Thursday, November 6, 2008

Will UF ever end a year with all its basketball players?

With the number of commitments Florida has been building up for the future in basketball, it was obvious some players from the current team would not be around next season. The timing of Jai Lucas's departure wasn't expected, though. Lucas isn't a terrible player, but he was not the performer I expected him to be based on his buildup coming into last year either. I'm really looking forward to seeing Erving Walker, who appears very similar to South Carolina's Devan Downey to me, in person next week. If he's as good as I hear, Lucas won't be missed too badly. Hopefully he finds a good fit wherever he transfers, as he seems like a good kid.

The mood in Jacksonville is foul, with Jack Del Rio complaining about team chemistry being lacking early this week. Now Mike Peterson got told to take a hike by Del Rio during practice yesterday. Peterson's unhappy with his contract situation, but he's always been a standup guy throughout his career which makes him a curious choice to pick a fight with. It sure sounds like Del Rio's losing control of his locker room, and once that happens it's really hard to ever get it back.

Kansas State is letting coach Ron Prince go after the season, meaning he got less than three years to thrive at one of the more difficult jobs at any of the BCS schools. Prince was hired from Virginia, where he had been an offensive coordinator, to come to a completely different conference and part of the country while learning how to be a head coach. What did they think was going to happen? I'm not saying Prince would have turned it around in another year or two, but to get rid him this quickly given the circumstances he was thrust into is absurd. The reality is that K-State boosters see what Mark Mangino's done at Kansas and they're ticked off about it, so they got Prince canned. I have no idea who that's any good they think they're going to get to replace Prince if they aren't willing to even give them three seasons before pulling the plug. There's certainly no reason for a guy like Jim Leavitt to look at it even though he has ties to the school. College football becomes more like the NFL every day.

Lute Olson's behavior toward the end of his run at Arizona was very odd. Somehow, despite missing all last season, he not only announced once it was done that he would return as coach but forced out his announced sucessor Kevin O'Neill. Along the way, Olson convinced Jeff Withey to come play center for him. Last month, Olson abruptly bailed out again, retiring for good this time. Now, despite the fact the Wildcats will now play another season under an interim coach with no clue what will happen next year, the school's AD is refusing to let Withey transfer. The school can blackmail him into staying by using the language of the letter of intent, even though everything they did to induce Withey to sign it turned out to be a complete lie. I hope the kid takes legal action to get out of the LOI - it's a completely unreasonable stance by Arizona.

1 comment:

Jeremiah said...

I wonder how much John Lucas is influencing Jai's decision. I'm sure Jai's ultimate goal is to get to the NBA and at his height, he's going to have to show NBA personnel a lot in terms of ball-handling, decision-making, and quickness with the ball. Can't really do that if he's playing the two a lot, which he would and should for the Gators this year. So, I wish the best for the kid and I'm not at all upset, despite the bad timing. I just wish Jai had some more patience. For all we know, Calathes could get hurt, Walker could get hurt, or Calathes could bolt for the NBA next year (unlikely, but who knows?). Anyway, Jai Lucas could've ended up playing a lot of point guard at UF while also developing is off-ball skills and being a more well-rounded player, but impatience from him and his family won out.

Just continues to show how unique and amzing the '04s were, because we all know how frustrated Noah was after his freshmen season, but he stuck it out and reaped the benefits of it.