• LSUBEAT.com • Schedules • Depth Chart • Recruits • LSU in NFL • LSU Gear

Friday, January 25, 2008

Calm before the firestorm?

Beware the word "evaluation" if you're a coach. It often comes not long before the word "fired" or "resigned."

The end could be near for LSU men's basketball coach John Brady. He is no longer on inherited probation and has failed to follow his Final Four appearance of 2006 strongly. The Tigers were 17-15 and 5-11 in the SEC last season. At 7-11 this season, they have the fewest wins of an SEC team and are tied for last in league play at 0-4 going into an 8 p.m. ESPN home game Saturday against Arkansas. Yes, they have had injuries to key players, but better recruiting could have avoided the disaster of last season and the disaster so far this season.

There is so much unrest and such a dark cloud over the program as well as one of those fire-the-coach websites that LSU athletic director Skip Bertman felt he had to do something. He addressed the issue on one of his cyberside chats this week.

"It’s no secret that right now our men’s basketball team is going through difficult times," Bertman said. "With several key players sidelined with injuries, the Tigers are undermanned but working hard each and every game. I hope you will support your basketball Tigers through this difficult stretch with the same passion and dedication that you did for your football team as they fought game by game for a national championship. Consistent winning produces great pleasure for Tiger fans.

But losing brings speculation and disenchantment among fans that can create an environment that is detrimental to a team’s performance."

Then Bertman used that word.

"An EVALUATION of the men’s basketball program will come at the appropriate time, so any speculation now about the future of the program is mere conjecture," he said.
This was a good move by Bertman. He's not just leaving Brady out there hanging. He's also showing concern for the players. He is also saying that a decision will be made about Brady's future at the end of season. Bertman has not done this in any other season, and Brady has had his share of bad ones.

"I am also very aware of the disappointment, criticism and where our team finds itself," Brady said at a rare in-season press conference Thursday. Such a press conference was not called during any other bad season under Brady.

LSU has 12 games left this season and the SEC Tournament. Brady has turned around things before. Following a 13-16 and 2-14 season in 2000-01, he got off to a 12-11 and 2-8 start in the SEC. Then he won six of eight in the SEC to finish 19-15 and 6-10 and advanced in the NIT. He deserves a chance to try to finish strong this season.

If he doesn't, though, he will likely be out of chances. And Brady, who is in his 11th season and headed to his sixth losing SEC season, has had many chances.


Post a Comment

<< Home