity. The counter is that I think those of us that are very much Fitz-atics believe that the complainers don’t get that we’re not saying he’s perfect. I actually think most are saying the same thing. That is, Fitz is great for NU – a perfect fit. However, you can’t defend giving up the kind of points we did down the stretch and at some point the growing pains of a coach thrust in to a new job have to translate in to correcting those mistakes. Bottom-line – Fitz is a great fit for NU but he needs to keep winning.

    • Lake The Posts

      @Chadnudj- Sorry – “their points” not there. See, I’m the one with the low intelligence.

    • TypeO

      Kudos, that took some balls. You have a following and I expect you will get some heat. It is the right call though.

      As far as replacements go, please, no C Robinson or anyone from the Duke coaching tree. I have not seen a single success come from Coach K’s bloodline.

      I have witnessed the same thing for over 25 years under Falk, Foster, Birdsong, O’Neill and now BC. It is truly Groundhog Day.

    • JimB

      It’s pretty apparent that Carmody needs to go. As LTP notes, he just doesn’t look invested in the team anymore, and I think that definitely trickles down. So, I’m with NUmanager from the previous post: cut Carmody loose now (with thanks for all he’s done) and give Hardy the interim tag.

      We still have a slim shot at the NIT but it’s not going to happen if we ride out the status quo. It’s maybe not a fair tryout situation, but it’s better than Tavaras would get if they wait until the offseason – I just can’t see them handing such an unknown quantity the keys straight away. Maybe the guys respond and he gets them to the NIT, maybe even a victory. Or maybe not and we at least have some insight into how he would coach and how the guys respond to him. At the very least it would make the final part of the season interesting, rather than just playing out the string.

      I acknowledge that it probably won’t help recruiting – but it’s for only a month, after which time Phillips will presumably move quickly to fill the spot on a permanent basis. Given that most of the recruits signed up for Hardy anyway, I can’t see it hurting much. I’m sure a number of other coaches are negatively recruiting against Carmody right now anyway saying that he’s probably gone soon.

    • PaleButPurple

      LTP, I agree with your thoughtful conclusions. Sincere thanks to Coach Carmody, but it’s time for a change. Frankly, the ‘Cats are not even playing at NIT level right now and don’t deserve an invitation.

      However, I’m less optimistic than you about any coach being able to get NU over the hump. Even though I like the current structures for both football and basketball post-season play, it is easier for a Big Ten team to qualify for a bowl game than for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. And sneaking into the Big Dance through a play-in game compared to the former 64-team field just doesn’t cut it.

      We have no real basketball tradition — at least to most current NU fans — no history of winning and, as a result, a meager following. Welsh-Ryan is rarely a hostile environment for visitors. It’s amazing we’ve recruited some of the players we have had over the years. We should never lower our academic standards, and as a consequence I just don’t see any coach finding enough of the right players who can get in to NU and complete the turnaround.

      Ironically, I believe this haunts us every time I see an open player hold up, back off and not take a shot. They’re actually too smart! Instead of being automatic they stop to think about it, analyze the defense, calculate the arc, estimate the arena’s humidity and draftiness and then . . . well, it’s too late.

      And like you, emotionally I’ve checked out. I may skip the final home games. Call me a bad fan, but it’s just too painful to watch.

    • Gargantuan

      Your “thanking” of Carmody would hold a lot more water if you hadn’t just posted your Dr. Phil psychoanalysis of him as “a pouting, sarcastic scowler” and “not exactly the guy who will instill optimism in mom or dad in the living room.”

      Seriously, sometimes you make it sound like Carmody shot your dog, or something.

      It might very well be time for us to move on from Carmody. But I think your attacks on his personality and makeup are really out of line.

    • http://twitter.com/kinsella316 kinsella316

      I’m with LTP here on the following two points:
      1) I’m emotionally detached from this team now so yesterday’s game barely registered with me. “Oh, NU’s getting their butts kicked on BTN right now? What day is it?” Lack of defense, intensity, rebounding make this squad less than a B1G team at the moment, and that is unacceptable.
      2) Thanks for raising the bar, Coach Carmody, but it’s time for a change.

      The inconsistency of this team is absolutely frustrating. I’m a diehard so I’m not going anywhere and won’t be threatening to not renew, etc., but man, all the excitement and expectations of the last two years has been flushed down the toilet in the past few weeks.

      It’s Jimmer time for this guy. Hi Alec.

    • Drew

      While I agree with the thesis that it is time for Carmody to go, I really wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed on for another year at least. I know what a buyout is, but I also know they gave him an extension this summer after not making the tournament for 10+ years. I’m not as big of a basketball fan, but how is the logic of giving him an extension last summer any different than not firing him now? He was poised to make a run at the tournament with a “star” returning (whoops) from a season crippling injury. Would it really be that unexpected if the administration gave him another shot while he finishes out his contract?

    • NUdone88

      I feel bad for Juice Thompson. He is trying so hard and playing well in his senior swang song. It’s time. Let’s quit debating. Bill C will be fine. Keep T. Hardy.

      They say hunched shoulders show it all. Our coaching staff and some of the players are mailing it in. I bet one and done in Big10 Tournament too.

      We need a young media darling as new coach. That will help with recruiting and hopeful renovations of WRA-McGH.

      Oliver Purnell is really off to a bad start at DePaul. We need the right hire!!!

    • cece

      Why oh why did Carmody get an extension in the summer? And why was there not intervention with the Coble matter? Did the members of the team not want Coble back? Otherwise, why not let him come back after Italy? couldn’t the team have used the help?
      The first action Phillips took when he came in was to fire the women’s basketball coach. Carmody was not too far ahead in worth then. we could have used that firing action on the men’s side long ago.

      please no Coach Robinson. seriously.

