Oh, the press conference. You forget Matt Doherty was the starting small forward at UNC for four years. He’s a big guy. He towers over everybody (except Bamba Fall). Did we learn anything at the press conference? Not really. However, we got a little insight into the man that so much has been said about. He is a very polished man. He knows what he wants to say and he knows how to say it. He knows how to speak to somebody one on one and he knows how to handle a pres conference. In consecutive moments you can see this warm, jovial person and this very intense, serious coach.
Doherty repeatedly said that the players were going to work. I laughed at that. I remember thinking what an eye-opening experience it must have been for the players at Texas Tech when Bob Knight ran his first practice. Doherty is the coach that made his players at Notre Dame run 304 sprints. The players wore the number 304 on their shoes the entire season like a badge of honor.
Like Matt Doherty says, “…why can't we do special things here? Why can't we be in the top 25? Why can't we be one of the elite programs in the country? I asked the players that: Why not us?"
Anyway, the required reading for the day:
New SMU coach: "I want to build a program"
OK, so the salary is only $400,000 per year, plus incentives. What kind of incentives? Fundraising; attendance; performance. There is a commitment to build a practice facility within three years and penalties for SMU if it doesn’t get it done. I love this, by the way.
Watkins also listed four things to improve SMU basketball: First, improve facilities by adding a practice facility and upgrade Moody Coliseum. Second, have cheerleaders at every game and play more modern music to attract a younger crowd. Third, Doherty needs an assistant coach with Dallas roots to help bridge the gap between the school and the DISD. Fourth, marketing. He is exactly right on all counts.
Doherty faces rift with DISD
DISD assistant athletic director Goree Johnson said, "Tell him good luck. I have nothing personal against him. I have concerns with how SMU is doing business."
"Coaches have called me all morning and said SMU is not welcomed in their gyms," Johnson said.
Goree Johnson is, of course, the former coach of Kimball and now is with the DISD. Who else coached at Kimball? Tubbs? Who did Johnson replace? Tubbs. Before I concede that SMU will never recruit another player within a 100 mile radius of campus, I would like to hear from some of those other coaches.
This is where I come across as mean. Tubbs was just cut a check for $600,000.00. He wasn’t that good a coach and he wasn’t getting it done. I am sorry but I don’t feel too sorry for him. Maybe he can get another job as an assistant or maybe get another HS job. I wish him well. I really do.
After Tubbs was announced as coach, a lot of HS coaches left the press conference wearing SMU hats. After they left, they took them off and never wore them again. I said this when Tubbs was hired. If Tubbs had coached at SMU for ten years and let go, the DISD coaches would still be angry. And, guess what, SMU would still have gotten the same number of blue chip athletes as it got in the last two years-zero.
One more time:
Why can't we do special things here? Why can't we be in the top 25? Why can't we be one of the elite programs in the country? I asked the players that: Why not us?