That’s Debatable: Coaches Giving Thanks

Posted by rtmsf on November 24th, 2009


Each week RTC will posit a That’s Debatable question or topic that is relevant to the world of college basketball.  Sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious, we’ll post the thoughts of our core editing crew (in 200 words or less), but we’ll also be expanding to include our contributors and correspondents as appropriate throughout the season.  We also invite you, the readers, to join us as we mull over some of the questions facing the game today.  Feel free to send us your takes and/or leave them in the comments below.

This Week’s Topic: Thanksgiving week is upon us, and families everywhere around the country will come together to give thanks for the numerous people and things important to them.  What will some of the nation’s top college basketball coaches give thanks for during this week of reflection and thought?

nvr1983 – editor/contributor, RTC

One of the people who should be thankful this Thanksgiving is Thad Matta. When last season ended two of his players were contemplating leaving school early to go to the NBA: B.J. Mullens and Evan Turner. While Mullens was the more highly rated recruit, he hadn’t quite lived up to those expectations. Although Turner was no slouch in high school (he was a 4-star recruit), he didn’t come to Columbus with the same expectations. By the end of last season, both players we predicted to be mid- to late-first round picks. As you all know Mullens decided to leave school early and ended up being selected #24 overall by the Mavericks before being traded to the Thunder where he is averaging 3 PPG and 1 RPG in 15.8 MPG. Turner decided to stay in Columbus for at least one more season and is the early favorite for National Player of the Year after starting the season averaging 21.8 PPG (on 59% FG), 14.8 RPG, 6 APG, and 1.8 SPG for the Buckeyes. If Mullens had stayed and Turner had left OSU wouldn’t be a top 25 team, but because the roles were reversed they could be a top 10 team.

rtmsf – editor/contributor, RTC

While many coaches across the land will give thanks this week for a top recruit or a big win or still having a paying job, BYU coach Dave Rose will be thankful that he’s still around to coach his team.  You see, on June 17 of last summer, Rose was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and as far as pancreatic cancers go, his wasn’t the worst kind, but seeing those two words together (“pancreatic” and “cancer”) is never a good thing.  He had emergency surgery the very next day to remove part of his spleen and pancreas, and after a quick recovery, he now sits as the head coach of a strong 3-0 team with aspirations to win the Mountain West and make some noise in this year’s NCAA Tournament.  Oh, and did I mention that all tests show that he is completely cancer-free?  BYU feels so highly about Rose that the school gave him a 5-year extension through the 2014 season, showing their faith in both his coaching acumen as well as his health.  There’s no greater gift than the one of life, and Rose is undoubtedly living each day as if it were his last — now that’s something to be thankful for!

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