    • cece

      oh, and Teddy Greenstein has LTP mention up in Breaking News in the Trib!

    • Paul

      @Garguantuan

      What you call personal attacks on Carmody I call accurate descriptions. Its tough to imagine how Carmody’s irritability on the sidelines can be any help to the mentality of players. Look at a guy like Brad Stevens at Butler; he’s always calm and collected and his players respond to that. I hope we can get a new coach with the same kind of positivity.

      Firing Carmody now and letting Tavaras coach as interim is an interesting idea; I don’t think it will happen, but it would give the administration a chance to better assess Tavaras’s coaching ability and see if he’s a good candidate for the permanent job.

    • NCat99

      LTP makes a great point – Carmody did take the program, on the whole, to a new level. The problem is, the Carmody way ran out of gas about 80% of the way there.

      Thanks, Bill, but you clearly don’t have what we need for the next steps. Also, sometimes, a change just needs to be made.

    • Exasperated

      My primary criticisms of Coach Carmody throughout his tenure at NU have been: (a) his inability to ever get one of his teams to play good sound, fundamental defense; and (b) the negativism he seems to carry with him that derails his ability to inspire his players.

      Defense is about proper technique, but mostly it’s about desire and a tenacious attitude. Too often, our players fail to exhibit either. I’d argue that players with the athleticism and skill level good enough to perform at a high level on offense should find it even easier to excel on defense…but only if they approach it with toughness and tenacity.

      As for negativity, Coach Carmody’s frank style is often refreshing to outsiders…coach-speak is a concept totally unfamiliar to him. Over the course of time, however, it comes across as lacking confidence in his players to rise above a mediocre level. It has the opposite effect of inspiring his team, and in fact, results in too many people within the program shrugging off embarrassing losses like yesterday’s Penn State debacle.

      I’ve followed NU basketball for over 40 years, so I understand what Coach Carmody has done to elevate the program beyond what it was previously throughout that period. But we’re talking about having taken a program from the Dark Ages to just plain bad….in a few years, he’s achieved mediocrity, but nothing beyond that.

      Can anyone else do better? Remains to be seen…the barriers remain and are formidable. Without a serious facilities upgrade, I have my doubts. But two things I know are that no team that plays zero defense will ever be a factor in the Big Ten; and no highly successful coach I can think of has ever done it without a passionate, optimistic approach that inspires his players.

      Thanks to Coach Carmody, a fine man who has run an honorable program, but it’s time to give someone else an opportunity.

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    • zeek

      @Chadnudj

      I think some of the complaints about Fitz are quite valid, particularly re: the end of the season defensive collapses. Those were dark ages defenses that we put on the field, but no one is calling for Fitz’s ouster, we’re simply saying that those kinds of defensive efforts are unacceptable. Of course, not having Persa is a large part of that since he puts together long, turnover-less drives that eat up clock, but still, you could find valid complaints with Fitz’s game planning at the end of the season. There was also the situation at Wisconsin where he continually switched quarterbacks just as Watkins would get some kind of rhythm and then Watkins would had a bad play upon next being inserted, etc..

      Regardless, this is about Carmody. There had been some hope that Carmody would be able to make a respectable showing of the season after the Illinois and Ohio State games, but the team lacks too many fundamentals besides the obvious talent gap between our front court and the top half of the Big Ten. It seems pretty definitive that Carmody won’t be able to break into the top half of the Big Ten because he isn’t able to bring in the right players or teach a passable defensive scheme.

    • NU ARA 95

      How do we attract the best coach? Committ to building this:
      http://portfolio.populous.com/projects/louisvillearena.html

      A downtown arena (that would double as a convention center for Evanston and improve relations) would serve notice that the administration is serious and solve several problems:
      1. Student attendance–the student body could realistically walk to games.
      2. Commencement–a venue that could hold a university-wide events that is comfortable and dry and large enough.
      3. Right of the Purple line and Metra Lines and Downtown parking garage–easy access.
      4. Vastly improve ‘Town/Gown’ relations with added tax revenues (ticket sales for all events including concerts)

      Real estate is reasonable and we could enter into a public-private partnership with Evanston to make this happen.

    • Paul

      @NU ARA 95

      All right…as long as it isn’t named the KFC Yum! Center, haha.

    • NU ARA 95

      Agreed. AON Center (Hello Pat Ryan) would work just fine.

    • Gargantuan

      @Paul
      Carmody’s irritability on the sidelines is not unique to him. Check out Coach K’s constipated expression. Check out Coach McKeown’s expression during a women’s game sometime. Seriously, the screeds here against Carmody’s sideline demeanor here border on ridiculous. Different coaches have different styles. To suggest that players don’t respond to Carmody’s personality is baseless speculation.

      In every interview I’ve seen where they’ve been asked about Carmody, every single Wildcat talks about what a sense of humor Carmody has, the open door to his office, the positive mentoring and the great relationship they have. We’ve got the kid of an NBA ref and a recruit for next year who’s the son of an NBA executive. You think those parents might know a thing or two about Carmody’s coaching style, his persona and how he might rub off on their kids? I’ll take their assessments of how Carmody carries himself over LTP’s.

    • Db

      They aren’t firing carmody before the end of the year, and I would be surprised if they moved on it until after he fails again next year.

      Also no one is building this godforsaken program a new arena. And if you did it, it should be on campus.

    • NJ Cat

      I agree with your analysis/conclusion. It sort of feels to me like he has run out of ideas and run out of enthusiasm. Yes, it could get worse with another coach, and yes it could get better with another coach, but after 11 years we can assume that the upside to BC isn’t much higher than where the Cats are now. As far as messing with a guys livelihood, he has made millions at NU and is 58 or 59 so he won’t be eating dog food in his retirement……..

