Is Baylor the greatest rebuild ever?

btowngopher

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Drew took over a team on probation with scholarship limitations that had gone to the tourney once in the previous 40+ years. He quickly assembled top ten recruiting classes and drew the ire of other coaches. He quickly got to the point of being labeled an underachiever and a poor coach but good recruiter after not reaching final fours. Now after 18 years he has reached the pinnacle. I can’t help but draw some comparisons to Fleck. I also am having a hard time coming up with any greater rebuilds (if you can call something from nothing a rebuild) in the last 30 years. Should give us gopher fans some hope.
 

MplsGopher

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I could be easily wrong on this ... but it feels "more reasonable" that a school could build up and win the natty in basketball.

In football, it feels almost impossible. You can say "but Clemson", and I can't reject that ... but I can say that they had a lot of the pieces in place already.

You need so many elite pieces, and it just feels too hard to get them all, if you're not already in the "elite club". Not matter how good your coach is.
 

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Drew took over a team on probation with scholarship limitations that had gone to the tourney once in the previous 40+ years. He quickly assembled top ten recruiting classes and drew the ire of other coaches. He quickly got to the point of being labeled an underachiever and a poor coach but good recruiter after not reaching final fours. Now after 18 years he has reached the pinnacle. I can’t help but draw some comparisons to Fleck. I also am having a hard time coming up with any greater rebuilds (if you can call something from nothing a rebuild) in the last 30 years. Should give us gopher fans some hope.
From a CBS article during his "rebuilding" phase:

The question: Who is perceived by college coaches to be the biggest cheater in the sport?​

  • John Calipari (Kentucky): 36 percent
  • Scott Drew (Baylor): 34 percent
  • Ben Howland (UCLA): 12 percent

Quotes that stuck:​

On Scott Drew: "I don't even have to blink when I say the answer. He's despised by a lot of people because he comes off holier than God. Meanwhile, everyone knows he's had to cheat big-time to get the program to where it's at. If it wasn't for the God stuff he wouldn't rub people the wrong way as much."

 

MplsGopher

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And on that note, I truly hope that Baylor is excluded from the Power conferences, if there is ever a "consolidation" down to four conferences and 64 teams (including Notre Dame, of course). ND would essentially bump Baylor out, and all other current P5 teams would be in.

Let them be the same thing as BYU, in football.
 

btowngopher

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Yeah, me thinks maybe the OP forgot which forum he was on when starting the topic as this one should be over on the basketball side.
I’m including football rebuilds in the discussion.
 

btowngopher

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From a CBS article during his "rebuilding" phase:

The question: Who is perceived by college coaches to be the biggest cheater in the sport?​

  • John Calipari (Kentucky): 36 percent
  • Scott Drew (Baylor): 34 percent
  • Ben Howland (UCLA): 12 percent

Quotes that stuck:​

On Scott Drew: "I don't even have to blink when I say the answer. He's despised by a lot of people because he comes off holier than God. Meanwhile, everyone knows he's had to cheat big-time to get the program to where it's at. If it wasn't for the God stuff he wouldn't rub people the wrong way as much."

Like I said, he rubs a lot of coaches the wrong way. That sounds similar to Fleck. But perception and the truth are two different things.
 

btowngopher

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I could be easily wrong on this ... but it feels "more reasonable" that a school could build up and win the natty in basketball.

In football, it feels almost impossible. You can say "but Clemson", and I can't reject that ... but I can say that they had a lot of the pieces in place already.

You need so many elite pieces, and it just feels too hard to get them all, if you're not already in the "elite club". Not matter how good your coach is.
I dunno, no one ever really has. Butler came close. I’d say the closest things in football have been like TCU and Baylor coming close. It does feel even more difficult in football than it was even ten years ago though.
 

MplsGopher

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I dunno, no one ever really has. Butler came close. I’d say the closest things in football have been like TCU and Baylor coming close. It does feel even more difficult in football than it was even ten years ago though.
Well, for that matter Washington actually made the CFP, that one year. What's the saying, "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades"?
 

MNVCGUY

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I dunno, no one ever really has. Butler came close. I’d say the closest things in football have been like TCU and Baylor coming close. It does feel even more difficult in football than it was even ten years ago though.
I don't really think there is any comparison between the degree of difficulty in winning a National Championship in Basketball vs. Football. Basketball is way easier because you only have to hit on a couple of bigtime players to make a legit run at a title.

In football, a top flight QB can take you a long way but you have to put a great O-Line in front of him and give him decent weapons to use. Plus you need to field a defense good enough to stop other great teams, or at least slow them down. And you need competent to great special teams units as well. That takes a lot of players and finding those guys is not easy, especially when you are going up against some of the juggernauts in college football with teams like Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State....who routinely go out and get the best of the best players available. Puts a ton of pressure on teams to find that next tier of player that can be developed into star players. And you have to guess right on a lot of players to even have a chance.

I would also agree that it is getting harder in football to compete with the top dogs. A lot of things have to break right for teams outside of that small grouping of elite programs to get into the title picture. And for a non-power 5 school it is next to impossible.
 

Spaulding!No!

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That Baylor player with the glasses looked like he plays in the NBA.
 

btowngopher

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I don't really think there is any comparison between the degree of difficulty in winning a National Championship in Basketball vs. Football. Basketball is way easier because you only have to hit on a couple of bigtime players to make a legit run at a title.

