published Friday, May 17th, 2013

5@10: Mini-mailbag and how five college coaching may have been viewed when hired

NAVARRE BEACH, Fla. -- The 5-at-10 has taken the show on the road.

We are going to move quicky as the sand, tots and mini-golf are on the agenda. Again. We also have to pack. If there is a bad thing about a week at the beach, it is packing all the crud that comes with going to the beach. Of course, in some ways that feels like complaining about the tax hit of winning the Powerball, so never mind.

From the sun-splashed veranda of the "Talks too much" studios,

Mini-mailbag plus a top-five

For the regular readers, you know the drill. The 5-at-10 is normally five things on our mind at 10 a.m. Five at 10, pretty genius, huh? On Fridays we normally answer reader-submitted questions.

Well, since we are sneaking up on 700 consecutive 5-at-10s on Mondays-Fridays, we can hardly let a road trip get in the way.

That said, when we're on vacation, we have to adapt and overcome -- i.e. shorten the process. The Mrs. 5-at-10 has us on the clock. Hey, on the clock is a draft term and we love the draft. You know this.

Today, we have one question to answer that has been asked by several of you, and we will add a short top five list. Enjoy, and we will be back next week BID-ness as usual. Well, as usual as we get, any way.

From several of you...

  • photo
    Will Wade is the new UTC men's head basketball coach.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

What do you think of the Mocs hiring Will Wade?

We think it was an excellent hire because the fan base is energized. That was job No. 1, and that job was universally completed. Almost every Mocs fan we have heard from likes the hire, and for a program that had become listless, that is a very good thing.

As for Wade the coach, we like what we have heard -- from him and from tose that know him.

But we few coaching hires differently now than in recent years. Let's call this the Lane Kiffin principle. When Lane was hired in Knoxville it was hailed as a home run by almost every one.

Then we actually saw how Lane handled his BID-ness. Less than good. Less than a home run. Heck, less than an opposite-field single.

This is not to say Wade is Kiffin, Finkle is Einhorn. In fact he appears to be the exact opposite in a lot of coaching ways, and that's high praise.

Still, other than the Lady Mocs hiring Jim Foster -- which is a World Series Grand Slam hire -- we are trying to let each coaching hire play out and be graded on its actual production.

Let's look at the pros and cons of the new Mocs coach:

He has an extreme hoops IQ. He has experienced success at almost every stop. He has been at smaller levels and dealt with financial hurdles. He appears to be a bona fide gym rat.

He also has never been the lead dog of a program. Yes, everyone has to start somewhere, but that is still reason for a slight pause.

The pros definitely out weigh the cons, and coupled with the waves of excitement generated among the fan base, this has the look of a very good-to-great hire.

Still, let's talk agin when the weather turns colder.

And that's how it should be with all hires, and that should seem obvious, but far too often, especially when a once-proud program is starving for success and change, any name can appear to be great and there feels to a certain amount of approval because of the newness. Different is good and we all hope the different will produce good basketball.

But the hopes for home runs and slam dunks and widespread Havoc are easy to have right now. And that is how it should be, and certainly Wade gives off the vibe of success and promise. In fact, we certainly believe Johnny Mocs Fans are going to have to worry far more about keeping Will Wade than replacing Will Wade.

Of course, after being scorched by the Lane Kiffin fireball, we believe Will Wade to be an excellent hire, but seeing the program and he product will be the ultimate believing.

Top five college coaches and how their hires may have been viewed

1) Nick Saban, Alabama football -- almost universally praised; of course Saban was the Tide's second choice behind Rich Rodriguez. If Rich Rod had accepted, the fates of Tommy Tuberville and several other SEC coaches may have been different. This is a similar view of former stud college coaches/struggling pro coaches Steve Spurrier and Rick Pitino.

2) Geno Auriemma, UConn women's hoops -- pretty giant shoulder shrug, considering he had been an assistant at St. Joseph's, at the high school level and at UVa.

3) Coach K, Duke hoops -- after success at Army, there were serious concerns if he oiled handle the rigors of the ACC. Those were put to rest fairly quickly.

4) John Calipari, UK hoops -- a wake of scandal -- and questions whether he old win the big one -- lingered. Still, every one knew Coach Cal could really coach.

5) Brad Stephens, Butler hoops -- he was promoted from within after getting endorsed by the players when former coach Todd Lickliter left for Iowa. Normally promoting from within goes over as well as a toot in church. This is the obvious exception of course.

Discuss, and enjoy the weekend.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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jomo11 said...

Top 5 hires that I thought would work, but didnt

1) Jeff Lebo- Auburn

2) Jon Pelphrey - Arkansas

3) David Cutcliffe - Ole Miss

5) Darin Horn - South Carolina

May 17, 2013 at 10:43 a.m.
jgreeson said...


Good list.

Here is five more.

Kiffin. In Knoxville and at USC.

Petrino. In Atlanta and Arkansas, although you could argue he was a big hit on the field at Arkansas.


Amaker at Michigan.

Billy Gillespie at UK.

May 17, 2013 at 1:45 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Kiffin wasn't even an opposite field single. He was a bunt attempt with two strikes and nobody on base. I always thought he was a mistake. He were.

So what are the top 5 ways to keep the little 5 at 10s entertained on the drive back to Chattavegas?

May 17, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.
rdc919 said...

Saban was actually Mal Moore's first choice but was pressured by some boosters to offer Rodriguez since they did not want to wait until the Dolphin's season was over to talk with him.

May 17, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy -- Excellent question, and the modern advances in technology helped the sanity of modern-day parents.

Here are the five things to keep the tots at 10 busy:

1) iPad

2) I Spy

3) DVD players

4) iPad

5) Naps

And the nap is so powerful, we have told them to just close your eyes and it will make the trip go faster. Well, occasionally we'll be driving around town, and look in the backseat with one of the tots squenching their face tight as the nut on the Brooklyn Bridge.

What are you doing, we'll ask.

Closing our eyes so the trip will go faster, they'll say.

Kids. God bless 'em.

May 17, 2013 at 4:20 p.m.
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