    • NU ARA 95

      I would have to agree with Paul here. This season is not over. The Cats have a realistic opportunity to go 8-10 in Big Ten. If they win one game in the tourney and then get a home game (hopefully) in the NIT and win it–you would be hard-pressed to say that the program has not moved forward–especially considering Shurna’s lingering injury. If the ‘Cats end up 22-13 for the season and win their first post-season game since ’94…Carmody deserves another 2 year extension. If the ‘Cats do not make the NIT and lose out the rest of the season–a change course should be made. Also, If Coble is indeed still eligible, why not have Carmody and the Administration cry ‘mea culpa’ and offer him a opportunity to earn his masters and bring the ‘Cats to the Tourney in ’12. Just saying.

    • NUmanager

      The Coach K tree may not have born a ton of great fruit (no one ever seems to remember that Bray at ND is from that tree).

      I know many people that post here didn’t like Collins as a player… But when a good fit is a good fit.. it might just be a good fit. Not only was he a star on the North Shore in high school, he’s been responsible for recruiting this area for Duke for years. Recruiting Chicago kids is tricky because of the seedy AAU grip in this area. But Collins knows the lay of the land.

      My guess is that the reason kids come to NU is for the degree and not basketball fame. They come for the $250K educational package that comes with signing. As long as Crawford stays, I’d doubt guys would jump ship if Carmody had to go.

      Hell, we’ve had a hard enough time keeping our current players with him leading the team, how bad could it be?

    • NU ARA 95

      @Db
      A new arena would not just be for the program–but really for the entire University. Also, a near north Downtown arena is as close to an ‘on campus’ arena as we are going to get–much closer than the Central Street athletic facilities–building on the lakefill or other actual ‘on-campus’ locations would be too expensive/diminish future necessary academic facilities opportunies and finally would not have the public tranportation/parking needed within blocks to make it feasible.

      When they built Welsh-Ryan in the ’50′s–we were not exactly a basketball powerhouse and it was considered a very important municipal project for Evanston and the North Shore. Such a downtown facility would serve a similiar purpost 60 years later with 60 year later amenities and design.

      Comments?

    • Paul

      @Gargantuan

      Wow, NU basketball players said they like BC, what a shock. Why don’t we ask someone not obligated to speak politically correct about the man, maybe Kevin Coble? And just to make it clear I never said the players don’t like him, I’m sure a lot of the players do. All I said is that his exasperation on the sidelines negatively impacts the performance of his players. It seems like straightforward psychology that when your leader is perpetually whiny and negative that you will typically adopt a similar attitude. I also didn’t say you can’t win with that mentality, I just don’t think its the best approach to coaching. Yes, Coach K is also whiny, but he has other skills that BC doesn’t have (I think we can both agree on that) and the players respect the hell out of him simply because he’s Coach K and they’re willing to work their asses off for him.

    • Db

      First off I dont take pleasure in talking about removing someone from his job, especially when that person is a good man and runs a clean program. That said, if I was as ineffective at my job as Coach C has been, there would be a lot more than speculation about replacing me.

      I agree with LTP that the head coach of Northwestern is a more attractive position while it still has a few D1 caliber players left. That said I’m not sure what the promise of another 5 or 6 win Big 10 season means in the broader scheme of things.

      I disagree with the notion that Shurna, Cobb, Crawford, or anyone else would consider leaving their education and position on the Northwestern team because Carmody was leaving. Especially considering the types of names the good doctor would be entertaining as a replacement. The only players indebted to him are the half a roster of players who he gifted free education to despite not being D1 basketball players. It’s not like they can lose playing time – it’s already zero. Nor would they have other options. It actually would be a coup for an incoming coach if people left but that’s not happening – you come to Northwestern, you don’t come to play for a coach whose only consistent track record at Northwestern is mediocrity.

      There are 5 major points to me that suggest change is warranted:

      1 – Cutting Coble. D1 is full of knuckleheads. I can’t imagine whatever nonsense Coble brought was worse than what every other coach of real teams deals with. And even if it was…deal with it. You don’t cut 2nd team all big ten players. It’s not fair to your team, your school, your fans…even yourself. This team with Coble would have caused ridiculous match-up problems for everyone. They would have been BIG too. Not sure it would have mattered that they couldn’t guard anyone.

      2 – This year’s preseason schedule – it proved he doesn’t get what it takes. The guys that run the numbers nationally – not us speculating – the professionals, said this team could have gone 11-7 in conference and struggled to make the tourney. That may sound far-fetched, but these guys are right year after year. And besides, isn’t our “system” confusing? You can beat good teams in the pre-season, teach your team what playing tough competition is like, etc. This schedule was laughable – not just because it sold this team short, but it’s a slap in the face to the fans to entertain no good teams.

      3 – Lack of recruiting or developing big guys – the roster speaks for itself. And on top of that he signs 2 point guards and a guy that makes Coble look jacked. I hope they are all awesome, but haven’t you set yourself (or the next coach I suppose) up to fail?