In football, a top flight QB can take you a long way but you have to put a great O-Line in front of him and give him decent weapons to use. Plus you need to field a defense good enough to stop other great teams, or at least slow them down. And you need competent to great special teams units as well. That takes a lot of players and finding those guys is not easy, especially when you are going up against some of the juggernauts in college football with teams like Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State....who routinely go out and get the best of the best players available. Puts a ton of pressure on teams to find that next tier of player that can be developed into star players. And you have to guess right on a lot of players to even have a chance.

I would also agree that it is getting harder in football to compete with the top dogs. A lot of things have to break right for teams outside of that small grouping of elite programs to get into the title picture. And for a non-power 5 school it is next to impossible.
It very well may be easier in basketball. But it is interesting that no one has really built a team from the ashes and actually won it all other than Baylor. Even teams like Gonzaga have never won it all. Maybe Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV would be the next most recent to Baylor. In football I haven’t found a good example, there are ones like Clemson and Colorado, but those are more teams that were solid then took a step up.
 

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From a CBS article during his "rebuilding" phase:

The question: Who is perceived by college coaches to be the biggest cheater in the sport?​

  • John Calipari (Kentucky): 36 percent
  • Scott Drew (Baylor): 34 percent
  • Ben Howland (UCLA): 12 percent

Quotes that stuck:​

On Scott Drew: "I don't even have to blink when I say the answer. He's despised by a lot of people because he comes off holier than God. Meanwhile, everyone knows he's had to cheat big-time to get the program to where it's at. If it wasn't for the God stuff he wouldn't rub people the wrong way as much."

Baylor has a reputation of hiring scummy people, before and after the Drew hire..wouldn't surprise me. Also drives me insane a lot of people claim to be big bible thumpers down there but continually defend/hire terrible people to win athletic titles
 

Bob_Loblaw

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I guess it depends upon your definition of ashes.

Tony Bennett turned a really average Virginia program into an elite program in ~4 years. It took him a bit to win a national championship, but the turnaround was impressive.

The year before Pitino showed up to Louisville they were putrid.

UMASS was atrocious (for years) prior to John Calipari.
 

btowngopher

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I guess it depends upon your definition of ashes.

Tony Bennett turned a really average Virginia program into an elite program in ~4 years. It took him a bit to win a national championship, but the turnaround was impressive.

The year before Pitino showed up to Louisville they were putrid.

UMASS was atrocious (for years) prior to John Calipari.
UVA and Louisville were at least national powers in the not too distant past. UMass is not a bad comp, but they never actually won it all, and technically vacated their best season.
 

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I think it’s more stunning to build Gonzaga from that weird Zag school where John Stockton went, from almost downgrading to D3, to everyone talking about them as a juggernaut that plucky little UCLA would be lucky to hang with.
 

MennoSota

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Drew took over a team on probation with scholarship limitations that had gone to the tourney once in the previous 40+ years. He quickly assembled top ten recruiting classes and drew the ire of other coaches. He quickly got to the point of being labeled an underachiever and a poor coach but good recruiter after not reaching final fours. Now after 18 years he has reached the pinnacle. I can’t help but draw some comparisons to Fleck. I also am having a hard time coming up with any greater rebuilds (if you can call something from nothing a rebuild) in the last 30 years. Should give us gopher fans some hope.
Talk to me in 18 years...
 

btowngopher

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I think it’s more stunning to build Gonzaga from that weird Zag school where John Stockton went, from almost downgrading to D3, to everyone talking about them as a juggernaut that plucky little UCLA would be lucky to hang with.
Definitely up there, they just need to cap it off.
 

btowngopher

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On that note, maybe we should wait until the ink dries on the banner and see if it remains on the record before we crown Drew royalty.
Yeah, we’ll see. I’m guessing Drew has had a target on his back for a while now considering how well he recruited from the start.
 

MplsGopher

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I think it’s more stunning to build Gonzaga from that weird Zag school where John Stockton went, from almost downgrading to D3, to everyone talking about them as a juggernaut that plucky little UCLA would be lucky to hang with.
Dominating a weak conference helps.
 

fmlizard

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Yeah, we’ll see. I’m guessing Drew has had a target on his back for a while now considering how well he recruited from the start.
Has he? I can’t really recall any big time Baylor lottery picks. I think there was Ekpe Udoh a few years back and a couple late first and second round types. He certainly hasn’t been stacking one and dones and NBA stars every year
 

btowngopher

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Has he? I can’t really recall any big time Baylor lottery picks. I think there was Ekpe Udoh a few years back and a couple late first and second round types. He certainly hasn’t been stacking one and dones and NBA stars every year
Yeah I guess you’re right. I was thinking back on guys like Perry Jones and Isaiah Austin. He has signed several top 10 guys, but this championship team was not built by signing many highly rated guys, and had several key transfers.
 

PMWinSTP

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Yeah I guess you’re right. I was thinking back on guys like Perry Jones and Isaiah Austin. He has signed several top 10 guys, but this championship team was not built by signing many highly rated guys, and had several key transfers.
I think it shows that a highly successful BBall program can be built without having consistently high recruiting classes.
 
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