Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Coach Lowery is just lucky, SIU shouldn't pay him

I was checking out The Post's columnist Bernie Miklasz's column about SIU's basketball team this morning. It reminded me about his last column published in the Southern Illinoisan "Bernie Bits from Arch Madness: SIUC needs to pull out all stops to keep Lowery." In there somewhere, Miklasz says, "Memo to the wealthy SIUC alums: Get out the checkbook. Keep your coach."

I don't think that SIU should worry about letting Lowery go. He inherited Bruce Weber's recruits and system, he didn't recruit any of SIU's big time players, he just lost a game to Creighton where he was out coached. He is OK, but anyone could have done just as well. I agree that he has some accomplishments, but it is from being in the right place, at the right time.

If Lowery leaves, it is clear that a revolving door works for coaches. There are lots of other choices. Maybe promote an assistant. It looks like SIU basketball is lined up for success no matter who is coach. The next guy will get just as lucky or more, so why keep the known guy for big bucks?

Your comments are welcome.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

He's already a better recruiter than Weber. Roundtree was on the radar of some high majors and is a huge get for SIU.

Anonymous said...

"He inherited Bruce Weber's recruits and system..."

Is this the same Bruce Weber who has lead U of I to its worst season yet during his 4 years there? Bruce's system isn't nearly as good as you make it out to be, and his results at U of I are the proof.

Peter in Carbondale said...

So you are claiming that he is lucky because he got Painter's recruits? Either way, anyone could do what he is doing can't they? He is just lucky to be in the right spot.

Everyone knows he was out coached in the MVC Tourney Final game. Given that he was out coach once, replacing him can't be hard.

Anonymous said...

Peter, you are clearly out of your league on this one. "Everyone" knows he was outcoached..." Puh-leeze!!!!
Maybe everyone you talk to...what, about five people who don't know beans about athletics to begin with. Read what his players say about him in the papers, what recruits say about him. Chris Lowry has created a tough but nurturing environment for his players and they respond. Number 14 in the country now...they were Number 11 last week. Surely that must say something, even to SIU haters like you.

Bob "the builder" said...

Peter-

I really enjoy your opinions in local politics, the ces95 mess, and local business, but I disagree with you here. Indeed, Lowery did inherit some of the previous coaches' recruits, but I believe credit should be given where credit is due. Coach Lowery has done an excellent job thusfar coaching the team. He has also done a great job with recent recruits. I'm trusting that your opinion is not based only on the last MVC tournament game. Blame should be given to nearly the entire team. Faulker was at his worst at that game....that wasn't the coach's fault. Perhaps he was out coached at the last game, but I don't believe it. SIUC's basketball program has been very strong under the leadership of Lowery. It would be in the University's best interest to try to keep him. If the door keeps revolving, the team will ultimately suffer.

Just my opinion.

All the best,
Bob "the builder"

Anonymous said...

There is no question that SIU basketball has been successful over the past few years.

During this time, the head coach has changed multiple times, the roster has turned over a few times, even the AD position has experienced turnover.

There has been only one constant throughout this period of success - Asst. Coach Rodney Watson.

If Coach Lowery leaves I would hope that Coach Watson gets an opportunity.

Shawn, the Beer Philosopher said...

Peter ... I gotta diagree as well. Although I have been one of Chris' harshest critics, at times, over the last three seasons, what he lacks in sheer basketball coaching genius, he makes up for in team building, motivating, and the ability to form and keep a very cohesive unit together. The players flat out like and respect the guy. He's not a bad coach either ... I'd say he's just above "OK," but he brings a lot of other intangibles to the table we cannot discount. I think it's over-simplification to say he ought to go because he may or may not have the tendency to get out-coached from time to time. Who doesn't ... certainly Weber could attest.

On that note ... whether or not Chris was out-coached on Sunday is NOT why we lost the Creighton game. We lost because both Randal and Tony didn't show up to play, Nate Funk was on an absolute tear, and the officiating was inconsistent, at best. Legitimate excuses for losing? NO WAY! But, it wasn't simply a matter of being out strategized. You can coach your heart out and still lose if your players aren't playing and the other team's players are. Simple as that. This is predominantly why we lost Sunday.

I believe we'd be wise to keep Chris and pay him the going rate for top-tier MVC coaches. He CAN recruit with the best of them, and he's a team-builder, like I said. This has value. Besides, some stability in the head coaching position at SIU would be nice. Couple that with our success over the past several years and you've got a pretty good resume to lure top talent ... despite our inferior facilities, but that's another issue.

I say we do what needs to be done to keep C-Lo a Saluki!

Saluki87 said...

Peter, you're comments on business and local politics are insightful but you're so far off on this I don't know where to start other than to agree with Bob and Shawn. Lowery's in-game decisions and strategies are generally very good (e.g. the Butler game) but not perfect (e.g. the Creighton game). I also think he should try putting a post player, either Shaw or Faulker, around the free throw line when playing against a zone. That might be more effective in finding open players cutting through the zone or an open low post player. Still, overall he's a great coach and he should be kept if at all possible. Do you have any idea how rare this year is for a program like SIU's? All those road wins and the 12 game streak? Any D1 coach who can accomplish that will command a market salary. You want excellence at SIU? In college bball we have it (and yes, I know sports are not the most important thing at a university or any other educational institution for that matter). What we should be talking about is, after keeping Lowery here, why hasn't SIUC been able to capitalize on the positive publicity to date and how can they capitalize in the future.

Footnote, Rodney Watson is a great guy and deserves a chance at a head coaching position somewhere some time. However, connecting him to Webber, Painter, and Lowery as an automatically successful replacement doesn't really work. Rodney was also there through the rise of Rich Herrin's program via good recruiting and the plummet when the recruiting went south. Recruiting is most of the battle and he's not the common denominator in recruiting. He focuses on other aspects and would have to show he can recruit at this level to warrant consideration.

Good post to get people fired up!

Peter in Carbondale said...

As everyone has figured out by now, this was the first in a series of posts about superstars and luck. Thank you for reading, it was fun.

Shawn, the Beer Philosopher said...

Walked right into that one, didn't I! Clever, Peter, clever.