      4 – Tactically he has devolved – As mentioned he used to win games. Drew up plays that led directly to baskets…and there is no question he has forgotten more about hoops than I’ll ever know, but this year has raised real questions:

      a – Home vs MSU – Shurna in the most important rebounding spot on one leg with game on line

      b – Away vs MSU – running an inbound play for Luka when 2 foul shots wins the game

      c – Home vs Illinois – they won, and I’m fine with taking fouls before they shoot 3s….but with their backs to the basket? in the back court? if northwestern misses one more free throw the cats lose that game. they could have played that much tighter. he didnt trust his team to make the smart play that would have iced the game (fouling after a few more secs). was odd.

      d – Complaining about getting outrebounded, when your defense for most of the year plays your smallest guy under the glass, and has your best rebounders flying out at wing shooters 25 feet from the basket. The league adjusted, we haven’t. The 1-3-1 is a gimmick, and he knows it. Yet he had nothing else in the holster. The wingspan on this team with coble would have been silly. Would have made up for a lot of deficiencies.

      5 – There are better options, and we should have a higher bar than squeaking out NIT bids every couple years.

      I realize we agreed to save #5 for a later date, but LTP touched on it, and it’s not Tavaras (though keeping him on the staff would be prudent). Chris Collins makes all the sense in the world. He is a local kid, with a Dad who everyone knows and respects. And oh yeah, he used to drop 50 on the public league with regularity. That resonates. Running 30 off the shot clock doesn’t.

    • CatInTheHat

      Could the possibility be that NU is turning into a “football school” in the same image as Duke and Indiana as “basketball schools”? Obviously, our football program is not yet at a level of prominence that those respective basketball teams have achieved, but while we have come to expect bowl eligibility in football, a basketball tournament berth (let alone any success once in the tourney) remains a pipe dream. What prevents us from becoming like, say, Penn State (well, until last year)–a powerful force most years in football that cannot seem to duplicate its success on the basketball court?

      As for Carmody, I echo LTP’s sentiment. Thanks for the memories, but it’s time to move on. He brought us from true laughingstock status to the doorstep of respectability, but that seems to be the extent of his abilities as our coach. I see this as having been a tournament-or-bust year, and not only did we bust, but we barely put up a fight. We won’t win 20 games. We might not make the NIT. The basketball program failed this year with perhaps its most talented team ever. Carmody will land on his feet, and new blood might be what the doctor ordered to bring us over the hump. I suspect, however, that it may take more than that.

    • Gargantuan

      @Paul
      Ok, fine, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I continue to hold that whether Carmody is whiny is subjective, and whether this is detrimental to the team is speculative. I think Carmody’s personality is a matter of personal taste. With all of Carmody’s shortcomings — the recruiting, the defense, the weak bench, the lackluster W-L record, what have you — to rag on his personality is asinine. In my opinion, of course.

    • Chadnudj

      I should have been clearer — Fitz is head coach, and as a head coach deserves criticism of anything and everything (in game decisions, coaching decisions, etc.) that he does wrong.

      My comment was more to the sector of fans here that have been claiming Fitz is a disappointment, a bad coach, and/or that the program is sliding downhill on Fitz’s watch. I agree with you @LTP — I think Fitz has faults (that he has been improving on — playing more freshmen shows some growth, I think he’s better in terms of in-game management than in his first season, our punt/kick coverage and return game has improved) that can legitimately be discussed, but what I cannot and will not EVER understand is the tone of some fans suggesting that he’s failing, or the program is slipping under Fitz. And those type of fans are who I was intending to address…

      That being said, we can also respect the job BC has done (again, notably better than ANY other coach has done at NU), while recognizing that he’s taken us as far as possible, and it’s time to make a change.

    • D Ryan

      Coaching major men’s sports at Northwestern is, over the long haul, a very tough life challenge. A wealthy, intelligent alumni base, and one that now has expectations that are changing, puts a ton of pressure on our coaches. Bill Carmody is a great guy, and while I don’t know him personally, I have chatted with him at the farmer’s market in Wilmette a number of times – he rides his bike there. He is always engaging, and I think he loves Northwestern and the community. But 11 years of this stuff has finally worn him down. He is a good man, a good basketball mind, a thoughtful guy – and come one, isn’t it great when the back door works against Ohio State, even when you know in your heart that we are probably going to lose the game? “Northwestern’s Princeton Offense,” whenever I hear that I get a little proud that at NU we do things a bit differently, we run different game plans, we are good shooters, and on an on. But you can only have a 5-10 point guard playing base line defense for so long. Coach Carmody is, in a word, resource constrained. Our guys are just not as good as the athletes the other schools get. Even Schurna is not THAT great an athlete. Great basketball instintcs, great shooter, gets good position, moves his feet, can dunk when he’s open, but he’s not a 40 minute both ends of the floor athlete. With that said, we’ve been blessed to have him, and he fits perfectly into Carmody’s offense. But the coach is tired – he may not even know it – but you can see it on his face, the first real sign was his #1 star player quitting the team. It doesn’t matter who was at fault. That kind of drama just doesn’t happen when everyone is on the same page. It was a huge sign, and I think most of us knew right then that there was no chance that NU would go to March Madness this year. Losing Coble was a sympton of the deeper problem, that our coach has been worn down by the losing, the hapless losing. There’s nothing he can do about it, his teams are fun to watch, but they are not, man for man, over the course of the long season, as good as the other Big 10 teams.

      This, but they way, is the biggest risk that Fitzgerald faces. How will he handle the down years, because they are going to come. And how will we handle it? Will we turn on him like some here have turned on Carmody?

      With heightened expectaions come heightened emotions, and the more the wins come the more the critics and know-it-alls come out of the wordwork and scream for bigger and better results.

      Is this the kind of Northwestern you want? You want Iowa? Do you want to rage every weekend like they do on Illinois’ blogs? Do you want kids who break into dorm rooms, and get arrested like in Madison? Do you want coaching merry-go-rounds like at Indiana, and now maybe Michigan?

      One part of me actually would like to see Coach Carmody stay, for as long as he wants. There’s something to be said about continuity. He is, really, one agile, athletic 7 footer from March Madness. That’s how close he is – one big man.

