Dave White is very busy with his career as an author and thus doesn't write for us that much anymore. However, he has been incredibly active the past week. Reading these articles by the most die-hard Rutgers Hoops fan I know inspired me to think more about the state of the team.
Yesterday, Dave White wrote about Eddie Jordan's failure to coach defending the three-point shot.
A few days previous, he wrote about patience.
About a week ago, he wrote a letter to Pat Hobbs about the Rutgers basketball team.
I am a football first fan and these articles also made me think about the similar situation that the football team was in this past fall. Similar to Bob's extensive bracket choosing the next coach during the season, Aaron put together an incredibly extensive list of who could be the next basketball coach, with this season in progress.
Comments in Aaron's article begged the question: Can Rutgers afford to try an hire a new coach?
I couldn't help but to backtrack when that same question came up during football season.
I publicly questioned if Rutgers could afford to fire Kyle Flood and risk hiring an upgrade. Flood had a pretty strong recruiting class and more importantly, a pretty hefty buyout. Maybe 2015 was a down year and Flood needed to get Anthony Russo on campus to run his pro-style offense and there needed to be continuity at offensive coordinator.
Well, when the season ended, President Robert Barchi entered "F*ck it all" mode and cleared house. He didn't even waste his time trying to save $1 million+ by firing Flood for cause, which he may have been able to do. He was prepared to get rid of Flood and Julie Hermann, as Michael Scott would say, "ASAP as possible".
Quite simply, the same approach should be taken with Eddie Jordan. The team isn't getting better, and Eddie is not adapting his ways as a coach to benefit the team.
When Rutgers got embarrassed by in-state "rival" Seton Hall, Eddie Jordan rattled off the most embarassing post-game quote I have ever heard from any coach in any sport.
I told them I'm not going through rebounding drills guys. That's not in my package as a coach. Rebounding is about heart and nose for the ball and wanting to go get it. That's just not me as a coach.
Later in the season, Rutgers lost 107-57 against Purdue and Purdue had more rebounds (63) than Rutgers had points. Currently, Rutgers' top 3 big men are all done for the season. To reiterate, Eddie Jordan will not coach the team to rebound because it isn't in his "package". What the f*ck, Eddie?
Sure, Kyle Flood didn't appear to coach defense at all during his tenure, but at least he tried to coach his team's biggest weakness. I won't understand if Eddie Jordan can publicly state he neglects to coach a basic fundamental and keep his job.
With that rant over, let's get to more similarities between Jordan and Flood.
After every blowout, Kyle Flood would spit out the same Newspeak-ish garbage. He was not concerned about the blowout losses, "Chris Laviano is our starting QB," "1-0".
After that 107-57 loss to Purdue, Eddie Jordan was asked is he was disappointed with the defensive effort. His response: "No. What was disappointing about the defensive effort?" YOU LOST BY 50 POINTS AT HOME.
Lack of defensive coaching
On the football team, the secondary got shredded week after week for three straight seasons. The basketball team continues to fail to defend the 3-point shot, basketball's equivelant to passing plays. There is no excuse for the basketball team, as all of their guards are healthy and they are pretty deep with bodies at guard. They are just not coached to defend the arc. Similarly, Joe Rossi, aka Kyle Flood's annoying little brother had no clue how to coach defensive backs.
When Eddie Jordan was hired, he was celebrated as a Rutgers hero and a great hire. He was the epitome of a loyal son of Rutgers and was embraced by the fan base. Similarly, Kyle Flood was celebrated as a loyal son, having loyally served on the staff for the previous 7 years before he was hired. He had a very succesful first season, but it began to downhill from there. In Eddie Jordan's first year, the team went 12-21, but won a conference tournament game. Furthermore, he inherited a complete shitshow of a program. The fans were patient. However, the team went 10-22 last year and stands at 6-19 this year, with their chances of a win getting slimmer by the day. Jordan's victory over Wisconsin last year is his only accomplishment as coach.
Reason to not fire
The main reason to not fire Kyle Flood was FOMO. FOMO is the fear of missing out, usually used in regards to the social lives of teens. In this sense, it is the fear of Rutgers missing on a coach because of how many open jobs there were better than Rutgers. In basketball, it seems like any job is better than Rutgers. Rutgers has awful facilities, a fading fan base, a superior womens team, a football team that drives the bus, a poor program history, and not a very talented roster. Of course that begs the question: Can Rutgers really get a better coach than Eddie Jordan?
Faith in Pat Hobbs
I respect Eddie's accomplishments as a player and he is definitely a Rutgers Basketball legend as a player. However, as a coach, he is not. Pat Hobbs stepped in and hired Chris Ash, who is already better than Kyle Flood ever was. More importantly, he hired Kevin Willard to a similar situation at Seton Hall. Willard currently has the Pirates at 17-6 and on the verge of an NCAA tournament berth. More importantly, Hobbs hired a coach who can consistenly win big games, demonstrated by the Pirates' 2015-16 upset wins against teams like Wichita State and Providence. In addition, Seton Hall has not been blown out in any of their 23 games this year. Hobbs did the impossible back in 2010 with Seton Hall and in 2015 with Rutgers. I have faith he can get it done and it is time to rip off the Eddie Jordan band-aid.
Let's remember him in the Rutgers jersey and not the sweater vest.