The Tigers hired a new coach and after a week of thinking about it, I’m still not too happy with the hire. It is not necessarily a bad hire, Haith had Miami competitive if not consistent and Miami is not really a basketball school, but the flirtation with Painter and Tubby Smith made me think they were going to get a big-name, proven coach. But they apparently could not lure any big name to Columbia. Which is okay. I’m surprised that the talk with Painter got as far as they did, considering the situation Painter was in. He has is alma mater is great shape, why would he leave that for a school that is at best equal in standing. Other than money, which Purdue matched when they heard Mizzou had Painter’s ear. It was a worth chase, but I’m not sure Mizzou ever had a chance at success.
Frank Haith coached Miami for 7 mediocre seasons, with only one trip to the NCAA tournament. He apparently (i.e. according to wikipedia) ran a clean program off the court, with success in getting his players to graduate, which is definitely good thing. However, that will not help him keep his job if the Tigers do not win on the court. The big problem is that it is a small-splash hire when the fans were expecting a big one. I hope he is able to overcome everyone’s doubt, but I’m not confident.
I am glad Mizzou did not go for, or get, VCU’s Shaka Smart. I know he is the hot name, along with Brad Stevens, after the Rams great Final Four run. He got VCU deeper in the tourney than Mizzou has ever been. But his record at VCU has not been exactly stellar. They have been good, and I hope that they continue to do well, but I do not think it would be a good idea to pay him the money they were offering when he has only 2 years of head coaching experience and his team hasn’t finished higher than 4th in the Colonial Athletic Association. Maybe the potential of Shaka Smart would have been better than the known talents of Haith, but I a little glad Mizzou played it safe. I’m at least confident the program will not fall apart under Haith, I’m not so sure about Smart. At worst, MU looks like they did this year for the next 3 or 4 before trading up for a good coach and maybe hitting a home run with that hire. At best, Haith works out and the Tigers maintain what Anderson has built over the last 5 years.
It is also the start of the MLB season. I don’t watch much baseball, usually only opening day and the playoffs. This is because, as a Royals fan, I kind of hate baseball. I am unfortunately just old enough to remember the days when the Royals were not only relevant, but also actually good. They won their only World Series about 2 weeks after I was born. The first baseball I watched was the waning days of the George Brett era. The amount of attention I pay to baseball correlates directly with how good the Royals do, which means I usually pay little to not attention to baseball. I don’t think I was ever going to be a big baseball fan, but the complete collapse of the Royals organization didn’t help. But hey, through the first 2 weeks of the season, the Royals have at least been entertaining, though I do not expect their success to continue.
So I hope all the baseball fans enjoy the season. I’ll keep watching as long as the Royals are in the picture and check out when they inevitably trail off into irrelevance. But I’ll be back in October for the World Series.