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Blog Entry

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Posted on: June 20, 2009 1:37 pm
 

USC athletic director Mike Garrett clearly never consulted Jerryd Bayless on this hire.

Or anybody at Arizona, for that matter.

And if USC was hoping to get some attention with the announcement of its new basketball coach, well, the school sure accomplished that goal. But I'm not certain this is the type of attention it needed, the type of attention that bringing Kevin O'Neill to campus is sure to bring. The reason the hiring came out of nowhere Saturday is because nobody really thought any college would be anxious to lure O'Neill back to the NCAA, particularly the Pac-10. Nothing against his coaching skills, but O'Neill's way of doing things almost never leaves admirers in his trail.

Rather, he goes somewhere.

Coaches.

People start to hate him.

Then he moves on.

Fair or not, that's the track record.

That's why Bayless publicly criticized him after the one year O'Neill spent at Arizona filling in for Lute Olson, one of the reasons Arizona opted not to make him Olson's permanent replacement. And that's also why this hire makes little sense on the surface, although it falls in line with the column I wrote Friday about how USC would be unable to hire Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon or any other established name.

The school missed on Dixon twice.

The school also missed on UNLV's Lon Kruger.

And now the school has settled on ... Kevin O'Neill?

Really?

Somewhere, Jerryd Bayless is laughing.

Because history suggests this probably won't end well.
Comments

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: June 22, 2009 8:34 pm
 

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

He is a good coach, but he alienates players by being extremely hard on them. He'll cuss and belittle them in front of other players to try and get them motivated. He also has a history of bumping heads with the school administration (i.e. when he was at Tennessee). While at Arizona he made it public knowledge that his assistants where not to coach any of the players at all, it was "his" team. He tried to loosen up the players before games by telling an off-color joke or two. Essentially his ego and his "my way or the highway" attitude will cost him this job like it has at Tenn, Northwestern and Arizona.

I agree with everything you said after "He is a good coach".  Everything you said after that contradicts that statement.  Part of being a coach is handling the players and he hasn't shown the ability to do that.  And what "good coach" doesn't let his assistants coach or have any input?  You could argue that he knows his X's and O's, but that's questionable as well.  He refused to make critical in-game adjustments while at Arizona.  He NEVER went away from man defense even when it was painfully obvious to the most casual fan that he should, and even made a statement that he'd rather play man-to-man and lose by 20 than play zone.  And, he ran the most predictable offense I've ever seen, refusing to react to other teams' defensive schemes.

To Robot Obama's comments about KO's appearance (and I won't stoop so low as to respond to his "opinions" about Arizonans), wearing a suit and tie doesn't make you "professional" when your suit is wrinkled and your shirt is untucked.  He showed up at Arizona's year-end event (the year before he became head coach) in a t-shirt and sweatshorts (everybody else was in a suit and tie).  He's ALWAYS dissheveled.




Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: June 22, 2009 4:19 pm
 

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

He is a good coach, but he alienates players by being extremely hard on them. He'll cuss and belittle them in front of other players to try and get them motivated. He also has a history of bumping heads with the school administration (i.e. when he was at Tennessee). While at Arizona he made it public knowledge that his assistants where not to coach any of the players at all, it was "his" team. He tried to loosen up the players before games by telling an off-color joke or two. Essentially his ego and his "my way or the highway" attitude will cost him this job like it has at Tenn, Northwestern and Arizona.



Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: June 22, 2009 3:09 pm
 

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Kevin O'Neill has a career college coaching record of 171-180. He was a respectable stint at Marquette (2 20 win seasons in 92-93 and 93-94 with one trip to the sweet 16) followed by two terrible stints at Tennessee and Northwestern where he managed just 2 NIT trips in 6 seasons. He went 0-16 in the SEC during his final season at Northwestern. More recently, he had a mediocre season with a talented Arizona team that really did not deserve to make the NCAA tournament. I think USC is either stupid or desperate for hiring him because he clearly does not have much in terms of coaching ability. His career record shows that he is mediocre at best. Plus, it appears he wore out his welcome quickly in Arizona especially after reading Bayless's comments.



Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: June 22, 2009 4:31 am
 

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Not a bad hire for now, but IMHO, its the USC cash cow football program that is in need of a clean up by the NCAA..



Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2009 8:40 pm
 

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Yeah seriously, what happened to Reggie Theus?? He turned New Mexico State into an NCAA tourney team in two years! Imagine what he could do with a team that already has talent as well as being in the city that he is originally from. Hiring Theus would have been the best hire that could have possibly been made. Let's face it, Jamie Dixon wasn't going anywhere. Theus was the next best candidate. Kevin O'Neill does have NBA coaching experience but so did Tim Floyd and look where that got them. Floyd was a great recruiter of talent, legal or not, but a horrible in-game coach. O'Neill at U of A was horrible, he couldn't win with solid talent and certainly didn't account for any of the wins that they did have by his stellar coaching. The guy is a gomer and will be gone in three years tops.



Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2009 7:08 pm
 

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

I don't think Theus was passed over.  I think he declined the job.



Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2009 6:25 pm
 

He Who Laughs Last

First. I bet O'Neill was laughing when Bayless dropped down the draft board. The Nix actually took a razor thin Italian over him. Then he laughed again when he was traded. Then laughed again when he didn't crack the starting line-up. Then laughed again when he pussed out with an injury. Talk about glass houses. Your siding with a spoiled athlete? That's a "really"!

Second. How dare any AU fan have an opinion on bad coaching. Is any other team more synonymous with unrealized expectations? With choking? With under achieving? You sun-baked trailer hicks know as much about sports as you do about real estate. The only reason you get players is that you let them run around like a pick up team and have some of the loosest admission policies in the nation.

BTW. UF laughs at Lon Kruegar (and not just his down syndrome like appearance). Dixon is too good for SC pre-scandal. And Theus is WNBA material. O'Neill is clean. He wears a suit and tie to work. He's a professional. Just the sort of guy who will represent what the university is about. Floyd looked like an high school english teacher for all his success. He was dingy mid-west through and through. O'Neill is Fortune 500. He looks like an agent. He perfect for the city's university. Now if he just had a fist full of dirty money.



Since: Feb 13, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2009 3:13 pm
 

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

Don't forget his disaster in Toronto in NBA, where he preferred hanging out at the Irish bar at Yonge & Wellington, a few blocks from the arena, as opposed to coaching the Raptors. Terrible, terrible, terrible choice for USC. Maybe it knows it is going to get whacked with sanctions so decided to hire a do-nothing for a couple of years.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 21, 2009 12:25 pm
 

O'Neill back in the Pac-10? Really?

He inherited a team with three first-round NBA picks in Bayless, Budinger and Hill with a solid supporting cast and did nothing with them.  He tries to run an NBA system in college, which doesn't work; runs the same play on every offensive possession. 

I'm definitely not an O'Neill fan but I don't think this is a bad hire by USC. Things didn't go well at AZ, true, but that was a tough situation with many factors beyond O'Neill's control. Let's face it Hosh, the UA players for the past few years have been the biggest set of underacheivers we've seen in Arizona uniforms since Olson was hired. Pennel did better than O'Neill with that group of players because Pennel coddled them and O'neill didn't. There's no doubt that O'Neill didn't have the right kind of players to fit his system but never adjusted his system to fit the players he inherited, and that says something negative about his flexibility as a coach. However, O'neill has had past success solidifying programs that were in disarray and he's always run a clean program.  Personally, I think the guy is a jerk, but that might be exactly what USC needs at this point. O'Neill will be at USC just long enough to right the sinking ship then he'll be fired for the guy who can take the program to the next level.



Since: Feb 3, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2009 10:58 am
 

Yet another revision of history

No small wonder you squat and prostrate yourself here.

Read it and weep.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ba

sketball/college/men/news/1999/02/1

5/news.084uwire1.html


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