Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Noodle in a Haystack

Somewhere in Indiana:



Somewhere in Texas:





Was there anyone in the world of sports that didn't see this one coming?

There are so few absolutes in sports, but one of the most concrete is that you just don't replace a legend.

In the 6 years since a carpetbagging university president fired the only coach I'd ever known, I have tried hard to keep an open mind about Mike Davis. In his first year, I went to the United Center in Chicago to cheer the team on in the Big 10 tournement. Even though the Hoosiers lost the final to Iowa, I still felt good about the decision to drop the interim tag and let him keep the job.

A year later that faith was rewarded with an unexpected trip to the NCAA championship game. Even as I drove back all night from Atlanta after watching my team lose, I felt like we had stumbled upon a hidden coaching gem.

The only problem was, it all semed to stop there.
Every year since has been a hodge podge of highly recruited prospects that fail to gel or grow. When you have grown up with Indiana basketball, this is a painful scene to watch.

I don't know what the future holds for the program, but I do know that this will be the top available job this offseason. If I was the AD at Tennessee, I'd be working real hard to dig up some extra cash in order to give Bruce Pearl a very big extension.

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