By: Tyler Dugan
I gave it a couple of days to cool off and regroup because I said you shouldn’t overreact to one game played on December 2nd, but obviously other things transpired that have forced my hand.
For the billionth time in the Mick Cronin era, UC had a massive road game where they looked wildly unprepared. I would be fine with the loss, but it was the way they lost that was flat-out embarrassing.
How on God’s green earth did Trevon Bluiett consistently have wide open looks at the rim? The guy put up 40 last year on you, and he continued to just have wide open looks all game long. 28 points. Absolutely ridiculous, obviously he’s a good player, and he will get his, but the constant wide open looks were mind-boggling. Kyle Washington was god awful. Watching him clang 18 foot jump shots with 15 seconds left on the shot clock is the most annoying thing on the planet. It took them forever to actually press. That is the only thing that got them somewhat back in the game, but they didn’t start doing it until the 10 minute mark. Then, as they begin to claw back into the game towards the end of the 1st half, Mick gets his token unnecessary tech after a UC blocked shot that left X with 2 seconds on the shot clock. A chance to go into the half with a little momentum and Mick pissed it away. Then the thing that really set me on absolute fire was with 7:45 left in the game, UC went on their first true run of the game. They cut a 23 point deficit to 13, and had momentum. This was the sequence that entailed:
That is PATHETIC, and that is COACHING. People tried to tell me that was players trying to make plays, which isn’t incorrect. My whole point is good coaches don’t allow players to take horrendous shots consecutively in big moments. All the threes taken were contested. Hands in the face with little movement of the ball. That is classic UC. That is classic Cronin. Get the offense set, and run a play to get a quality look. I’m sorry, good coaches simply don’t allow that to happen. It’s college basketball, not the NBA. LeBron isn’t on the floor to take whoever is on him one on one. Mack, Brey, Izzo, Wright, Beline, K, Williams, Self, Miller…they don’t let that happen. Mick has ZERO control. Oh, and let’s not forget that he prides himself on defense and rebounding. They gave up 89 points and got murdered on the boards. It just always seems like when UC has a big game, not played at home, UC looks really unprepared and gets off to a terrible start. To me, that is simply coaching. But, again. It was their first test of the year, this team is still good, with lots of talent, we will learn a lot about this team on Saturday against Florida.
Now, to the real story. The Mick vs Macura feud. Just a ridiculous thing all around. First, JP Macura is a tool. His face permanently looks like he just got done sucking on a lemon. But overall you just have to respect this move by him. HE GOT IN THE COACH’S HEAD. Mick got that T because of Macura. Mick was thrown off because JP was calling him a MFer? Are you serious?! Then Chris Mack comes in his post game press conference acting like he should win the Noble Peace Prize because apparently Lance Stephenson called him the N word 7 years ago, and Mack still shook his hand. As the editor in chief here at The PUP List said, I’m all for seeing that on video, because if that is true, Lance Stephenson calling the whitest guy on earth the N word is pretty funny. Either way, Mick came off of this looking like a total loser. Grow up. It’s a heated rivalry, if you can’t take being called a mother fucker, than this isn’t for you pal. That’s what this game is about. It’s what we want. We want cussing, elbows, punches, that is literally what this game is. You are a 40-year-old man, grow up. Mick’s favorite word is toughness, if you can’t take that, you lack literally any toughness.
But overall, my biggest take on all of this is that this shows UC’s players have 0 respect for Cronin. I don’t like comparing Cronin to Huggins because it isn’t really fair to him, but I am going to in this instance. If Bob Huggins was coaching UC, and JP Macura looked over to Bob Huggins and called him a mother fucker, before Bob could say a word, Macura would’ve been flattened by one of those UC players. Those players would die for Huggins. Literally die for him. They treat him like a father. I feel like most college basketball players feel that way about their coach. Not these players. These players wouldn’t die for Mick, hell they wouldn’t even foul JP hard after he publicly embarrassed their coach.
Mick is a clown. He whines about officiating. He whines about where he has to play in the NCAA tournament. He whines about seeding. About rankings. About his conference not getting enough credit. You know what fixes all that Mick? Win. Win in the NCAA tournament. Win a tough non conference road game. Keep your mouth shut, and win. One time.