A defense for Bill Carmody

We hear your calls. We can see them plainly in the comments sections to articles like this one and in the frustration by the team’s struggles to break through and get to that next level like the football team has. Like with football, now that the team has tasted success the fans want more of it or more consistency.

Bill Carmody’s now 13- going on 14-year tenure as Northwestern’s coach has been a roller coaster ride. He took over a program that was painfully circling the drain and tried to install a pragmatic offense that would take advantage of the kind of players Northwestern would bring in. To this point, Carmody has turned the program around from those early days. Comparing where Northwestern has been to where it is today shows that change.

Carmody has won a school-record 179 games entering this season and has added to that with 13 more wins this season. Carmody has also led the Cats to four straight NIT berths, something unprecedented in the school’s history. And Carmody actually has a .485 win percentage, the third highest in Northwestern history. He is actually one of five coaches to have a win percentage of .400 or better — the others are Larry Glass (1963-69), William Rohr (1957-63), Harold Olsen (1950-52) and Arthur Lonberg (1927-50). Lonberg is the only coach in Northwestern history to finish with a record better than .500.

So enter this discussion knowing that Carmody has put together the most successful run of Northwestern basketball in more than 70 years and has done something at Northwestern that had not been done in nearly 50 years.

Ultimately though, past results are no indication of future success. And that is what this game has become for Bill Carmody. How does he get Northwestern to the NCAA Tournament level and realize the potential and dreams we have all seen. If Gary Barnett can get the Purple to Pasadena in two years — and Pat Fitzgerald can get NU to a January bowl game within four years, for that mater — why has it taken Bill Carmody 13-plus years to get NU to the NCAA Tournament promised land? Why did it take nine years to reach even the NIT?

There is a bit of a faulty comparison here. Football is not basketball. While more teams make the tournament in basketball than there are bowl games in football, there are significantly more teams in basketball and being in a major conference is not the be-all, end-all. It is easier to find success and compete in basketball from a mid-major conference. That could also be an argument against Carmody’s tenure at Northwestern, but a lot of those mid-major teams rarely play as difficult a schedule as NU has to play in the Big Ten.

Leave that argument aside for the moment. The recruiting issue is certainly the biggest indictment anyone can make of the Carmody era.

Carmody though does some great things that are often not appreciated. Especially when the team goes through disappointing seasons like this one. Yes, this season is going to be the worst one for the Wildcats since the 8-22, 1-17 disaster of 2008. But even that year was Juice Thompson’s freshman year, so good things did come from it (including some spectacular scoring performances from Kevin Coble).

The point is though, the talent Northwestern has been able to get into Evanston, Carmody has helped reach its fullest potential on the court. When you take a look at how some of these teams have panned out with the players on the roster and how competitive they have been, you have to look at Carmody and the job he has been able to do. A team with this much of a talent deficit has always been able to compete, if not win. Carmody’s exacting Princeton Offense has helped close that talent gap on so many occasions and give Northwestern a chance.

More than that though, year after year, his teams have bought into this system. They run it precisely and rarely deviate. That is both its weakness and its strength.

Recently, of course, the team has struggled to score. New roles and injuries have knocked the team off kilter and Carmody has to find a way to make it work for the final stretch of the season.

On a macro level, recruiting is the big issue. It has already been mentioned and no analysis of Carmody’s job, good or bad, can be made without that caveat. Northwestern’s recruiting has been and is lacking compared to the rest of the teams in the Big Ten. That has put Northwestern in the hole from the beginning of each season.

However, there is also no denying that Carmody has gotten his most talented teams in Evanston in the last four or five years. Shurna was an NBA-caliber talent. Michael Thompson was the first player from the Chicago Public School league to attend Northwestern and turned into a super player and leader. Kevin Coble was a great scorer who was able to contribute as a freshman and lead the team in scoring for his entire career. Drew Crawford, Dave Sobolewski, JerShon Cobb have all been guys who have stepped in immediately and been major contributors.

