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Watching the 30 for 30 special got me thinking about when we hired Bill Foster to replace Frank McGuire. Seems like I read an article at some point that mentioned the other coaches who were available at that time. We hired Foster from Duke for the 1980-81 season . Of course, Duke replaced Foster with Coach K, who didn't exactly tear it up the first 3 or 4 years prior to hitting it big. 1980-81 was also the year N.C. State hired Jimmy Valvano from Iona. 1981-82 was the year Georgia Tech hired Bobby Cremins to try to rebuild their program that was likely worse than ours is now.
I know hindsight is 20/20 but looking back at the history books, there were others who had either just taken new jobs or could've been had at that time. Jim Calhoun had just turned Northeastern around, winning their conference in 1980. Gene Keady took over at Purdue the same year and Billy Tubbs took over at Oklahoma too.
Things would've probably worked out better for us had we hired someone else, don't you think?
I think about it this way...If we hired Bobby Cremins in 1980, the same coach who took over the WORST program in the ACC, we would have been set for the next two decades. There is no doubt in my mind that Cremins would have done here what he was able to do at GT if not more. We would have gone to a couple of Elite 8, maybe a Final Four (just like they did at Tech), and Bobby would have stayed here until he retired. It is easy to, and a little sad, to think about what could have been if we had hired Bobby in '80
I gotta agree on Bobby Cremins - with all my heart I believe that he would have been the best thing for us for 20 years...
That said, directly following Bill Foster, I miss the George Felton era. Other than Frank's great run of teams (especially from Harlicka-Thompson to Roche-Riker-Owens to Winters-Dunleavy-Alex English) --- my favorite run of teams has to be Felton's run. He was extremely popular on several levels...
I just loved to watch those guys play basketball: John Hudson... Terry & Perry Dozier... JoJo English... Barry Manning... Joe Rhett... and Jamie Watson there at the end. They accomplished a lot in just a 5 year run: got ranked; went to the Dance; beat UNC; put together two 19 wins seasons & a 20 wins season - and just played exciting ball. (He had a great staff too - with Tubby Smith, etc.).
I miss those days - and when MCR asks "What if?", I always roll back to those Felton years. "What if" Coach Felton had played out his personal life actions differently --- what if he had kept the ball rolling recruiting-wise, and victory-wise --- what if he had continued to build those McGuire-bonding ties that he was building ---just "What if"...
This post was edited by 90K 13 months ago
I remember someone telling me a Felton statistic soon after he was released by USC. I was told that in the five years that Felton was the coach there was only one time that Carolina lost a game in which they held the lead at any time in the last 5 minutes. I have always wanted to research that statement, but I don't know how I could.
Leaving the ACC made the job much more difficult for any coach that replaced Frank. Heck, it made the job more difficult for him. I would have been willing to either keep Felton or hired Cremins to replace Frank. Either one would have been better for USC basketball than what we have done.
I hope Martin is the right hire this time. The SEC hasn't been this down in quite awhile. I hope he can take advantage of the current situation.
Keep in mind we had 20 years in the wilderness before the SEC - even Frank's teams slipped after we left the ACC - we lost our natural rivals - and the Metro was not the answer for us. I too believe getting rid of Felton with King Dixon as AD was a mistake. While the names mentioned could have been viable alternatives- none had a bigger name than Foster - coming off national final team at Duke - Gene Banks, Mike Gminski, Jim Spanarkel, etc.
Do you think we would could get a Duke head coach to jump to South Carolina today?
I have to agree here. Felton really had it going. I loved watching his teams play. When he had a healthy group, the pressure defense applied was unreal. I remember a Temple game at the Coliseum, where the Owls couldn't get the ball past half court. They were down 20 before the first TV timeout. It's such a shame that the University couldn't have handled his situation better. It's no doubt in my mind, we would have been a regular participant in the Dance if George could have got his problems straightened out.
There is also no doubt in my mind, we can win in basketball. Frank will get this thing going; I feel it in my bones.
