We’ve taken a bit of a break from Washington Husky news during the Final Four. There’s not a whole lot going on anyway. Coach Lorenzo Romar and his staff were in Indianapolis last week for the Final Four festivities.
The big news in college basketball is Butler’s improbable run to the national title game where it will meet Duke, which is gunning for its fourth championship.
It’s a classic matchup. David vs. Goliath. Big school vs. Little school. Duke has six McDonald’s All-Americans on its roster. Butler has none.
And here’s a note from the AP story: “Mike Krzyzewski has been coaching for 35 years. Butler coach Brad Stevens has been alive for 33.”
Krzyzewski makes $4 million per season while Stevens rakes in $396,602. (Salaries for most of the coaches in the NCAA tournament below.)
The other big story of the weekend was West Virgina G/F Da’Sean Butler’s knee injury (above) and the manner in which Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins consoled the fallen All-American.
It was a powerful scene and maybe some folks will change their opinions of Huggins, who has come across as gruff, brash and uncaring of his players during his 28-year coaching career.
But then maybe I’m wrong. Last night a reader sent me an e-mail with an entirely different take.
He wrote: “… Huggins’ choice of action was either sincerely personal or cynically professional — I don’t know the man, so I’ll leave which open. But in either case, and perhaps especially if it was sincere on Huggins’ part: this observer found it deeply inappropriate.
“Butler’s injury was obviously painful. But it was not life-threatening; he simply crossed over that ultra-fine red line, from potential risk to reality, from successfully auditioning for the big bucks in the NBA on a dangerous, full speed stage, to wondering if his future would now be more limited.
“As a man worthy of respect as a player, and off the court, from reports made about his good works, he deserved better than Huggins was capable of giving to him. He deserved the opportunity to be moved off the court as soon as possible to be tended to properly. He deserved his dignity, to be treated like all other players injured on the field of play are treated, not as an object of someone else’s emotional response about him.
“This spectacle Huggins couldn’t help himself from perpetrating was invasive, and simply not called for.”
SUNDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Most of these links are little dated. Sorry. Still, some interesting information. For instance, USA Today breaks down the salaries for most of the coaches who participated in the NCAA tournament.
— The Arizona Daily Star reports Wildcats coach Sean Miller receives an annual $300,000 pay hike because “every spring a school like Oregon (it was Arizona in 2009) goes on the hunt for a new coach and implies that it is willing to toss around crazy money. It is why the salary market at all levels of college hoops is so skewed.”
Miller is the sixth highest paid coach in college basketball.
— In case you missed it, here’s a fairly lengthy video interview of UW recruit Terrence Jones who talks about waiting until Oregon hires a coach before picking a school.
— The Oregonian reports the Ducks spent $75,000 to an executive search firm to help find its new men’s basketball coach.