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01/31/2013

Texas would be stupid to fire Rick Barnes

Rbz-ut-colorado-231Not that anybody in Austin cares, but the University of Texas men's basketball team sucks. Maybe Jody Conradt can coach 'em up, because Rick Barnes can't do much worse. 

The Longhorns got their butt whupped at No. 18 Kansas State on Wednesday night, 83-57. The Horns are now a healthy 9-11, 1-6 in the Big 12, and yet are still good enough to kick the blank out of TCU when the teams play on Feb. 2 in Austin.

The Horns are flying high to their first losing season under Barnes since he arrived in Austin in 1998. The only way this season is salvaged is if Kevin Durant returns to lead the Horns to a Big 12 conference tournament title and they reach the NCAA tournament for a 15th consecutive season.

The suspension of Myck Kabongo for taking impermissible benefits hasn't helped, but even had he played this team is still lacking.

Kevin-durant-sonicsThe only thing saving Barnes right now is that college football signing day is Feb. 6, and that day is usually when football coach Mack Brown wins another championship. Also saving Barnes' butt is that he coaches a sport that the great people in the great state a Texas routinely marginalize.

Perhaps the only thing that will put Barnes in Bevo flop is if UT manages to lose to an awful TCU team either on Feb. 2 or in Fort Worth on Feb. 19.

Even then, however, any talk that Barnes should seriously be fired is inane. The man has done more to legitimize that program than any coach in the history of Texas basketball. The only time his teams at UT failed to win 20 games was his first season when they won 19, yet still reached the NCAA tournament.

Since he arrived, Texas has been the second-best team in the Big 12 to Kansas, which is one of the top five programs in the nation. 

Barnes can recruit, and despite what his critics say, he can coach. You don't reach a Final Four and 14 consecutive NCAA tourneys because you don't know what you are doing.

This will be Texas' first losing season it finished 14-17 in 1997-'98, the last year under Tom Penders.

Barnes' teams have generally played hard, been clean, and usually win. This season has not been the norm.

The man has earned the right to have a bad year.

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Hello Texas

You have never been more right. I am a huge Texas fan so much so that I even find it in my heart to make room for our beloved university's other sport; basketball. Barnes has brought him some incredible talent. We need to keep him around. I don't see how we could do much better. Basketball just isn't that big in this part of the country. I say 'keep him'.

socorroman

There is no way he will be fired because he is a good coach and teams lose games. Texas has always had some good teams, but don't expect for them to be up there every year because most teams lose top players and have to regroup and start all over again. Next year he may get some top offensive players, so never say die unless you mean it.

Dave

Yes, Barnes is a good coach but it's time he went somewhere else and got a fresh start... His performance is not what we expect out of a coach who makes well over a million dollars per year. It's time for new blood in the head coaching position.

gagaga

i agree with 'hello texas'. there isn't an obvious replacement that's a proven upgrade. there are some interesting canidates this year but we have the right guy. he has more than earned a 'bad year'. texan fans need to cool their jets, see what the recruiting class looks like, then maybe sharpen their pitch forks next season if things look flat

Bruce

Cut him loose. He has had some good years but Texas deserves more. We are a marquee school with marquee talent in this state. Every program is going to have a down year. But one or two bad years can spiral very quickly and turn into a bad decade before too long. Thank him then show him the door.

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