Bruce Weber was released from his duties as U of I’s basketball coach. It’s now being reported that he is one of Southern Illinois’ main targets for a new head coach.
But see the problem here is Southern is where Weber came from. And it’s not like he has been able to prove himself as a coach since he has left SIU. The one team he took through the NCAA Tournament wasn’t even his own. In 2005, The University of Illinois Mens Basketball team went 37-2, but it was Bill Self who built that team then left for Kansas.
Funny, look how Kansas has been doing these past few years. Many people say don’t put the blame all on Weber, I agree, he can’t take the heat for everything, but he can take the heat for most of it. I would say about 85-90% of the teams bad season is Weber’s fault.
You have players like Meyers Leonard, Brandon Paul, even Tracy Abrams and D. J. Richardson who all have great talent on the court, but still need to be coached. There is no doubt in my mind that guys like Leonard are going to go pro, but if they don’t have guidance, they are going to get eaten alive. We saw that a few times this season when you saw his eyes full of tears like after the loss to Nebraska.
Point is, these guys are all a natural at playing the sport, and they need a model coach there for them in order for them to succeed. Having the skills is one thing but you need to have the whole team at a certain maturity level and understanding of the game before everything is going to click.
Weber has not been able to show that he can teach the players like that. Southern’s former head Coach, Chris Lowery, was fired after eight seasons, he was a former assistant of Weber’s at U of I. If the Salukis are1 looking for another Sweet 16 appearance, they should look elsewhere.