Tuesday, December 11, 2007

on karl hobbs-gate.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

Two nights ago, the George Washington University's men basketball team was drubbed 68-36 by Virginia Tech--the same Virginia Tech that GW squeaked by in last year's BB&T Classic.

There seems to be a budding tension between the two schools--earlier this year, when Nigel Munson requested to be released from the Virginia Tech squad, coach Seth Greenberg told Munson that he would be released from his scholarship as long as he did not transfer to GW.
Munson, it turns out, wanted to become a Colonial--and he was subsequently not released from his scholarship obligation and will only be allowed to leave this summer. One GW's starting forward,
Wynton Witherspoon, is another Virginia Tech transfer. What's in the water that makes kids want to flee Blacksburg for Foggy Bottom? I have no idea, to be honest, but that's not what we're exploring.

After the smashing laid upon the Colonials by the Hokies, GW coach Karl Hobbs was asked by the GW Hatchet's sports editor, Andrew Alberg, to explain the reason for GW's monumental collapse. His response? From Mr. Alberg's piece:

"They out-physicaled us, they out-ran us, they out-shot us - they dominated in every phase of the game," he said. But the coach would not analyze what he thought of his coaching during the game. When asked by The Hatchet if "every facet of the game" included being out-coached, Hobbs said, "You can say that if you want," and declined clarification upon request.

This wasn't the end of it, though.

The Washington Post article went on to say that "Afterward, Hobbs became heated during a verbal altercation with a student reporter and was pulled away by Athletic Director Jack Kvancz."

Real professional, coach. From all of the reports I have heard, Hobbs isn't very fond of the GW student media--Alberg is said to be one of the only student reporters that he talks to. Hobbs is quick to bellyache to anyone that will listen, though, about the program's shortcomings--it's small gym and workout facilities and lack of funds. The school cannot improve if the team does not win, and though they've been to three straight NCAA tournaments, they haven't done anything in any of them. It's everyone's fault but your own, isn't it, Karl? The school, the students, the players, the staffers at J-Street--but never you. How could it be?

Alberg went on to write that "Asked if he is exonerated from any blame because he does not have top-notch recruits, Hobbs said, "No," but restated, "When I get some top-50 recruits, you can ask me about being outcoached.""

Alberg gave his side of the story at the GW Hatchet blog, and you can access it here.

This is Hobbs, who coaches at a mid-major program, and who is usually lauded for finding players that fit into his system. He gets raw athletes who can run-and-gun with the best of them. 36 points is not part of his system. Did he recruit badly? Did he not coach his system correctly? I don't know, but to deflect blame and say "talk to me when I have top-50 players" is a joke.

There are a lot of mid-major teams who find success without having top-50 recruits. Gonzaga is a perennial powerhouse and I guarantee that they do not get top-50 recruits. The 2003-2004 St. Joseph's team went 27-0 during the regular season and got a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Small schools can succeed--and they regularly do.

Top 50 players aren't recruited--they're created at their universities. Top-50 players that don't produce are just as good as the scores of other Division I-A basketball players who aren't on any lists. These rankings don't mean anything-fifty ain't nothing but a number.

I've long been a Karl Hobbs detractor--and that isn't going to change any time soon
. The man gets ejected in key moments during games and has cost his team.

The fact that he deflected blame from himself and then had to be restrained from attacking a student reporter is a joke. How did he end up with a head coaching job anywhere?

And Witherspoon's kid brother, Wesley, was at the game--he is supposedly a top-50 recruit. Think he'll want to play for Hobbs after the embarrassing loss, the way he blames things on his players and the manner in which he treats students in general? Hobbs said last year that his team just "wasn't that good"--and though they were average, they made the NCAA tournament because they fought. But, how demoralizing must it be to have a coach say "we just aren't that good" while saying that his team isn't good because they don't have any top-50 recruits? How do you expect to win when you lower morale so much? Let the papers and the fans deride the team--you don't ever bad mouth your team in public. You can say "we're young" or "we had an off night" or "we're still growing"--but saying "talk to me when I have top-50 players"? That is just immature and irresponsible.

That's why top-50 recruits don't want to play at GW, Karl--because you're inept. GW better realize this before they become the Atlantic-10's whipping boys (a la St. Bonaventure).