Sorry for the lack of updates. The real job and a baby on the way about a month from tomorrow have slowed me down.
- Joe Tiller: not a nice man. Look, I can imagine that it's upsetting to find one's players staying out until 2 a.m. on a weeknight during spring practice. But when the reason the coach finds out about it is because a player was stabbed and is in intensive care, perhaps a bit of compassion is in order. Can you imagine how the kid's parents felt, the coach expressing his lack of concern while their son was in the hospital hooked up to a bunch of machines? The various recruiting and PR flaps at Purdue simply cannot help recruiting. I know that given Tiller's 10-1 record against IU, this comes across like sour grapes, and it probably is to some degree, but the guy is becoming an embarrassment.
- Basketball coaching carousel. Michigan replaced Tommy Amaker with John Beilein. Iowa replaced Steve Alford with Todd Lickliter. Minnesota replaced Dan Monson with Tubby Smith. Lickliter is a bit of a gamble, but Beilein and Smith both have won in major conferences and, particularly along with Kelvin Sampson replacing Mike Davis a year ago, the Big Ten's dead weight is largely gone. The fans who really must be clenching up are the Northwestern and Penn State fans. How will those programs ever get out of the cellar?
- Spring practice continues. I really want to talk about football, but I just cannot get into spring practice. Ever. It's just a big tease. "Ha, we'll put on the uniforms and hold press conference, but you don't get to see a real game for five months!" IU held a scrimmage today, the traditional "Pancakes and Pigskin" day, but IU canceled the breakfast because of the cold. Admirably, Doug Wilson liveblogged today's public scrimmage.
- Kentucky hires Billy Gillispie. Kentucky hired Billy Gillispie away from Texas A&M. That's a pretty sound hire, but not a home run. Gillispie seems like a good coach, and Kentucky is one of the few programs that has never hired a subpar coach during the NCAA Tournament era. After Rupp, Joe B. Hall won a title, Eddie Sutton had some success before scandal cut his UK tenure short, Rick Pitino rebuilt the program, and Tubby won a title and a bunch of games. Of course, Gillispie has only a handful of seasons of head coaching experience, but he seems to have the personality, and he did a remarkable job at a school with no history of success in basketball. His resume is probably less impressive than that of Tubby Smith when UK hired him, but after nine years of disappointment, it probably was time for a change.
- Baseball off to a rough start. IU stands at 11-11 after dropping three of four to MSU in last weekend's opener. This weekend's series against Northwestern has been hampered by the weather.