      So you want to switch because of what? Lack of results? I say he does the best he can given the players he has. You want to switch because we’re not going to March Madness? We’ve never been, why is it so important this year? Our #1 guy quit, and the next #1 guy has been hurt all year. So fire Carmody? If Tavaras Hardy is such a great recruiter why is it that he hasn’t gone out and found what Carmody needs to compete in the Big 10? We need what Dickie V calls an “aircraft carrier” in the middle – why can’t Hardy go find one or two of those kinds of recruits? One 15 point/10 rebound big man is all that separates this team from March Madness, and if we were going to the tournament I can guarantee you all that this discussion and LTP’s call for a change never happens.

    • cece

      actually, NU is a lacrosse school….the women’s lax program is the gold standard when it comes to play, recruiting, coaching. Northwestern, five time national champion. repeat that a few times and it astounds. football, basketball, volleyball, all the players and the coaches come to watch Kelly and the girls in action to see how a winner does it. It’s a mighty force, one from which much can be learned. How to play with tenacity, get the right players for the program, challenge them, literally change the way the sport is approached and how the team is dressed…..no more skirts there. Note that Kelly is one of the top recruiters in the country, man or woman, whatever the sport. emulate that, men’s hoops.

    • Paul

      @Gargantuan

      Of course what I said was speculative. Any analysis of BC is speculative, including yours, so that doesn’t detract from my argument. And if analyzing someone’s coaching style (I think that’s what you meant by “personality”) is asinine, every AD in the country is asinine.

    • http://LakeThePosts DT

      @LTP
      Well said on all counts, including your merit for saying, No Mas, per Carmody. No matter how one feels, safe to say, Bill would have been gone 5 years ago at any other “Power Conference” school… Also, hats off on your typically classy response to the first guy- per Coach Fitz… I follow this blog on pretty much a daily basis, in the process, posting from time to time… I don’t recall, ever seeing anyone on this blog, demanding National Championships from our Football program, particularly within Pat’s first five years… That said, to win a bowl game, and make a serious bid for a Big Ten Championship every five years, given the nature and BUSINESS of BCS Football, are minimum requirements of a coach at this level and conference affiliation. Needless to say, under Fitz, we have not been close to a conference championship, and while a couple entertaining losses, under Pat- we 0 for bowls… For fans to conclude, based on many elements of performance, starting with W-L and butts in the buckets at Ryan, that “All is well”, and poised for the future, is optimistic at best. If we as genuine fans, boosters, season ticket holders, etc. don’t demand performance and accountability, who will or moreover, should? Or is it more of the same, typical, status quo for NU Football Fans, to be passive aggressive, be it not showing up for games, OR drinking the purple kool aid that things are progressing in earnest, rationalizing about how much better things are than the 80′s, or the most tired schtick of all- intimating, NU is so elite intellectually, non of this crap even matters and the old “you will work for us one day” elitist snobbery that many opposing fans loathe- is still alive and well… Of course, the entrance requirements are always the tried and true “Reason” NU can’t compete at the highest levels of FBS, according to some… A few more other notable “Excuses”, but we have heard em all before…

      In terms of my goals for the Football Program as said, fan, season ticket holder, booster, occasional maniac, etc. the following applies as priority(s) for 2011… Frankly, the only one I EXPECT, is A after 5 years of Fitz– albeit B, should be more than attainable at this point;

      A)- Bowl Win -ANY BOWL
      B)- Year end, AP, or BCS- Top 25 ranking
      C)- Big Ten Conference Championship
      D)- BCS Bowl Appearance
      E)- Top 10 Ranking
      F)- National Championship

      Let’s just say, if Fitzgerald, with the 9 starters on “O”, and 7 back on “D” (according to his note in my season ticket renewal that came today…) can’t hit at least A and/or B on that list, then, despite the level of affinity most have for him, dating back to his playing days, Fitz should truly be held professionally accountable for the performance of his program, particularly, after five and soon to be, six years as head coach…. Mediocrity, is not the goal, at the level Northwestern University chooses to compete in Football. % of student’athletes graduating, and GPA is notable, but, wins and loss, and revenue, at the end of the day, is what its about at this level- thus, Fitz’ million dollar + compensation… Coach Fitzgerald deserves the same level of scrutiny as Coach Carmody… That said, I know we all HOPE that Fitz is successful, eliminating a potential Carmody scenario, in the next few years….

    • Gargantuan

      @Paul
      There is speculative analysis, and then there is reasoned analysis. A reasoned analysis can be made on X’s and O’s, and we can have a debate over Carmody’s offensive/defensive strategies or his substitution patterns or any number of other things that are decided on the court. What’s speculative is basing an argument for firing a coach on his personality and its potential impact on his players/recruits. I can see what’s happening on the court, and I can make a reasonable analysis on what I think should have been done. We all engage in this kind of second guessing. But neither you nor I have any insight on how Carmody comes across to his players or recruits. Sure, we can infer. I just think that to base a “fire the coach” thesis even partly on his demeanor is silly.

    • CatInTheHat

      @ cece: Touche :)

    • Lake The Posts

      @all – well said in the comments. Good, well-demeanored debate with intelligent, insightful and respectful points. @D Ryan – indeed, we have been close, but close doesn’t cut it. No matter which way you turn re: the reasons it comes back to the top. No big man? Ultimately falls on coach for recruiting (even if it is Tavaras who is the guy responsible for recruiting). As I tried to articulate, it may not get better and it may get worse. But, I simply believed we have pleateaued. The defense doesn’t improve and now the forecast for personnel looks pretty challenging post next season. It is a very rare chance NU has to put a new coach in a position to win instantly – and by win – I mean a 17, 18-win season in year one. That kind of wind behind the sails of a new face, combined with the imminent news of a new facility and you have a story to craft to help us land the type of kids that will get us to a .500 level year-in and year-out. Not asking for the world – asking for a jump to the next level – mediocrity.

