Posts Tagged ‘Jim Donaldson’

If you haven’t already seen it, the latest edition of the COWL came out on Thursday.  The cover

Dan Nieto, COWL

story was, Coach Reacts to Players’ Transgressions. The link is posted, but we will give some of the highlights here.  Coach Keno had this to say about the incident:

“My first reaction was concern.  Concern for the individual that was on the receiving end of this incident and it continues to be that first and foremost. In the midst of this tragedy, my emotions have become an array of disappointment, frustration, and now it’s more of self-reflection for myself, the coaching staff, and the team.”

We thought it was interesting that Coach Keno also went on to address Kyle Wright’s facebook note.  Coach Keno said this to the COWL:

“I don’t have anything negative to say about Kyle Wright.  I wish him the best and hope that he has a bright future ahead of him. But I will say in regards to what Kyle and others have said, we are looking at the way we handle our business and we’re always trying to improve. I don’t want the public perception of Providence College Basketball and the college as a whole to be marked by the unfortunate actions of a few team members. We will try to do the best we can moving forward and try to regain the trust of the fans and the people of Rhode Island.”

Here’s the deal.  Coach Keno has been catching a lot of heat for this whole incident.  People admit that he can not be responsible for everything his players do, as he is not the babysitter; however, people are really getting on him for his recruiting.  You could debate who has been brought in in Keno’s only class to arrive on campus as of yet, and whether they should be here or not, but this is what we think.

In basketball there are plenty of marginal people that are awarded scholarships.  That doesn’t make it right but anybody who follows college basketball just a little bit knows that.  Just look around at all the bad that happened last season in the BIG EAST.  West Virginia, and Catholic universities Seton Hall and Villanova all had notable problems.  Just recently problems popped up at St. John’s.  Nationally, Kansas, Tennessee, and many other schools had problems that arose during the season.  It would be great if you could get Academic All-Americans, who are great kids, and great basketball players but that is just not the way it works.  Even Duke doesn’t always get that.  When you recruit a kid you can only know him to a certain extent.  It would be great if you knew his entire history, but you can’t.  You have to go on what his coaches say.  What his mentors say, and what those around the kid say.  And look back and check Johnnie Lacy’s and James Still’s criminal records and get back to us with what you find.  Neither one was a particularly great student, but that is certainly no indicator to a coach that they are going to senselessly beat up another student.

Don’t mistake us for in anyway trying to defend Lacy or Still.  And we aren’t giving Keno free pass either, but we think all things considered he is not handling the situation poorly.  He has just finished his third year as a head coach, and this is a difficult thing to deal with.  We think he acknowledges that there are some issues in the program and it seems like he is going to try his best to address them.  But for people like Kyle Wright and Jim Donaldson to shift so much of the blame to Keno is a little bit much for our liking.

We are thrilled that Joe Young, Gerard Coleman, Ron Giplaye, and Naadir Tharpe have all signed on with Providence College, but we also hope they are good people and do nothing even remotely similar to what happened earlier this week.  And give Coach Keno a chance.  Let the man make changes and improve the program before you throw him under the bus. (And this is not a response to the article in the COWL which we thought was well written and gave the facts, but more to talk around campus and the always insightful commentary of Jim Donaldson…)

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We posted about Jim Donaldson’s blog yesterday and today he has his full article up about it.  Like we said before, in the closing minutes we had no intention of storming the court, but when people started going so did we, and we don’t think that is anything to be ashamed about or embarrassed about.  We respected Donaldson’s position, even though he was making weak arguments about us having a good record against UConn in the past few years and all, until he took things a little too far and embarrassed himself in the process.

It’s not about winning. It’s not about the team. It’s about self-indulgent students, out for a good time, overexcited adolescents who can’t differentiate between a good win and a great one, and could care less, as long as they get to cavort on the court, in front of the cameras.

Although we disagree with Donaldson’s stance, this passage from his article says all you need to know about him.  Apparently Jim doesn’t understand college basketball.  This was all about the team.  The students don’t go to these games to be on TV.  Trust us when we say people could care less about being on COX, because nobody is really watching anyway.  And for the games that are on ESPN, nobody is running on that court thinking that they will stand out in that crowd of people.  I think that thought is a little ridiculous.  Jim’s remark is so far off it is a embarrassing and I’m surprised it made it to print.

And how about this part from Bob Driscoll

“It was a very nice win.  But we’d like the kids to act as if we’ve done this before… We want them there. We want their enthusiasm.  But it’s not about them running on to the court, taking cell-phone pictures and sending them to their friends, asking if they saw them on TV.

Well Bob who can’t have your cake and eat it too as they say.

