Duke's loss further illustrates how nearly impossible it is to be a dynasty these days.....
Doug (Regular+; 21129)
Posted on: 03-17-2012.
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The college game has changed...early entry and national recruiting facilitated by AAU ball and easy exchange of highlight film, etc, has made it damn hard to be a dynasty in college basketball these days. Look at the big names:
Kansas has had its tournament struggles in the early days of Bill Self with back-to-back first round upset losses in 2005 (#3 seed) and 2006 (#4 seed). In 2010 (a bad year for big programs), KU went 33-3, but saw the season end as a #1 seed losing to a #9 (Northern Iowa)
UNC was lost early this millennium after the retirement of Dean Smith and the hiring of Guthrige and Doherty. UNC went 8-20 and 17-15 in Doherty's final two years (2002 and 2003). And under Roy Williams, the Tarheels were in the NIT after missing the NCAA tournament just 2 seasons ago (2010).
Duke is now on a suddenly-growing list of 2/15 losers (welcome, Coach K). They've gone from champs to sweet 16 to a 2/15 nightmare in the first round. Prior to the title in 2010, the once-dominant Blue Devils had won 3 games total in the three previous tournaments.
Kentucky? Fantastic talent, but it hasn't paid off yet with a title...same for Calipari at Memphis.
UCLA goes from three straight final fours to a lower level team in a crappy league in 2012.
Michigan State has been as consistent as any team in the country...and they have been first round losers 4 times in the last 10 tournaments. That was enough to make Lute Olson the butt of jokes in the 1990s. Now, it is just the business.
Last year's title participants? Butler didn't make the tournament, and UConn becomes the first team in 16 years to win the title then lose in the first round the following year. What's ahead for UConn? Possibly NCAA sanctions for poor APR. And UConn, like UNC, didn't make the tournament in 2010 (Yes, UConn and UNC played in the NIT in 2010. The idea of us turning down was, and still is, ludicrous).
Syracuse? Not really a "dynasty", but still one of the nations powers. The Orange were in the NIT back to back in 2007 and 2008.
And so on. Which is why I laugh at the idea of Sean Miller being on even a slightly warm seat. His taking over of our program came in considerably worse terms than any of the current coaches of the schools above, minus classes and players who dipped their toe in and left the chaos (imagine Jeff Withey with us this year), and minus the three key players from last year's Elite Eight run. The aforementioned struggles for program consistency due to transfers (Momo, Withey) and early entry (Derrick Williams, less directly to Miller but still impacting: Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill) have touched Miller's program like a sledgehammer, and not yet ready to be leading role players have been forced to be too early in their career (same problem other programs have).
Dynasties don't just happen anymore. Even the big boys are getting chipped at. And we are trying to become one of those big boys again. It ain't gonna happen like it used to, where superstar coach gets a couple of great classes, they stay no fewer than three years, and integrate with the seasoned veterans of previous classes. We didn't have previous classes to speak of, the one we got (the USC players that were not handed to us, but we were fortunate to have a chance to get) scattered well before their time (Momo, Derrick gone in 2 years), and we are building from the ground up.
Those expecting some kind of explosion into a final four contender next year need to pull their heads out of the rankings and consider what we have. I think we will have a solid 1st weekend team (might advance, #5 to #7 seed). Not more, not less. We will be, again, depending on freshmen. And probably will be at some positions for at least one more year until regular, fully recruited classes by the current coach, make up freshman to senior. Next year is the first time we can say we are close to that (first class was thrown together in short time)....
One way to make sure the lay up goes....
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