- Apr 20, 2009
But HBK, just about every time someone offers a criticism for the results under MR's watch an excuse/reason is offered to explain it away. Last year when our injuries were offered as the excuse for not making the tournament I shared that Houston had just as many and more impactful injuries and they kept it rolling to the sweet 16 (edit, actually the elite eight). Of course (not by you) I was told that was different.You're absolutely right. There are challenges and question marks each and every season. However, I never said that you can't evaluate Rhoades, or anyone, unless there are perfect conditions. I never insinuated as much either. I haven't seen anyone else say that, but it's very possible I missed it. Pointing out that a team is missing it's most important piece isn't an excuse, but it's a fact. I didn't think we should lose to Wagner at home regardless of who played for us. We did, and it sucked!
In the very specific case I mentioned of last season, all I pointed out is that my expectations were tempered a bit by listening to the head coach say that the team is going to have to go through some things without Ace. That has nothing to do with evaluating Mike's job. It had to do with me paying attention to the coach and understanding that with a freshman PG (Nunn), we'd struggle early on. Nothing more, nothing less.
As far as evaluation, feel free to do it under any condition. The fact is that if one evaluates Rhoades without Ace last season, the logical conclusion is that the team got better. See the team's play against Baylor and UConn, as compared to Wagner and Chattanooga. Improvement. Doesn't mean it was perfect; it wasn't, but the team got better and that's a credit to the staff and players. This season's team has gotten better. That's a credit to the players (players play) and the coaches (coaches coach).
Of course, we're going to withhold judgement until the end of the season, but "getting better" is meaningless (in my opinion) if it doesn't result in "getting to the dance."