Three pointers with MJ: Doug Wojcik, ESPN Top 50 coaches and more
Marcus Jackson's random thoughts from around college basketball.
SIMMER DOWN, NOW
College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik is being investigated for allegedly verbally abusing his players. Some will argue this is another example of players being soft these days, and while that might partially be true, there’s a right way and a wrong way to coach guys hard and still get results. It’s a fine line to walk and most coaches today would be wise to clean it up a little with smart phones able to capture audio, photos and video and send them around the globe in an instant. I took what some would consider verbal abuse from coaches in the past. Didn’t bother me. But the world has changed, some would argue not for the better. It might be time for some of the old-school coaches to tone it down and motivate in another fashion.
ESPN has concluded its countdown of the Top 50 coaches in college basketball with Florida’s Billy Donovan landing at No. 1 and Kentucky’s John Calipari as the runner-up. Hard to argue that; Donovan just regularly coaches deep into March and Calipari keeps churning out first-round draft picks. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo paced seven Big Ten coaches on the list at No. 3. Illinois’ John Groce was not among them, nor was he listed as one of the 25 just missing the cut. Considering the 15-21 record in conference play in two years at Illinois, that makes sense. But a closer look at the situation he walked into at Illinois, coupled with the success at Ohio, and it’s fair to say he’s among the 75 best. There’s no arguing, though, that Izzo, Bo Ryan (No. 7), John Beilein (No. 9) and Thad Matta (No. 20) belonged in the top 20.
Each year, once the college basketball season wraps, underclassmen begin throwing their names in the ring to be included in the NBA draft. Many are no-brainers, but so many leave you scratching your head. Either they’re getting bad advice or they’re so arrogant to believe they’re truly good enough to reach the next level. There are only 60 guys drafted every year, and with international players and college seniors in the mix, the pool isn’t very large. Of the 44 early entrants this season, 19 went in the first round and 10 in the second round. That means 15 guys will have to fight the odds in making an NBA team as an undrafted free agent. Another year of school would have served them better.