Some of this was recently covered by DeCourcy and Miller, but I was already planning to do some bookkeeping on the chances of unbeaten/winless teams remaining perfect mainly because it gives me a hook to blab about Todd Bozeman. First, let’s take a look at the eight teams that have an unbeaten conference record as of this morning…
Remaining perfect teams, chances of going unbeaten, remaining games
Butler 60.5% 5 Morgan St. 48.7% 7 Siena 40.8% 5 Murray St. 32.6% 5 Cornell 26.7% 8 Kansas 21.5% 9 Sam Houston St. 16.1% 8 Princeton 1.7% 10
All told, this collection is most likely to produce two perfect records when conference tournament play starts. After the Saturday win over Wright State, Butler’s the first team to have a projected undefeated conference record this season. Morgan State is right around 50 percent with less than half their conference slate left.
This got me to thinking about the best coach in college basketball (that’s only a small exaggeration), Todd Bozeman. Sadly Bozeman’s blog has been dormant this season, but his work lives on in terms of dominating the MEAC. Which again makes me wonder what it will take for him to move up to a level worthy of his ability.
I realize there’s much baggage there, but if you’re DePaul, can’t you at least interview the guy who is one of the best coaches in college basketball? Anyway, you’ll be hearing from me again when DePaul makes its selection, especially if it’s Craig Robinson. Or even worse, Isiah Thomas. That’s just moronic. Bozeman came to Baltimore and turned a horrible team into a winner overnight. Isiah’s first season at FIU is not going well despite an overhaul of the roster with an influx of Thomas-picked juco recruits. Consider that if Morgan State played DePaul in a seven-game series right now, it would be a toss-up.
I realize there isn’t much precedent for a coach from a conference as bad as the MEAC taking over a power-conference school. But you know what? There isn’t much precedent for DePaul winning NCAA tournament games in the last 20 years either. (Actually, they’ve won one.) It’s time to think outside the box.
Now for the winless teams…
Fordham 63.6% 7 Evansville 62.2% 5 Toledo 48.1% 6 Bryant 39.4% 6 UT Martin 23.5% 6 LSU 23.4% 7 Dartmouth 21.2% 8 Alcorn St. 20.3% 8 Penn St. 18.5% 7 Coppin St. 3.3% 7
Fordham continues to lead the pack here, but their chances actually decreased a smidge after giving Charlotte a scare on Saturday. Which brings me to my next coaching rant – why does the media make such a big deal about mid-season firings? (Examples: here and here.)
The most common criticism is that it sends the wrong message to the kids. But what message are you sending by letting Dereck Whittenburg suffer through this train wreck of a season? Maybe he should have been fired before the season, but at least the Fordham administration gave him a chance to turn things around. When it was obvious he couldn’t (and his star player transferred) then he had to go.
Keeping coaches like him and Penn’s Glen Miller around during historically bad seasons is just inhumane and I would argue sends a worse message. “Even though the season is a disaster and the fan base doesn’t support your coach, we accept this and are going to force him to finish the season when he otherwise could be looking for his next job. Sorry kids.”