    • LookGoodInPurple

      I’m not sure Carmody wants this job nearly as much as some suggest. He has never embraced the “marketing” aspect of the job. Anyone remember this good post from LTP??
      http://www.laketheposts.com/index.php/2009/04/all-dressed-up-with-no-carmody-to-go/

    • Db

      Of note – the basketball team was in nyc for 3 days and carmody had no alumni events. that is not on him to schedule, but if you are a long-timer, aren’t you supposed to alumni outreach when it’s easy?

      He wears his frustration on his sleeve. 18 year olds pick up on that. and when games don’t start right, they can be victims of their mentor’s emotions (penn st, illinois, wisc). It’s not healthy, and he would probably be the first to admit that.

    • Don C.

      While I agree that we need to take a look at replacing Coach Carmody, I believe the entire group of assistance needs to go even if Carmody stays. If you look at Curletti and Mirkovic and the word that comes to mind is soft. I have never seen a more useless waste of height as Luka. I am waiting to see how Rowley does at St. Mary’s and if he looks remotely like a low post presence we should hold Coach Hardy and Coach Vujic accountable. I see no teaching with this team. The fundamentals of low post play are not there. I also blame the entire administration on not finding a way to work out the Kevin Coble situation. Any one that knows the history of this program could have foreseen an injury to Shurna or Crawford and having Coble, even if only able to play 10-15 minuets a night is better than a fully healthy Mike Capocci. There is no teaching and no depth. To me that is a bad recipe for disaster. Let me start the coaching fantasizing by suggesting Bob Thomason at Pacific ( great coach with proven success at an academic school) or maybe Rex Walters at San Francisco? It is sad that it has come to this.

    • Db

      Why in the world would you suggest someone that transferred away from Northwestern? Could there be a worse choice? If the list includes all of the D1 coaches in the country, he would be in a battle with Isiah Thomas for literally the last place on the list.

    • Don C.

      Just throwing it out as a why the hell not and it beats saying Bobby Knight. To be honest who would want to come here? This roster is a mess with no one to play in the middle. I will contribute to by Luka a ticket back to the Baltic

    • Anonymous

      I will contribute to by Luka a ticket back to the Baltic
      ——–
      For starters, I didn’t know that Belgrade, Serbia was in the Baltic… I think someone needs a refresher on European geography.

      I, for one, welcome Luka to both stay on the team (and grow and improve!) and, more importantly, stay at Northwestern to finish his degree. The education part has to count for something, right?

    • Drew

      Bill Carmody at Northwestern:
      2000–2001 Northwestern 11–19 3–13 11th
      2001–2002 Northwestern 16–13 7–9 7th
      2002–2003 Northwestern 12–17 3–13 10th
      2003–2004 Northwestern 14–15 8–8 T–5th
      2004–2005 Northwestern 15–16 6–10 8th
      2005–2006 Northwestern 14–15 6–10 T–8th
      2006–2007 Northwestern 13–18 2–14 T–10th
      2007–2008 Northwestern 8–22 1–17 11th
      2008–2009 Northwestern 17–14 8–10 9th NIT First Round
      2009–2010 Northwestern 20–14 7–11 7th NIT First Round

      Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern:

      2006 Northwestern 4–8 2–6 T–8th
      2007 Northwestern 6–6 3–5 T–7th
      2008 Northwestern 9–4 5–3 T–4th L Alamo
      2009 Northwestern 8–5 5–3 T–4th L Outback
      2010 Northwestern 7–6 3–5 T–7th L TicketCity

      If Carmody’s career started in 2005 and everyone was calling for his firing, that would be ridiculous. If Fitzgerald’s career started in 2000 (w/ similar 4-8, 6-6 records) and people weren’t calling for his firing that would be ridiculous.

    • cece

      @CatInTheHat: merci….and I also LOVE football!

    • GTom

      @DT

      We are all entitled to our opinions. Lord knows that I railed against Randy Walker for years when in retrospect he was building a solid foundation for the program. That being said (and with no ill will directed towards you), your comments here and in the past are just plain wrong when it comes to Fitz. From his second year onward, his teams have been competitive in the Big Ten – including two 5-3 seasons. Every year the overall talent level seems to improve. While never enough for our tastes, major areas of weakness have been addressed (Kickoff / Punt Coverage was immensely better this year, pass coverage is much better than when Fitz took over). Yes, we all want a Bowl win, but was Northwestern favored in any of Fitz’s three matchups? Are you really going to hold him accountable for playing the Big XII North champion and the team that won a national title one year later to overtime? Besides, it’s only a three-game sample… its not like Fitz is personally responsible for the drought going back to 1949. As for the AP Top 25, do you think that an 8-4 Northwestern team gets treated the same in the national rankings as an 8-4 Virginia Tech squad or even an 8-4 “That School from South Bend” team? As it is, we’ve been on the cusp of “others receiving votes”, and probably would have been ranked in 2008 and 2009 if we had won our Bowl Games, but my view is that the ‘Cats need to finish one game better than other teams in that 16-25 range just to crack the top 25.

      I’m not going to say all is rose petals, either. You can’t ignore the fact that our running game has taken five steps back, nor try and defend the way that our run defense finished 2010. However, this is best period of sustained success that we have experienced since the ’30′s, and all of the signs point toward us having more talent, more depth, and better levels of overall competitiveness for years to come. This does not meet the criteria of a coach who should be on the “hot seat”.

