Woe is TC

IUP 98, Bloomsburg 65 -- It as another tough night for Terry Conrad's Huskies. We have a lot of faith in the ability of the former Bucknell assistant to rebuild the program at his alma mater. He's a proven recruiter and did a fine job as head coach at Lycoming before taking the Bloom job.

But the current condition of Bloom's program begs the question: who is responsible for this fall from grace. Bloom was a perennial contender in the PSAC under Charlie Chronister, with 28 winning seasons, eight 20-win seasons, 18 appearances in the PSAC playoffs and 7 NCAA D-II bids in his 31 seasons.

The Huskies fell to 14-14 in his final season, then became a 20-game loser (6-20) in one season under interim head coach Rich Mills, a longtime Chronister assistant who took the reins when Charlie stepped down in July 2002, too late to do a full search for a new head coach.

It is a familiar move. Pennsylvania hoops fans might recall Jerry Dunn got the Penn State job the same way when Bruce Parkhill resigned in Sept. 1995.

Each time a head coach timed his departure to pave the way for a long-time assistant to takeover by default. Each time, disaster followed. Some will argue Dunn (117-121), who took the Nits to the NCAAs twice and the NIT twice in eight seasons, did a decent job.

Those of us who covered State during his reign, will beg to differ. Even the teams that had some success under Dunn did so in spite of, not because of, him. It was a classic case of the old Peter Princple, a great assistant promoted to his level of incompetence as a head coach.

Nobody will argue that Mills did a decent job in his one season as Bloom's (interim) head coach. But given last season's 6-21 mark, and a 1-4 start this year, you have to wonder if it was Mills' fault.

Somebody closer to the Bloom program might be able to tell us if Chronister bailed, knowing disaster was around the corner. After 31 seasons, did he know the cupboard was bare and simply not have the energy or the interest to rebuild before he left.

Meanwhile, Mills remains on Conrad's staff as his assistant. While it is possible the two have a comfortable situation worked out, though that seems unrealistic. Again, we don't cover Bloom; haven't since the old days of the print version of Hoop Time, when Chronister was in his glory.

But you would think somebody who does cover them would be curious enough to take a closer look.

Meanwhile, TC is going to take his lumps, with a roster full of undersized youngsters. His fifteen-man squad has one senior. The rest are sophomores and freshmen. And there are only four players 6-6 or taller.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

©2005 Hoop Time. All rights reserved.