Even transfers are looking carefully at Northwestern and believing in what Bill Carmody is selling.

Not every player pans out. For every Juice Thompson there is a Nick Fruendt or Mike Capocci. Neither of those players found their “fit” at Northwestern. And Carmody has failed throughout his tenure to find a center he could develop and make fit into his system — namely a center who can step out and occasionally drain a 3-pointer and help spread the floor.

However, considering where Northwestern was to where it is today and even to some extent early in Carmody’s tenure, Carmody has been a great success at Northwestern. He turned a team consistently blown out and at the bottom of the Big Ten standings into a team that opponents have to prepare for mentally and physically to defeat. He has taken a group of players often ignored by other major schools and made them more than competitive in the Big Ten. And when he has had teams with the talent to win, he has done so.

Has he reached the mountain top of the NCAA Tournament? No.

His teams have always been missing that last little piece to get there. To consider though where Northwestern was to where it is now — being enraged that the NIT is not even in the conversation — has to be some sign that what Carmody is doing is working.

Again, past results do not determine future success. And Carmody’s future is certainly tied into how his team performs the rest of this year and in future years. Northwestern is tired of just knocking on the door.

For now, with all that he is accomplished, Carmody should remain the man to answer the call.

  • Wildcat86

    Really? After a 12-point first half last night, today was the day to post this? I think you’ll be very hard pressed to find readers around here who will come out in support of Carmody today. I’m just so tired all of the excuses for Carmody year after year. He’s not the guy to get us to the tourney. He’s had 13 chances to prove it. Enough is enough.

    • I originally had this post set for yesterday, but did not finish it in time. Yes, it was a 12-point half, but Northwestern still trailed by 15. The game was not a true blowout until midway through the second. Granted, it never felt like NU was going to make a run.

      • Wildcat86

        Sorry, I wasn’t trying to attack your writing or anything like that. I appreciate all you do for the community and the immense amount of time you put in.

        I was just trying to say there are people who support BC, those who do not and those who are on the fence. For those on the fence (as I was for a time) I don’t think he’ll get much support today.

        • I agree there. I covered that 2008 disaster season for the Daily and I was the only one in the newsroom willing to defend Bill Carmody. And I thought after that season, it was time to move on.
          So I kind of consider the last five years as a second Bill Carmody tenure. Just based on the last five years then, I think he has earned at least another year.

    • Sadly this year isn’t fair to compare to with all the injuries. I’d hate to fire him after it as so much of this season’s troubles are out of his hands. It is amazing that we have won some big games this year, and for those I am thankful. But after nights like yesterday, UIC, Stanford, etc. it is so hard to fight for a guy who cant get us basic things like a decent FT%.

      I will never call for firing a coach, especially one that respects the NU culture, values, and has had some success. However, I’m not about to defend him. I think this is one of those times where I am glad I believe in Jim Philips and can respect whatever he decides

  • I’m on board. Keep up the great writing, PR-R.

  • Hudie

    Yes there are two sides to every story. I appreciate Carmody’s ability to get NU into the NIT. Yet, the Big Ten regularly sends 5+ teams to the dance every year. The fact that NU can’t manage to finish at least in the top 5 perplexes me.

    What’s that saying about a blind dog?

    • Joby

      No school should have the standard of “yes we suck, but do you know how much worse we sucked 13 years ago.” The system Carmody runs is a problem. I’d be in favor of getting someone who has the Shaka Smart philosophy (and I know we won’t get him) of pressing for 40 minutes, running up and down the court, high octane offense, etc. That unique style would be attractive to recruits.

  • cebpd

    Look…we see the same problems EVERY year. defensive rebounding, namely. We have NEVER seen improvement. I do like the offense but the big men are terrible. we always have the same problems and this is why i think ppl dont like carmody

    • Hudie

      And poor FT shooting.