I think hiring a coach with solid recruiting ties to areas outside the southeast was a great move. Recruiting this area isn't going to get it done. Florida is a horse of a different color because of it's large population and diversity of people from across the country. Looking at the best couple of SEC, ACC, and other Top 10 schools, I can only find about 15-20 players TOTAL from the southeast, not including Florida and Kentucky. Louisville has some Kentucky kids obviously. Even Georgia, usually a hotbed of talent, is under-represented currently on top teams.
By the way, who is Brandon Bolden from Georgetown? He's listed as a 6'10'' freshman center from Sumter, SC. I've never heard of him and he has virtually no stats this season. Just curious.
This thread has the potential to be longer than War and Peace
Why did Felton lose his job? I have a vague recollection of some scandal or something but don't remember any details.
He was a drunk
I coached him in middle school. I think he played at Sumter High School for a season and moved up north to go to school and play ball. The kid was 6'-6" as an 8th grader. Proud of Brandon.
gosh somebody who drank. and won games. when joe morrisson was our football coach he would drink a beer at halftime
winners don't always fit neatly into pidgeonholes made by goody two shoes
would rather have a coach with a dui that a program that is so far in the crapper I lost hope
but, we are good moralists. what a crock.
Living that kind of lifestyle eventually catches up to you.
Ask Larry Eustachy, or Brad Lawing, or Terry Bowden, or even GA Mangus.
It doesn't make them bad people at all, but it isn't the type of example you hope to have for the young people in the program or especially the younger fans of those players.
Nothing wrong with having a beer, but you have to be careful. Coaches aren't just average joe, anonymous citizens.
I loved Coach Joe, but his lifestyle made George look like a nun. Dixon was a narrow-minded bigot.
either it catches up with you, or else you decide to grow up & move on.
you can have your examples....such as the example of fig newton hired by same goody two shoes king Dixon, he just recruited a mentally nuts kid who tried to gut his girlfriend
did that set a good example? or how about the example of us sucking like dogs sucking eggs in a egg lust mood?
if the moralists had wished they could have scolded felton & given him an ultimatum.
instead we hired that newton guy. yeah, we really set an example
When I was younger, I had a bumper sticker that said, "If I owned Hell & Clemson, I would rent out Clemson and live in Hell"
Maybe there was something in my post that led you to believe I was in favor of Felton being fired. I can't imagine what it might have been. Or maybe you are just venting some long-harbored bitterness for old King Dixon. Anyway, I don't believe that Felton deserved to get the ax. It turned out to be a mistake that set us back quite a few years.
my mistake. not the first one
If I'm not mistaken, it was Bill Foster who recruited the Doziers.
Yeah, I think you're right... the roots of recruiting usually take a few years - and the "new" coach usually gets a few guys that the "old" coach was working on --- so, no argument there.
But my point was: in reality / actual coaching & playing time, they were Felton's... and he did a really good job with them, and as a whole - with everybody during his 5 year run. It was a very good era of BB for us... very good.
And as MCR said (and Aaron Burr Cock was insinuating) - losing Felton set us waaaay back. A classic "what if..."
let me make clear, its no insinuation. I think it was a foolhardy move. we had credibility in the local...Columbia...area due to cultivated relationships including the local head coaches who had familiarity with the old McGuire crowd.
if a person has a problem, how does one deal with it? dumping them? or do you offer some semblance of a chance to redeem oneself? not for murder or mayhem, but surely there can be a second chance from a dui
heck, duis are as south Carolinian as the palmetto tree the moon...heh
I loved those teams under Coach Felton, but I also saw Felton (he had been drinking) curse at and almost get in a fight with an elderly donor at a Gamecock Club function. One of the former bball players had to step between them..The donor was nearly 70 years old and of average size, so clearly Felton should not have gotten physical with him. Many important donors were present and witnessed this incident. Too bad. Felton was a good coach.
Nationally Foster was better known, but no one excited the fanbase as much as having Bobby Cremins leave App. St. and become our coach. I was at USC at this time and the rumor that Cremins would be hired was sweeping the campus like wildfire and to nearly universal acclaim.
Of course that hiring didn't happen, certain interests, including our Prez. Holderman at that time (a truly despicable human being), wanted nothing to connect the basektball program to McGuire in any way.
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