      Compare this to Carmody who has had 11 years, has never finished with a winning record in the Big Ten, has never made it past the second day in the Big Ten Tourney (rarely past the first), and there just isn’t any comparison. One program has consistently risen to the second tier in the Big Ten, and has the potential to compete for divisional titles going forward. The other has consistently finished in the basement, and hasn’t even shown flashes of getting into the second tier of the conference. We’re lucky to have Fitz. Carmody needs to go.

    • NU ARA 95

      Okay. Someone else has brought up Rex Walters (as I did earlier). Let me get this straight, if a student transfers from Northwestern to Harvard because at that time in his life, Harvard is a better fit or maybe has a better academic niche program at the time …and then that student decides to get his or her phD at Northwestern…does the selection committee knock this student for transferring? I think not. Rex Walters understands why a student would consider transferring (based on our history, this may be a GOOD thing), understands the history of losing and different than anyone since our Coach back in 1930-31 (or ’40s with Otto Graham)…understands WINNING and does not tolerate losing. He is young, he has the credentials and I believe he has the attitude this program needs. Carmody has served his role and done a good job. I just do not think he is the guy for NU to be a consistent NCAA tourney contender. Rex Walters went to the Final Four as a player (check), played many years in the NBA (check), started his college coaching career at Valpo under Homer Drew (of sweet sixteen lore) and has held TWO head coaching positions (check) since then. His program was a rebuilding effort when he got there and they are now 6-2 in a conference with the likes of St. Marys and Gonzaga. His stock will only rise and this may be our best (and only) opportunity to catch him before he is too big a fish and target for more attractive programs.

    • NU ARA 95

      “After going 11-19 and 12-18 in his first two seasons at USF, Walters has a roster composed entirely of recruits who mirror the same selfless, hard-nosed temperament he exhibited as a player.” –http://www.mercurynews.com/college-sports/ci_17367498?nclick_check=1

    • http://LakeThePosts DT

      @GTom
      I think most agree, its time for Carmody to go. I also think more than a few, if honest, would say 2011 is a crossroads of sorts for Pat Fitzgerald… For what its worth, I was no big fan of Walker, after for whatever host of reasons, the program went south amidst high expecations in 01… After that, I think Randy, sold mediocrity and “Stability” as success in the progam, ala, being “Bowl eligible” and having .500 records in The Ten… Call it positioning, managing expectations, whatever… That said, I think the SUCCESS of Randy Walker and Gary Barnett, is what makes Coach Fitzgerald’s situation different, and for that matter, demanding MORE accountability than Carmody… NU Hoops, has for the vast majority of its existence, looked at mediocrity as “The Next Step”… There has been no track record of success, ala Big Ten Championships, national rankings, etc. to build upon… Agree to disagree with me if you might, and I wish you no ill will either, but, Fitz took a big step backwards this year, and we were fortunate to be bowl eligible, given one of the lightest non-conference slates in the country… While I certainly wish Pat well, and hope things turn around this year, scrutiny deserves to be in place for the 2011 season… At 35 years old, with no track record as a Head Coach, and an 18-22 conference conference record after 5 years – in no way, as a long time NU fan, could I state to other passionate NU fans on this blog, I feel he is a lock for the future success of the program… Many, feel he is… I hope they are right…

      You make some other points, ala 8-4 Va Tech and Notre Dame teams being ranked higher than NU… Also, we are underdogs in all our bowl games… Might it have something to do, with the fact, since the era of the intro of the 85 scholarship rule, and our “Modern History” since 95, that in our good years, we have a signature win or two in The Big Ten, yet, lose games both in and out of conference we SHOULD win, then, stating the obvious, find ways to lose in Bowl games as well… Teams are ranked ahead of us, and we are usually U-Dogs in big games, because more often than not, the other team is superior, or more complete in nature… It needs to end… I’d like to see the next step, being that we are not only ranked, or favorites in some of those games, but when we are, NU wins! Anything less, is dealing in moral victories, which is not where NU can be going forward, if indeed mediocrity is not the objective… I hope Pat Fitzgerald is the guy to get us there… 2011 will say volumes to me as a fan about that… A campaign of the nature of the past season, including the woeful defense, would indeed be enough to get the hot seat ready in my mind… Plenty of coaching talent out there… Gotta win at this level…

    • Lord Willie

      Go big or don’t go at all, pay Brad Stevens $2M and we make the dance next year.

    • PastorCat

      Nope, can’t agree with the crowd here. If we get to the NIT we’ll have done what no NU coach has ever done with three straight sort-of post-season visits.

      While our talent level is way above what we used to have back in the day, we still don’t physically match up very well against many teams. We win with heart and energy. Every team has down days…the teams with more physical talent can overcome them and hang close. We can’t. Unlike football, the hoops season goes on forever. No coach in the universe can have their players on their ‘A’ game 30 times a year.

      Let the season play out..I suspect we have some good wins left in us.

    • http://LakeThePosts DT

      @Lord Willie…
      Does that 2 million include, Hayward, Mack and Howard…?

    • Mark

      Three thoughts: (1) unless Northwestern changes its admission standards it’s doubtful it will ever be an “Ohio State” in football whereas many teams have succeeded in basketball with difficult admission standards (Duke, Stanford, etc.); (2) while John Wooden didn’t win a national title at UCLA until he’d been there 15 years he immediately turned around a losing program to a program that consistently won at about a .650 to .700 clip before winning the first title in ’64; and, (3) basketball is easier to “turn around” given a key player or two. Anyone know the percentage of assistant coaches who move up to their first head coaching job and succeed v. the percentage of successful head coaches who move to a bigger program and are successful because they have experience as head coaches? I’m betting on the latter.