      • bill bellamy

        Seriously. I get that a historically bad team has trouble recruiting top talent; but, given that, how do you excuse not teaching the fundamentals? If we can’t do the flashy stuff, shouldn’t we at least be the best at boxing out and shooting free throws. This is the stuff you can actually COACH a player to do. That’s why, even while understanding how far Carmody has brought us out of the pits, I still can’t say that I think he is a good coach. Carmody needs to take a page out of Fitz’s book. Stop complaining about not being able to recruit due to the academics and start using the fundamentals to squeeze a lot out of a little.

        • Richard

          Zones are poor for defensive rebounds

        • das420

          The talent base with which Fitz has had to work is vastly superior to what Carmody has had in any of his years here. Now, part of that may in fact be the result of poor recruting by Carmody, but to say Fitz that is recruiting the same type of athlete–and, that he’s been able to squeeze more ability out of a limited talent base–is simply not true.

          • Go Cats!

            Where’d that talen base come from – thin air? Fball needs 15-25 quality guys a year – and pre-1995 was arguably the WORST 1-A football team in the COUNTRY for 30 years. NU Basketball has been putrid for long stretches – but the comparison’s don’t stick. And even if they did – NU Football went from the toilet to #3 in the Country on New Year’s Day. And has maintained a level of good – to very good – to occassionally elite for the most part over that time.
            Winning and oh yeah LIKEABILITY – brings in recruits. Does anyone have evidence that admissions is harder on bball recruits than fball?

          • AdamDG

            In football, scheme can hide player deficiencies much more easily than in basketball. The bar for “success” is also much lower, as you can make a bowl game with a .500 record and a below .500 conference record. In 7 seasons, Fitz has been over .500 in conference 3 times, but gone to 5 bowl games.

            You are also forgetting that NU basketball, like football used to be, is the WORST 1-A basketball program in the COUNTY.

            3 NIT appearances in 60 seasons
            4 NIT appearances in 12 years — and they’re all in the past 4 seasons.

      • Will

        We were actually pretty decent the past few years. This year though…not good.

  • wildcatneighbor

    Well written. For all the fire Carmody fans…who’s the replacement? But seriously? Carmody had good if not great success at Princeton, but that wasn’t in the BIG was it? What makes you think that the potential coaching replacements aren’t aware of how much he’s struggled? This isn’t gonna get better just cause you tinker with the coach. It’s a long uphill battle, and 4 NIT’s in a row seems to point to us maybe getting over the top. You don’t like it? Stay home. You want to make change? Wear purple and yell louder. I already see 500 tickets for next years football season on stub hub…tix aren’t even printed yet…that’s just crazy—support your school, support your alma mater! You’d think this was life and death. Find a reason to be happy and think positive!

    • ctya

      Who’s the replacement? Really? There are many coaches out there that would take the job that would stand a better chance of getting us above .500 in conference play 1/13th of the time (something Carmody’s failed to do). It very much DOES get better when you tinker with the coach if the coach has shown over nearly a decade and a half that he tops out at mediocrity, and is far more often well below average. And four NITs are putting us over the top? When? Certainly doesn’t look like it.

      Carmody’s record speaks for itself. He’s improved the program over 13 years, but it has been obvious for years that he won’t take us to the next level. It continues to be utterly baffling to me that he’s still around, and until he’s gone I will do just as you suggest — stay home, and not waste my time and money on NU basketball.

      • Richard

        “There are many coaches out there that would take the job that would stand a better chance of getting us above .500 in conference play 1/ 13th of the time (something Carmody’s failed to do).”

        Name the ones who would take the NU job.

      • AdamDG

        Hey remember when Illinois, arguably the best program to never win an NCAA championship, needed a new coach? Their fanbase was calling for Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens… and they got the guy from lowly Ohio University.

        The NU basketball job is NOT a good job. We have by far the worst facilities in the conference and have the worst tradition of any major conference team.

