February 11, 2006

A sad day for Mizzou - A good day for Mizzou

Yesterday, under a blanket of uncertainty, Quin Snyder ended his six-year run as basketball coach at the University of Missouri. This once heralded golden boy, now slinks out of town becoming just a side note in the history of a semi-successful, always snakebit university.

I've had a few people ask what I thought of this whole mess, and it's really something I can't put my finger on. On one hand, I think Quin was an excellent coach at times. During the Elite Eight run of 2002, his teams looked unstopable, as they got better all the way to March. Quin was in control, his players meshed well, everything seemed to be as it was sold. However, at the same time there are days like Winthrop, Sam Houston State, Creighton and a bevy of other sub mid-major teams that feasted on Quin's inability to motivate his team. That is what I see as his biggest downfall...getting 18-22 year old kids to play hard. It's something that is often undervalued by college sports fans, and oftentimes avoided all together. (see Husker football fans, who think as long as you are from California, and you can run a 4.5 40...you should win a Heisman..even if you're still in High school and only signed a letter of intent.) Even though Quin brought in top five recruiting classes...even though he had a pedigree longer than most lifetime assistants, he couldn't get over the hump of making his team play hard when they needed to.

I absolutely think this is the right thing to do, and is in the best interest of the program. Anytime your team is beaten by 30+ points by Baylor..heads should roll. But at 39, I'm pretty sure that Quin's coaching days are not over. Hindsight is 20/20, and yes...he probably should have gone to a mid-major (or below) to get his feet wet...especially when he had to follow a legend like Norm Stewart, who if you ask a large portion of Mizzou fans...could coach the Tigers to the sweet 16, even after he's dead and gone. But alas, Quin will be back, and I have no doubt he'll be an excellent coach someday where the spotlight has less of a glare, and the wolves do not have as sharp of teeth.

I'm looking forward to the coaching search, and the inevitable firestorm that will follow after he loses to Illinois or Kansas for the first time. But alas, such is life when you root for a team that has underachieved time and time again. Whether it's Tyus Edney or Ryan Robertson...whether it's a 14-0 season or an ATV ride with the University President's wife...being an MU fan is never boring, if anything.

Let the speculation begin.


Blogger Randy said...

Just so you are aware, AJ, the Post-Dispatch has mentioned Dana Altman as one of the possibilities. Not that he'd be interested.

11:09 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Oh I'm aware of it. The radio here yesterday was buzzing about it. I'm not sure he'd be choice number one, because he's not quite as flashy or as big-name as the Mizzou donors would like. Don't get me wrong..he's a great coach..and I'd love to have him at Mizzou...but I doubt he's on Mike Alden's A list.

PS - All signs are pointing to Majerus right now.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I think the biggest disappointment will be that my father and I can no longer make jokes about "Devil Boy" and his hair.

1:22 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

My favorite Quin memory was in like 2001, we were playing at the Devaney and I was sitting next to the Mizzou bench on press row...I used to have to do manual play-by-play in case the computer went down, we had a back up...anyway, the students were letting him have it that day and someone yelled something about his wife...Quin stormed over and said something to the effect of 'Don't you ever fucking talk about my wife ever again.' and that shut them up pretty good after that...

8:41 AM  

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