Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Coaching Search Update

Yesterday I was in contact with four of the potential candidates for Ohio's vacant coaching position.

Scott Duncan, Assistant at UCLA
- Has not been contacted; said it was a great job.

Rob Murphy, Assistant at Syracuse
- Has not been contacted; would have a strong interest in the job

Larry Shyatt, Assistant at Florida
- Has not been contacted

Chris Mack, Assistant at Xavier
- not contacted
- "I am very happy at Xavier and won't be leaving for the coming season."

Still waiting to hear from:
- John Groce, Assistant at Ohio State
- Mark Montgomery, Assistant at Michigan State
- Tony Jones, Assistant at Tennessee
- Mike Rice, Head Coach at Robert Morris

Monday, June 23, 2008

Whittington speaks out

I've been in contact through messages, beginning in May, with former Bobcat Bert Whittington about his decision to leave the program. Initially, he was unable to discuss his departure because the coaching staff asked him not to. But now, Whittington has spoken out about his decision to leave and some of his opinions of playing under O'Shea.

On why he left the program:

"Well I just felt if I was to stay with him as head coach I wouldn't play. Me and him were not on the same page at all and the week that our season ended we had meetings with him and allen had left and he thought that was going to make me leave and he said it would be fine if I left as well and he would pay for my last quarter of I took that as if he was pushing me away so I left."

On the Bobcats' five game winning streak:

"When [we] went on the five game winning streak he really let us play man to man defense and that really helped when mike and I played at the same time. The reason we were winning those games is because he let bacari handle the defense and he had nothing to do with that. I feel like if he would of let bacari rhodes and kuwik handle everything we would have made the tourney because they had a better understanding of the game."

On playing time:

"He didn't know who to play at the right times. If he would have played tommy devaughn and asown more we would have had a better chance to win because of tommy shooting and devaughn and asowns atheltic ability...he doesn't give people the opportunity to show what they can do and asown does so good in practice and he just plays favorites in my opinion."

On his decision to leave and the future:

"I wanna come back now I wish I would have waited a little longer..but I am going to try to talk to the new athletic director and the coach to see if he will let me play for him..but if not then I am going to go [to] this naia school by my house cause its closer to my daughter."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another exits Athens

It's going to be a busy summer for new AD Jim Schaus. In his short time here at Ohio, Schaus has already had to perform one coaching search to fill the vacant women's basketball position. Recently, softball coach Jill Matyuch stepped down, paving the way for another. And now with the news of Tim O'Shea's departure to Bryant University, there will be one more beginning shortly.

First on O'Shea's departure to Bryant. It is shocking to say the least. There had been rumors abound that O'Shea wanted to go back closer to home in the Northeast. O'Shea's name was linked to numerous openings in that area including Providence and Brown, neither of which he got. The possibility of O'Shea moving somewhat laterally to a job like Brown seemed realistic. However, never could I have imagined that he would step down from Ohio to a job at BRYANT UNIVERSITY, a program entering Division I basketball. It is shocking to say the least. After hearing his name rumored in numerous other DI jobs, I didn't think he was ready to give up and take a drastic step down to a comfort zone. I hate to say it but give up are the only words to describe O'Shea's decision to go to Bryant.

To go from Ohio to Bryant University and sign an 8 year deal is a pretty clear indication that for whatever reason (being close to family probably a main one) O'Shea was finished with Athens. This is not Providence, this is not even Brown, this is BRYANT UNIVERSITY. This is not meant to take anything away from Bryant or its program, it is just amazing that O'Shea has made the decision that there is no way he is going to move up from the mid-major ranks in coaching. Who knows, if he would have stuck it out with Ohio and lucked into another NCAA Tournament berth maybe he could have lucked his away into a better job.

Or maybe the other bigger DI programs knew what many at Ohio did: Tim O'Shea is an average coach. By no means is he bad. He racked up solid regular season records. But this team never took that next step. The amount of talent wasted on the 2007-2008 incarnation of the Bobcats is sad. Not everything should be blamed on O'Shea but in game management, allotment of playing time and the transfer of at least one student-athlete every year were big issues. O'Shea was Ohio's version of Herm Edwards with the New York Jets; a decent regular season coach who couldn't take the team to the next level.

Now it is time to move on and for Jim Schaus to do as good of a job replacing O'Shea as he did Sylvia Crawley. Will Schaus stay in house and hire assistant coach John Rhodes? Or will he use his rich basketball ties to bring in a fresh face? Possible outside candidates include associate head coaches from Michigan State Mark Montgomery, who has MAC ties, and Tennessee's Tony Jones, who has coached in the midwest, Rob Murphy of Syracuse, who has MAC connections, Xavier's Chris Mack and Florida's Larry Shyatt.