        • bandcat

          Do you really think next year is going to be the year for Carmody? Based on the play of our Big men this year i am very skeptical. Why we have not been able to recruit a legit student athlete at the C position during Bills tenure most disturbing to me. The only thing i feel will reboot an interest in NU MBB is a Blockbuster hire for headcoach…Show somebody the$$$$$$…

        • ctya

          I’d take John Groce over Carmody in a heartbeat. He won 3 NCAA tournament games in 5 years at Ohio.

          • AdamDG

            And BIll took Princeton to the dance twice in 4 years at Princeton before getting the NU job.

            The point is that far better programs than NU can’t even get better than modestly successful mid-major coaches.

  • cece

    my jury is out on Carmody. he is a good game coach. but recruiting is very important. why can’t we do better? is there something lacking in our school approach? is the asst. coach help not enough to make up for Carmody recruiting deficiencies? yes, there were lots of injuries this year, but this can’t go on. it’s reached a point of embarrassment.

    • AdamDG

      Have you been paying attention? We have been recruiting better and better players. Carmody has gotten 2 extremely highly thought of recruits (Cobb and Sina) in the past few years.

      If you want a point of comparison, look at what comparable programs are getting recruiting-wise (Penn St., Nebraska) — it’s much much worse.

    • Will

      So much of recruiting goes beyond the actual coach. Tradition and facilities (note the new field house for football) are extremely important. Note that NU has the absolute worst tradition of the BCS schools and WR is so outdated.

      Student support weighs into equation too. Even during that last fours seasons when we’ve been near the NCAAs, the turnout was iffy at best

      It also doesn’t help that much of the CPS talent doesn’t meet NU’s academic standards. There’s a reason why many coaches consider the NU basketball the worst gig in Div 1. BC hasn’t had much to work with.

  • One of my favorite things about this blog is that we get diversity of thought and it remains, for the most part, “professional” or at least respectful in its approach. I’m reserving my post on this until after the season as PRR and I respectfully have differing views. I do wonder, and put it out there to you, how much of the way this season plays out plays in to the decision making process. Do you think the decision has already been made, at least mentally, by Jim Phillips, or do you think after season 13, the last handful of games – either very good or very bad – will impact the decision in a make or break way?
    Said another way, if there is question from the admin right now, will 4 more Illinois/Wisconsin-like losses change the course? Conversely, some miraculous turnaound in performance to win several, will it change the course? Just curious.

    • Chasmo

      Does Jim Phillips want to pay two coaches next year — the fired Bill Carmody and whomever he hires? That, more than anything else, might be the determining factor.
      NU will have to offer at least $1.5 million a year if it hopes to have any chance to bring in a coach with a good program building resume.
      So from that perspective, allowing Carmody to finish out his contract — which some reports have said has one more year to run — using the various rationales offered here for as to why he should be retained, might be the best option for Phillips.

  • ksholman

    Tough year to call for his firing. Too many injuries to compete. I think he has done a fantastic job for the constraints placed upon him. I was on campus in the 80s. This is so much better. 4 NITs vs. 3 wins in a year. And he offers a player being recruited by big time schools including Kentucky. When he accepts, he is denied admission even with a 4.0 GPA. I am not asking the school to lower standards . I think the fans need to understand what he has to work with. Forget the firing, I hope his contract is extended. I don’t think they could hire anyone else who would do better with the restrictions he has.

    • ctya

      If being better than the ’80s is the standard, then be all means he should be coach for life. For me, being better than those terrible teams isn’t nearly enough, and we won 0 conference games my freshman year. And I wouldn’t fire him based on this year. I’d fire him based on the last 13 years.

  • with the injuries, I’d have to look at their conditioning.

    • AdamDG

      Yeah, Kevin Coble’s listfranc fracture was definitely due to conditioning. Gimme a break.

  • Pmac

    Carmody’s system breeds mediocrity. No legitimate recruit is attracted by a system predicated on passing the ball around for 30 seconds and trying to get a back door layup. It is a system built to make an untalented team competitive. In fact, if you were to put a superstar on a Bill Carmody team, the offense wouldn’t work. As long as he remains, we will never get legitimate talent or have a shot of going anywhere.