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    • Jersey Cat

      (1) Defense and free throws should be a constant, and should be there even when the offense is not on. This defense hasn’t been there in 11 years.
      (2) Carmody has yet to recruit a big man that can play inside and own the paint. Without this, we will never make the dance with the conference schedule we play, regardless of coach.
      (3) There’s no depth on this team, which is part of the reason we sputter in mid to late Feb after a grueling conference schedule.

      Time for a change on the bench.

    • NUmanager

      @PastorCat

      There is no excuse for the erratic effort on display in our conference games this year (the past two come to mind… not even cracking 20 first half points in must-win games… and the first Illinois game especially).

      Measure our first 7 guys against the first 7 from rest of the conference and I think it’s safe to say that we should at least be around .500 in the Big Ten. Those were the nearly unanimous expectations heading into this season.

      Thats the biggest difference between football and basketball at NU. We’ve seen the magic happen with football several times over the last 15 years. We’ve seen, once in a while, 2-star players rise up and deliver an effort that far exceeds what anyone could have expected of them. Iowa football flirts with a BCS birth every year… and we have OWNED them the last 6 years.

      In 11 years I’ve seen it just once from a basketball team under Bill Carmody. Where you go into someone’s house and come away with a win that blows your mind. It happened two years ago when we beat Mich St at Mich St the year they went to Final Four. But then, we don’t have Bill Carmody to thank for that memory, do we? Thanks Kevin Coble.

      If you’re not going to deliver an NCAA tournament appearance once in 11 years, how about at least pulling a performance from your players that meets their talent level? Isn’t that the job?

    • http://easklamthe SoCal NU ’84

      Carmody: agreed with LTP; time to go.
      Fitz: a keeper; would be lunacy to make a change

    • No Bill

      Sent a heartfelt email to Carmody in the offseason. No response whatsoever. Not even a “thanks for your support of Wildcat basketball” — wasn’t asking for a 5 page response, but completely ignoring alumni who want to help the program is not good karma. As many have said, he had some great moments, but he’s just not the guy to get us where we need to be.

    • NU72

      I’m not great fan of Carmody but, like Chicago’s pro teams, the real problem is upstairs. Spend big money to bring in a big coach, upgrade the arena and what do you get? Attendance averages 5,300. Capacity is 8,100. The increase would not even pay for the coach. Grew up in Evanston. Watched Ara leave because he and Miller could not agree. Went to NU and watched horrible football. Nothing changed until the Administration’s attitude changed. Don’t look for a new basketball coach to do anything more than win or lose a few more games. As the article pointed out, the school has not had a winning Big Ten record since 1968. All this ignores the fact that the school is in the Midwest with big time winters. The SEC and PAC10 offer something we never can: 70 degree December isobars on the weather map.

    • Lake The Posts

      @NU72 and all – It does start upstairs. I sound like a broken record but both Morty Schapiro and Jim Phillips are very much on the same page. Below mediocrity on court (or field) performance isn’t acceptable if it is consistently below average. Both Morty and Phillips inherited Henry Bienen’s coach. Time will tell, but the sentiment that “NU administration doesn’t care” is false. They care more than any other regime in my lifetime. Like I said, time will tell.
      Indeed – love LAX but just don’t know much to be writing about them in the off-season.

    • http://LakeThePOsts DT

      @ NU 72
      Obviously, Winter months, are not scaring the recruits away from Great Lakes Region teams, ala Wisconsin, Michigan State and Minnesota or for that matter, Purdue and Ohio State… ALL those teams, would be contending for league championships in a very weak, PAC-10. As sour as things still are in The Ten for NU, if they played in the PAC-10, just might have 7-8 wins already… The SEC, is certainly, not among the top power conferences either… Plenty of rough weather exists for Big East Schools, and regional Mid Majors like The Horizon League and Missouri Valley, are playing “power conference” quality ball and RPI at the upper divisions. Net/net, weather is not a factor in recruiting basketball players…

      That said, I’d agree the iosbars effect the Big Ten, IN FOOTBALL… Much better for the top NFL prospects to show elite athleticsm in warmer, and probably, sunnier and drier, Sun Belt locales. The Big Ten, has been hurt in recruiting conference wide, per that and the quality of football played particularly in the SEC… Then again, having spent a good deal of time in Oregon for instance, and having been through Pullman, Washington, I’d never say those places are great to be in after October either… More proof, on the fabulous coaching of Chip Kelly and Mike Riley, year in and year out…

    • Lake The Posts

      @all – you were correct. I screwed up on the contract information. Carmody is signed through 2012-2013 season.

    • 70alum

      Why not buy out Steve Alford’s contract and bring him back to the Big Ten? And don’t sell Oliver Purnell short. He won at Clemson; he’ll win a DePaul.

    • cece

      Hey LTP, the LAX regular season starts THIS SATURDAY at ND. NU ranked No. 2, ND ranked No. 10.

    • Lake The Posts

      @cece – thanks for the correction! Time to get the title back!!!

    • Db

      70alum:

      Growing up a Hoosier fan I had long been in the corner of Alford and was all over Rick Taylor to consider him back when they picked up O’Neill.

      However since then (1) he blew up Iowa, and (2) by all accounts he has evolved into a real d-bag.

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    West Division

    TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
    Northwestern0000
    Wisconsin0000
    Minnesota0000
    Nebraska0000
    Purdue0000
    Iowa0000
    Illinois0000

    East Division

    TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
    Indiana0000
    Maryland0000
    Michigan0000
    Michigan State0000
    Ohio State0000
    Penn State0000
    Rutgers0000