Once again, who is even watching COX to begin with.  Nobody is asking if they were seen on TV.  And whether we, Jim, or Bob Driscoll likes it or not we didn’t expect to win last night.  We are Providence and we are an underdog almost all of the time.  Interest is being generated.  Freshman are finding out they have something to root for in PC Basketball.  You got to take some of the bad with the good.  And if that means storming the court and upsetting the basketball gurus at ESPN or the fans of UConn than there are worse things.  Also we are glad Jim pointed out that Kansas State didn’t storm the court after beating Texas, but they were also ranked in the top 15… and if they had… who cares.  Good for them.  Good for the players, the students, the school the whole thing.  That is what Jim completely misses.  There is passion for this team.  There is school pride.  Students go to see the Friars play, and that is where there good time comes from.  And for the naivety of the fans as both Bob Driscoll and Jim pointed out… guess what… just because you go to a basketball school doesn’t mean you know everything you need to know about basketball.  Some people who stormed that court were at there first game ever.  Maybe they don’t know the difference between a good win and a great one, but does that really matter.  You can be as passionate as they come, but not know too much about basketball… because the passion is for the school, Providence College.  And when the team has success it doesn’t hurt to show off your pride.  Wednesday night was people celebrating a really good win for the school that we are all a part of.  (And for that matter why wasn’t this an issue the two years ago when we stormed against UConn, or last year when we stormed against Syracuse?  Or is it that Jim has already forgotten about those, because unless you were running on that floor you probably aren’t going to remember it down the road anyway [Pitt is the exception])

And we really ask, besides UConn fans, URI fans, the Jay Bilas’ of the world, and apparently Jim Donaldson… who cares?  News flash not many people.  Other teams and fans from around the country aren’t looking around and still thinking how laughable storming the court was.  Like we said, we probably wouldn’t have ran out on to the court, but we defend it completely.  Especially when a useless sportswriter like Jim is so hung up on it.  So maybe Jim could write some rules, as to when it is appropriate to storm the court.  Rival games are clearly out.  What about if we had hypothetically won four out of the last seven meetings with Syracuse, but we beat them when the come to The Dunk this year and they are ranked as high as they are now… do we storm?  They are #4 in the country, but four years ago we beat them by 12, they aren’t number one… so what do we do???

And Bob Driscoll, we are disappointed, the student body have never been overwhelming fans of you, but I would like to think that you would be a little more understanding.  Maybe you should set up classes on basketball fan etiquette or something.  He said he was meeting with student leaders soon to discuss the storming, we will see what happens but we have confidence in our student leaders to reason with Bob.

And by no way are we knocking the ProJo here.  Obviously we link to them all the time, and like a lot of what they put out.  Kevin McNamara just recently wrote a really good story about Greedy that we posted about.  This is about Jim Donaldson, and how he has clearly become detached from college basketball, and the Providence College fan base.  To his credit though, it must be very difficult to write about stuff you have no idea about.

On ProJo.com Jim Donaldson wrote on the ProJo College Hoops Blog wrote:

“…what’s up with the kids storming the court?…  Storming the court after handing a team its sixth road loss in seven games makes the local fans look desperate to celebrate SOMETHING.”

He says more in the blog but we just wanted to bring it up.  As we watched the game we weren’t sure what was going to happen if we won.  But with about two minutes left it was clear that the rest of their students were leaving their seats and getting ready to rush the court.  So naturally we didn’t just stand by our seats… we rushed the court.

Sure once you have been there to rush the court after beating a #1, nothing will probably quite compare, and usually we would say that beating a #19 school doesn’t warrant it, but we completely defend it.  If nothing else it creates excitment.  After that bad loss to USF, excitement was what was needed.  So like we said we defend it and for Jim over there at the ProJo here is why:

We aren’t sure how closely you follow PC basketball, but you should probably know that UConn is a rival for PC.  We didn’t see you getting all bent out of shape when URI rushed against PC even when they were favored to win.

UConn is UConn.  There are a few teams in college basketball (Duke, Kansas, UConn, Syracuse, UNC, Kentucky) who no matter what demand emotions from the opposing crowd.  They are the most followed teams in college basketball and because of the name on the jersey, they warrant something a little extra.  We can understand if UConn was unranked, but they were 19th in the country and had just beaten the number one team… convincingly.

This is college basketball.  We know who we are at PC.  We are not an elite team.  We are a lower team in the conference.  We aren’t supposed to beat UConn.  In fact, people didn’t think we would win another game all year.  So when we do beat a ranked rival on our home floor it isn’t an embarrassment to run out onto the court.  Do you really think that people outside of URI and UConn would have any problem with this?  No.  This is college and there is passion.  Jim doesn’t go to PC, so he can’t relate with the excitement of the students, many of whom were seeing a big east game at The Dunk for the very first time were feeling.

There are of course other reason why Jim Donaldson should have just sat back and not been so grumpy but hey, what are you gonna do?  There were a lot of good comments straightening Jim out, so make sure you check them out.  Leave a comment there, or let us know what you think here.  Is there a certain cut off where you should or shouldn’t rush the court, and if so what is it.  Maybe no team ranked worse that#15, maybe #10???  We don’t know.  Maybe, like with this UConn game, you just have to go with the flow.