Mar 23, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Ohio Bobcats guard Nick Kellogg (15) reacts after overtime of the semifinals in the midwest region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome. North Carolina won 73-65. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
It is not a foregone conclusion that OHIO University will hire Jim Christian as their new head coach, but if the rumors are true it is very close.
There are a lot of differing views about the hire. Initial reaction was one of disappointment and anger by OU fans. However, within the last hour or so, those who feel that maybe it is not such a bad thing have come out in force. Though the former Kent State head coach was not the most popular person in Athens during his KSU reign, there is no reason why bad memories could not be put on the back-burner. Especially if it means another chance at the Sweet 16.
To begin, in Christian's time at Kent he did not fail to reach 20 wins once. During his tenure, which lasted six seasons, he made the NCAA tournament twice. Now he is inheriting a team that is posed to make another run for the MAC title, and their third appearance to March Madness in four years. There is no reason why the experience of both parties should not serve each other well. The knowledge of the MAC that Christian will bring will be great stuff for OU to grasp also.
Another thing is the players that are returning. At TCU, Christian had a team that was very guard-oriented, much like the OHIO Bobcats. Hank Thorns and J.R. Cadot were the two leading scorers for TCU, and they were both guards. In my opinion, D.J. Cooper and Walter Offutt are a much better duo. The style of play that a Christian's team run are usually quick and rely on talented players to find holes in the defense. I feel that this is going to workout very well when he implements this style into the Bobcats. He is going to enjoy his new weapons.
Also, Christian had to get out of TCU. There was no way that the program is ready to compete in the Big XII. This is a good move by him as his career would have probably been in ruins after a year facing Texas and Kansas.
Lastly, he knows how to recruit in the Mid-American Conference. I know it is tough to think about, but down the line Ohio will need to bring in new players to replace the current group when the NCAA forces them to move on. Christian is a proven recruiter, and is just the man for the job. However, we all know that Kent had/has a reputation for players that find themselves in trouble off the floor. Hopefully this will not be a problem at OU.
Overall, I am on the side that this could work out great for OU. Though he may not have been the best hire in the world, I feel that there is no reason that he can lead this team back to the Sweet 16
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