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Sports Opinion: Coach Mack's team

By Tim Wilmes
On October 31, 2012

Chris Mack is a confusing head coach. No, I'm not making any judgments about who he is; I've never said more than "Good luck" to him.
Heck, he might even be a likable
guy. It certainly seems like it - we've seen him dance to "Call Me Maybe" and escort his daughters
to NCAA tournament games.
I've even been the recipient of a Chris Mack pep-talk the night before the game previously referred
to as the Crosstown Shootout and been impressed
by what he had to say. But he still confuses me. Here's what I mean.
In three years, Chris Mack is 73-30 (71 percent) as a head coach and has taken us to the Sweet Sixteen two out of three times.
He's won against Dayton every time we've needed him to and taken
two out of three against Cincinnati.
I think it's fair to say that he exceeded most people's expectations, although, that might be reaching a little
far
But there's also been the bad that's come with his tenure,
too.
In four recruiting classes, Mack has a retention rate of 67 percent.
Even if you consider that a passing letter grade, it's hard to look the other way when three out of the eight players
that have stayed have had to sit out due to eligibility issues.
Of course, who knows how much of that is really Mack's fault?
The point is, there's been good, and there's been bad. I can't put a stat on off-court issues, so I'll let you find that elephant
yourself.
My focus here is on the court. The bottom line is he's a hard coach to have feelings for one way or the other, if you're going
by what he's done statistically.
But since I've been here, I've heard a lot of complaining about Mack, and understandably
so - I've been frustrated at a lot of games, too.
Despite a track record
defined mostly by winning, there's been a lot of negativity
thrown the head coach's way.
If there's a season to be critical of Coach Mack though, it's this one.
This is the first year that fans can give him full responsibility. This will be the first time that Mack will have all of his guys (besides redshirt senior Brad Redford) out on the court. With the graduation of Kenny Frease and Tu Holloway and the departure
of Mark Lyons, this is now Mack's team.
Gone are the days of a Lyons or Holloway-centric offense.
Despite criticisms of team play in the past, there was never only one finger that fans could justify in pointing. But maybe now there is.
There will be no doubt this year who will take responsibility if things don't go well. And, just as importantly, if the Musketeers post another good winning percentage,
the perception of this team will be different. It will be Chris Mack's team, and he'll get most of the credit.
So for those of you itching to use your magnifying glass, this might be the season to do it.


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