Thad Matta Interviewing on Monday

Thad Matta is reported to interview for the vacant position on Monday.

Will Thad Matta get the job?  It’s unknown, but he is being interviewed.  There are a lot of questions about Matta’s health and whether he can be the same coach he was before the slow disengagement toward the end of Matta’s run in Columbus.

What the student-athletes want may become an issue too.  The underclassmen (Sophomores and Freshmen) have been quite clear about what they want.

  1. They want offensive freedom.
  2. They want to get up and down the court.
  3. They want Jonas Hayes on the staff.

Fox’s Last Interview Comments were interesting to say the least.

There’s a lot of criticism to be thrown at Fox, but he said some interesting things that should be noted.

On his job security:

“Honestly, March of 2014. If you want my honest opinion.  I felt like that from that point forward I probably wasn’t secure as I’d ever want to be. But that comes with the territory.”

March 2014 was when Mark Fox’s Bulldogs lost to Louisiana Tech in the NIT.  Greg McGarity opted to extend Mark Fox’s contract in early April 2014.  McGarity was in extend or fire mode then and at that time chose to extend Fox’s contract because of the expectations for the following season.  It was also the more affordable option.

It was during this time that Fox was getting overtures from Washington State, they ended up getting Ernie Kent.  The highlights of the Kent era were anything Malachi Flynn did, sweeping Washington last season and winning the Wooden Legacy Tournament this season.

On his relationship with Greg McGarity

He says that when J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity informed him of his firing the he asked Fox for any comments or suggestions that might help the program going forward. His answer was for McGarity to begin a partnership with the next coach — for those two to work arm-in-arm to help enhance the basketball tradition of a school traditionally seen as a football school.

A reporter pressed Fox on that answer, asking if he was suggesting that wasn’t the case with he and McGarity. Fox sidestepped the question about, saying that he and McGarity would probably “agree to disagree” when it come to whether or not they had worked cohesively in that way.

So “Raising the Flag” was Mark Fox’s way of instilling some sort of a tradition?  What is McGarity looking for from the Men’s Basketball Program?  It’s about creating a culture and it seems that even though Mark Fox’s efforts to do so diminished Georgia Basketball, he tried and did not get much assistance from McGarity.  The idea of “knowing your role” certainly applies within Butts-Mehre and Fox was not strong enough to create what would be a counterculture.

Kirby Smart runs roughshod over Greg McGarity because McGarity needs Smart more than Smart needs him.  This is what it is needed for Men’s Basketball, but it is not the prioritized sport at Georgia.

It also speaks to the possible differences between The Powers That Be and McGarity, they favored Fox and McGarity may have been long opposed.  It takes time, but now McGarity apparently had the freedom to make the move despite Fox’s relationships.

Why did Fox get a press conference again?

3 comments

  1. The final score doesn’t show it, but we got flat out embarrassed in that La Tech NIT game. If that was the last straw for McGarity, I can’t blame him. It was pretty obvious at that point that Fox was only surviving due to a weak SEC and there were even some mid-majors with significantly better coaches than ours. It was about that time, when the rest of the SEC decided to get serious with their coaching hires. Naturally, the two historical conference doormats (UGA and Ole Miss) ended up being the last to make a move to can their mediocre coaches.

    Regarding UGA declining to play in the NIT, it looks like we might not have been picked anyway. SC didn’t get an NIT invite despite beating us twice, having the same conference record as us and being seeded one spot ahead of us in the conference tourney. I think Fox probably helped the players toward their decision with his words to them. Sitting it out probably looks better than getting your butt kicked by some mid-major directional school…IF we had even made it.

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