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Friday, April 03, 2009

No luck for Trent

The AP named its national men's basketball coach of the year today and the award went to Kansas' Bill Self.

The AP Player of the Year went to Oklahoma's Blake Griffin.

I don't think anybody would argue with the Griffin selection.

I'll argue with the Self selection. Yes, his team was decimated by roster turnover after a national championship season. And yes, Kansas went on to win the Big 12. He is certainly deserving of accolades.

But it's still Kansas. There is a great tradition at Kansas. And tradition matters. There is an expectation at that program that isn't at, say, Colorado or Iowa State -- or LSU.

LSU coach Trent Johnson, on the other hand, took over a veteran team this year. That can be more troubling than rebuilding some times because you have to get people to buy into what you are doing.

Johnson was able to do just that and his team won the SEC championship. Granted, the SEC was down and the SEC wasn't as strong as the Big 12. But Johnson didn't have the luxury of tradition or great expectations to push his players to a new level. He had a team with no expectations and little to no fan support at the beginning of the year.

He didn't have any luck in this national award. And he probably won't for any of the others. But you can make a case that he is the most deserving.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnson did a great job, and I think he will do well at LSU. We'll see how well, though, in a few years when he is coaching his recruits.

7:37 AM  

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