    • Richard

      GTown runs the same offense.

    • AdamDG

      This is probably one of the dumbest arguments I’ve heard from Carmody haters. The PrincetonO is run by a lot of high schools and a lot of colleges, including Georgetown. Wisconsin runs a variation of the P-O as well. It’s a complex system that provides open looks on almost every possession (seriously, just watch a game) and allows for pace control. It’s challenging to defend and is well-suited for teams with good passers and good shooters (the types of guys NU can recruit).

      “If you were to put a superstar on a Bill Carmody team, the offense wouldn’t work”
      What does that even mean?

      • Chasmo

        AdamDG is correct — several NBA teams have run variations on the Princeton offense and superstars have done very well.
        The problem with the Princeton offense is that it makes recruiting harder. For example:
        Suppose an four star 6-10 center with a great character and academic records wanted to come to NU. He has great rebounding, shot-blocking, and defensive skills and is good offensively around the basket. But he is not a good passer, can’t dribble, and can’t shoot. Carmody would not want him because he can’t play in his offense.
        NU needs a coach who can employ any style of offense depending on the talent he’s got. Recruiting kids to come to Evanston is hard enough with the academic constraints, but Carmody puts an additional constraint on himself by only recruiting kids who can fit into his offense instead of tailoring the offense to the kids he can recruit.
        That’s the big problem with Carmody’s devotion to the Princeton offense. On the court, it works just fine.

        • PDXCat

          Well put, Chasmo. A small question. If you’re going after “best player available”, how do you sell your “system”? Are you a running team? Are you Loyola Marymount hoisting before the shot clock hits 30? Are you pick and roll, inside-outside? Will that center be the focus of a pound-it-inside offense? Seems that might also present a problem. And I’m not really pro or anti BC as a recruiter.

          I kinda get stuck on the fact that history can’t be ignored when it comes to recruiting. We’ve done nothing really (yes, some NIT love recently helps but . . .). When Bill Foster came to NU, he was touted as some sort of Larry Brown-esque miracle worker. I remember sitting with him on campus once when he was relatively new (my fraternity hosted a fireside at which he spoke, several current and former hoopers were in the frat, he hung out afterward and joined us as we drank beer and asked questions, almost like he was having an informal team meeting with those players). He seemed to believe he could do it at NU (which is why he bothered to come). His accomplishments? Walker Lambiotte. Kevin O’Neill came to NU as this heralded recruiting machine (I love his face popping up in Hoop Dreams). What did he do? So BC can’t recruit much? Maybe it’s not just him. And what would the next guy be able to do? There seems to be this feeling that when we get that next guy, we’ll be challenging for B1G titles in 2-3 years and we’ll be getting top 100 recruits. I can’t see why people think this is the case. Great, you hate Carmody and he hasn’t done much. Why will the next guy be able to? Because Shaka Smart’s wife likes NU, he’s going to be able to get guys to come here? I bet it’s a lot easier to recruit guys to VCU (come here, we’re a lock to play in the Big Dance; we play in the A-10, we have two ranked teams) than to NU (come here, we’re a lock to challenge for .500 in conference; we play in the B1G, we have three top-10 ranked teams).

          • Chasmo

            The argument that says — Carmody is less of a failure than the previous failures so NU should appreciate what it’s got — has its merits and its adherents. It’s a good argument IF you believe failure is NU’s fate and nothing can be done about it.
            Tex Winter, and Bill Foster and Kevin O’Neill were all on downward spirals before they came to NU — they were no longer at the schools that made them famous and they left their previous jobs under less than stellar circumstances.
            The product — which was much worse than today’s in terms of facilities, media coverage, postseason appearances, etc. — was a much tougher sell for them than it would be for any newly hired coach.
            The question is: Do you think any energetic young coach with some cache that NU hires would do a worse job of recruiting than Carmody will do in the next year or so?
            If the answer is no, then perhaps taking a chance on someone new might be the right thing to do. If the answer is yes, you stick with Carmody.

