Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The best thing about this news is the individual who is selected will actually be the very best candidate for the job in the mind of the top athletics official -- contrary to what has held back SJSU basketball for decades -- as AD Gene Bleymaier appears unconnected to any 'coaching families' and thus will be free of binding entanglements.
He selected Leon Rice from Gonzaga when last having the opportunity to hire a new hoops leader and Rice has the Boise State Broncos on the at-large cusp of the Big Dance with victories over San Diego State, UNLV, Creighton and Colorado State this season, in this, his third at the helm. Rice's top three scorers are all backcourters so he's doing it minus a plus big man and in one of the top three conferences in the country this season. All of this is promising if Bleymaier's not-too-distant basketball past is prologue.
But one of the unfortunate yet most relevant and fair questions facing the SJSU AD, boosters and fans is can anyone heading the men's basketball program win more games than he loses?
It's actually a difficult question to answer.
There is a complete absence of positive proof of such in the past because nobody has reached this achievement for decades and decades.
Granted, it seems there HAS to be someone, considering the ratio of individuals available for the position, who can succeed at this job.
So why hasn't success happened?
Is it all simply the result of incestuously inadequate choices?
That's a major contributing factor but absolutely not the only one and shouldn't be utilized as the sole damning evidence.
Just as important is the void in infrastructure and especially financial support (within the institution itself and outside of it) which is a necessity in making the odds of success actually viable.
All of these have been integral factors in preventing the hiring of the right individual for the job.
Bottomline, the position of head basketball coach should not have to include miracle worker as a prerequisite skill.
But it should include a competitive hiring salary, as well as a similar range for assistant coaches, plus a recruiting budget that is at least in the middle of those of other Mountain West Conference teams plus an increase in the number of out-of-state scholarships available to fill.
Are those dollars available?
If not, then look for the same old- same old.
So who will step up in order to make all this financially happen?
It's the easy way out to say that AD Bleymaier must be willing and able to do this. He will if such an option is financially within his purse strings.
Critical to the potential of a new head coach is the luring back of the major boosters who have forsaken SJSU hoops AND the development of many more.
The former can happen, at least to a major degree if the 'right' person is selected, the latter will be based on that 'right' individual winning games.
But AD Bleymaier must absolutely act on two other important elements.
1) Assign an administrator to men's basketball not merely to monitor the program but to decisively step in and provide guidance when it is necessary -- no more slow-to-react (if at all) interventions when accountability is desperately needed. No, this is not a call for micromanaging but with a program history of a player revolt, a trifecta collection of DUI arrests for a coach hired not once but twice, another coach who just quit showing up, player disappearances plus the endless losing, men's basketball has too long been a program of zero expectations. The long and sad litany of student-athletes on the teams have deserved so much better than what they received.
2) Any contract for a new coach must also be structured with two critical components: it must heavily reward success but also protect the university, and ultimately the taxpayer, against a coach producing dismal results. It is the way of the world in contracts yet coaches and corporate CEOs are the only ones who seem to escape accountability for awful results and yet get rewarded handsomely.
So can the wins arrive before any major external money does?
Miss Cleo's phone number has been disconnected so the best that can be offered is it's going to be fascinating.
The existence of SJSU men's basketball is riding on it.
Posted by Kevin McCarthy at 1:22 PM