The English language is an expansive collection of many different vernaculars and dialects, originating in early medieval English territories. It has grown to become the dominant tongue of the modern world, giving birth to some of the most beautiful and expressive poetry ever composed. However, it fails to correctly capture the precise level of dog-shit basketball on display at Chaifetz Wednesday night against perennial Ohio Valley Conference powerhouse, Morehead State University. In case you had the distinct pleasure of having a root canal during this week’s clash of the titans, forcing you to miss the Billiken’s latest offering, I’ll briefly recap. SLU got bare-ass spanked on its home court in front of around five thousand of its most rabid fans. Morehead State got whatever it wanted on offense. Driving worked. Scoring down low was mostly uncontested. 3-pt shots were open all night. The Bills were honestly lucky more of those didn’t go in. It was even worse on offense. The Billikens were credited with 20 turnovers compared to 8 assists…….At half-time the entire team had combined to amass 15 total points. This is as in far as I will dive into the stats because I can actually feel my blood pressure rise I as type this.
An early theme of the majority of our posts has been to question decision making by the coaching staff. I won’t be doing this here. An embarrassment such as Wednesday night drives criticism higher. At this point, Chris May (SLU’s athletic director) needs to be questioned. I’ll make an analogy here to better explain my logic behind this. If your friend brings his/her puppy over to your house, and then allows said puppy to shit all over the carpet, and rip the hell out of all the upholstery, you don’t yell at the puppy. It doesn’t know any better. You make the owner clean up its mess, and then you kick him/her the hell out of your house. Jim Crews is that puppy, and Chris May is his oblivious, negligent owner. At this point, one can only assume that May is asleep at the wheel. We have among the best facilities of any mid-sized basketball program, and yet this is the product this management group is apparently content to run out each week. It’s a joke, and something needs to change. Biondi would never have allowed this on his watch!
This brings me to my main point. If SLU plans on running their basketball operations this way, they had better lower the price of a beer at Chaifetz. Can they reasonably expect people to enjoy this team whist shelling out nine dollars a pop on booze? At this point I have to be absolutely loaded to make it through a game without having an aneurysm. Even better, let’s allow each paying fan (over the age of 21 of course) to bring their own flask through the entry gates. At that point Crews and May can parade dogs on the court dressed in Billikens jerseys, and I wouldn’t bitch at all.
So to recap here are my suggestions on how to fix SLU Basketball:
a) allow fans to bring in copious amounts of hard liquor into the games
2) dogs in Billiken jerseys posing as players
Get on it Mr. May
There is no doubt that Crews’ disability to coach has been exposed over the last two games, but I’m not going to harp on that because I feel like we’re starting to beat a dead horse (justifiably). It is becoming more and more apparent that Jim Crews does not know how to manage his team during games.
However, as much as I want to agree that Jim Crews needs to be shit-canned, I have stronger beliefs that this will not happen – and for good reason.
Here are some facts about Jim Crews’ four years with the Billikens (this includes his interim-head coaching year):
- His record is 70-37 (65.4%)
- He has won two A10 Conference Titles (2013, 2014)
- He has won one A10 Tournament (2013)
- He has two NCAA Tournament appearances (2013, 2014)
- He is a two-time A10 coach of the year (2013, 2014)
- He won the NABC Coach of the year (2013)
Now, even if you attribute those accolades to Rick Majerus and the leadership of his recruiting classes (this is a very fair statement, and one I believe personally), you cannot begin to discuss the firing of a coach because he has two losses to teams who currently sit atop the national defensive rankings (both Louisville and Morehead State are tied for the top defense in the NCAA). As someone commented on our last post of a similar subject, if you’re going to blame Crews for his losses you must also credit him for his wins.
I can only assume that Jim Crews took over recruiting duties starting in 2013 when Majerus was hospitalized, so Crews has to take full responsibility for the makeup of his team. But to be fair, how can we fully assess the body of this work when the majority of his recruits are only sophomores? It’s not like he could have begun the process and building his own team any sooner? When he took over all his scholarships we’re tied up in Majerus’ seniors.
In Rick Majerus’ second and third year of coaching (when his first recruits would be freshman and sophomores) his record was a combined 41-27. In comparison, Jim Crews was 38-28 during his same span. And for the argument that Jim Crews inherited a far superior roster, let’s not forget that Rick Majerus inherited the greatest basketball player on the planet in Kevin Lisch. Someone might have to check my facts on this but I believe Kevin Lisch ended his campaign having the all-time NCAA records for most points, most assists, and most hearts melted. Love you.
While it may be an easy out to call for Jim’s head because we got “bare-ass spanked” (love this by the way, kudos) by Louisville and Morehead State. I think it’s a bit early to call for the pitchforks. And while the trend isn’t favorable, I also don’t think its fair to call him a failure when the team he has put together is still so young. Didn’t we give Majerus the same courtesy?
Disclaimer: I was forced into this position based on the format of the “weekly rant.” I don’t believe anything I just wrote. Jim Crews is terrible.