            I make the change as soon as his contract expires.

    • PDXCat

      Like when the Sacramento Kings with Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic, et al. used it in order to hang with the Lakers.

  • Alum Dad

    Bill Carmody’s NU winning percentage might be .485, but his winning percentage against B1G teams is approximately .330. That tells me all I need to know. His teams are not up to the challenges presented by a big-time basketball conference. The Cats beat up a bunch of stiffs every November and December and then become the Wasington Generals of the B1G in January. How can NU justify keeping a coach with such an abysmal conference record accumulated over such an extended period of time? What other coach in the country would still have his job after posting these kind of results?

  • NUinVa

    Maybe I’m blind to it or missed the discussions, but have we dissected the coaches under Carmody? In football, we all know the gentlemen supporting Fitz, but I can’t name a single guy under Carmody. What changes have been made there in Carmody’s tenure? What changes could or should be made?

  • Go Cats!

    “Carmody has been a great success at Northwestern” – ummmm by what measure?
    University of Chicago probably has a really good graduation rate too.
    I bet Dartmouth’s players don’t get arrested frequently either.
    MIT’s basketball team hasn’t had a point-shaving scandal recently – just like NU!
    is that the standard? Or is it Expecting Victory? is it breaking through once and a while in the clutch? Is it I don’t know teaching somebody in 14 years how to BOX OUT?
    No one is suggesting that if we don’t get to the Final Four Carmody should get canned. I think people are suggesting that moral victories are not actual victories.
    Finishing in the middle of the conference would be nice. Once.
    Getting Over .500 in the conference…that’d be nice too – ONCE.
    Bo Ryan at Wisconsin has been over .500 in B1G play THIRTEEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS. 13 years? Why does that sound so familar?

  • theranchlives!

    I don’t think there’s much chance of attracting a new “hot” coach (however you want to define that) without a formal announcement by the school on their plans to either renovate or build a new arena. You seriously think that someone like Chris Collins, who’s name I’ve seen mentioned on LTP, is going to consider NU on a “promise” to build? And if you want my opinion, tear Welsh-Ryan down and build anew. You can put lipstick on a pig, as they say, but its still a pig. I’m sorry, I knew it when it was McGaw so I know that WR is a nice upgrade, but WR is one of the sorriest arenas in college basketball. And please stop the comparisons to Cameron. Players play at Duke because of the program not the arena. So if I’m Jim Philips and I’m thinking about how I’m going to attract a hot new coach, I’m going to tee it up with some major announcements -like facilities. Secondarily, make “some” changes in admissions, (I can hear the howling now). The youth culture in basketball is radically different than any other sport and the policies of the NBA and NCAA are producing a generation of seriously deluded and entitled players, even among the secondary and below tiers. Hey, their kids, they follow the shiny object. There are too many options for good players to go now where even mid-majors have new attractive arenas. Each year that NU delays in investing in new basketball facilities, it will fall further and further behind.

    • Mark

      I disagree – I think you could get a good/great new coach of whatever age; Larranaga has improved U of Miami so age is irrelevant. Going to the Big Ten pays more money, has more prestige, Chicago is a great area if you have money, and all these guys think they can succeed. And both the coach and the players believe that. No one comes into the Big Ten in any sport and thinks “I’m going to get my butt handed to me every day but that’s ok.” Every one of the guys on NU’s Men’s basketball hates losing – that is one thing I’m pretty sure of. Yes, I do agree that you have to give a new coach some assurance that the basketball facilities are going to be upgraded and a tentative timeline. But the improvement of the football program over the last 18 years also helps – basketball coaches realize someone at NU has a clue about the support necessary to build a good program. I don’t believe H.S. basketball players are any/much different about things than the football players – I spent a considerable time coaching H.S. rowing and got a pretty good look at H.S. athletics and athletes in Ohio doing that and having kids in H.S. Even the kids like LeBron in H.S. are usually great kids.

