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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What if Randolph had a coach?

BATON ROUGE - LSU freshman forward Anthony Randolph announced he would be turning pro on Tuesday after one season with the Tigers. He is one of the most well-rounded, gifted freshmen to play at LSU in recent years. When former LSU coach John Brady and still-interim coach Butch Pierre signed him out of Dallas, they knew there was a strong chance he would leave after one year.

But it would have been nice to have a head basketball coach in place for the last few weeks so he could have at least tried to talk to Randolph. Someone like Virginia Commonwealth coach Anthony Grant, who is a considerably strong role model, could have made an impression on Randolph. Maybe Grant, whose season has been over for weeks, could have gotten Randolph about playing next season for a new coach, a new system and with a good group of players coming in next season.

But Grant or whomever LSU finally hires to be its coach will never get that chance.

Randolph played his first basketball game at LSU in November. The "search" for a new LSU athletic director began in the same month. It just ended last week. Had LSU president John Lombardi, the LSU search committee and the Dan Parker search firm knew what they were doing, LSU could have hired an athletic director months ago so it could have hired a basketball coach weeks ago.

It's amazing how poorly these two searches have been conducted at supposedly such a big time school as LSU. LSU has been without a permanent basketball coach since Feb. 7 and has done very little toward hiring a new coach. It's amazing how naive some of the people involved are.

It was as if they thought basketball season needed to be over before an athletic director could be hired so he could hire a basketball coach. LSU chancellor William Jenkins said two weeks ago that LSU could not talk to certain basketball coaches - the search firm had to. The seasons were over for almost all the coaches under consideration by LSU. All LSU had to do was pick up the freakin' phone.

Other schools that had openings for much shorter periods than LSU were publicly interviewing coaches. And here was LSU trying to operate in secret.

The secret's out. LSU has no idea what it's doing.

Who can blame Randolph for leaving this mess?


Anonymous Michael said...

You are exactly right. The LSU administration has completely blown the AD hire along with the coaching hire. This is going to set the basketball program back years if they don't pull it out in the final seconds. Frankly, the ad hire should have been made when Bertman announced that he'd retire. It's disappointing, frankly. It's been a fun decade, though. It's ashame it has to end.

2:10 PM  

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