      • theranchlives!

        Really? Age is irrelevant? And what has NU basketball history shown us? Tex Winter? Bill Foster? Great basketball minds on the other side of their careers that despite their experience, could not overcome the recruiting challenges in the Chicago area. Yes, Chicago is a great area for talent, but have you looked on a map and seen the choices available for a top recruit in a reasonable range? Illinois, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Indiana, Michigan, MSU. These programs range from elite to top tier to on the rise. The program NU should really worry about is Butler since both schools would most likely recruit for the same type of player. What kind? A really good player that can’t quite cut the top tier of recruits or who needs more development. Now, if you’re that player, what program would you want to join? Want to play in the NCAA? Be talked about as a national established program? Yes, Butler plays at Hinkle. Don’t even bring up the comparison to WR. Just like Duke, players go there for the program not the arena. When you don’t have a program and show no history of being able to develop one, you better do something else to attract a rising coach, players, and fans to signal there’s a new expectation. Besides, it’s TIME for NU’s facilities to not be the laughing-stock of the Big Ten.

  • Fire Carmody Now.

    Carmody needs to go.

    Not ONCE in his 13+ years has the NU Basketball team ever passed the “eye-test”. Not once have they looked like a D1 team, let alone a B1G team. Even when NU has won big games, it is because the other team plays horribly and the NU players have a lucky night shooting. This year’s injuries simply show that our depth is pretty good, because all the players have about the same level of suck-i-ness. Very few could start on other B1G teams,

    Carmody’s offensive moves players away from the basket and is loopy. During crunch-time, it is easy to defend as it puts players in awkward positions to score (moving away from the basket). In addition, Carmody has never been able to recruit a highly-rated Chicago prospect (after 13 YEARS!). Where was Jabari? Coach Fitz would have had him committed to NU after 8th grade.

    Carmody is the problem.

    Firing Carmody is the solution.

    • PDXCat

      Jabari was the #2 recruit in the nation. Other than Alviti, name a player that highly touted (or even in the same stratosphere) that Fitz has gotten. His recruiting classes are getting better but we’re still talking about a couple of 4-stars as the prizes of the class. The top top players are always going to go to Duke, Sparty, UNC, Kentucky, etc. Not to support his recruiting efforts, but to say he’s a bad recruiter because he didn’t get Jabari? A bit over the top, I’d say. Calipari didn’t get him, Izzo didn’t get him, but was in his top 5 (along with BYU?!?!), Pitino didn’t get him. Not bad company to be in.

    • Buffcat

      actually Jabari and his family did attend a game last year……….nice people. That in itself was a nice accomplishment. Sat right next to them

  • Will

    Nice post PRR. Many fans on this site lack the perspective gained from watching NU hoops from before BC’s tenure. With the exception of the old guys (Lonborg era. Note that was the pre “1 and done” days), NU basketball has been a mess for a half a century (!). Bill has had the luxury of cleaning it up using a proverbial toothbrush. All things considered he has done a darn good job.

    Couple of edits: GB got us to the Rose Bowl after 3 seasons and I believe Sterling Williams was a CPS recruit that predated Juice.

    • ctya

      The “we’ve always been terrible” argument just doesn’t do it for me.

  • disqus_Ial97ESXwz

    Carmody is a Doug Collins/Scott Skiles/Vinny Del Negro. He can turn a team around, but he needs a Phil Jackson/Mike D’Antoni/Thibs to come in and finish the job.

  • H George

    I could care less about the argument above. Here’s what I SEE when I go to games:
    1) lots and lots of missed three-pointers
    2) lots and lots of missed free throws
    3) inconsistent play throughout the game, even when they win
    4) year after year of people saying “I think this is the year we make the tournament” and it never happens.
    And I’m seeing more and more visiting fans in the stands and less purple. The last game I went to didn’t even have full student sections…….just poor. Carmody is generating no excitement and the team going nowhere. Cut your losses NU.