I don't think I realized the scope of how big a deal this was at first. Kevin Coble deciding not to come back might be the biggest story this Big Ten basketball offseason has seen (besides the addition of Nebraska, of course). I mean, a decent team fighting to be in the top half of the conference losing their best player for no apparent reason? People from all over the webs have things to say about it.
- Let's start by dishing out love to the NU blogosphere. (Everybody else will get theirs afterwards. That's how we do in the family.) LTP, of course, WENT IN on the entire situation, and plans on posting a bunch of open letters to Kevin Coble tomorrow. This is what we call catharsis.
- Spread Far The Fame debuted a feature I am destined to love, entitled "The Many Moods of Bill Carmody". Great stuff there. They also appear to be the only place with the piece of info that none of the players knew about Coble's departure until the same time that the media found out, which is... disturbing.
- Fire Bill Carmody, incidentally, is pessimistic and thinks this is a sign that nobody cares about Northwestern basketball. He's not alone. He is alone, however, in referring to Kevin Coble as a pussy. I think he's the only guy to do that so far. (Good thing Jim O'Donnell doesn't work for the Sun-Times anymore.) (Not saying FBC sucks as bad as Jim O'Donnell. Don't take any offense.) (NOTE IN RETROSPECT: FBC points out that although he says that Kevin Coble "pussed out", he doesn't refer to Coble as a pussy. I had read it as "pussied out", which I thought made it sort of implicit. My bad.)
- Lindsay Willhite makes it seem like this has been a decision brewing for a while.
- Teddy Greenstein has a pretty damning paragraph in his Trib article.
- He seemed on pace to return in the fall. But his rehabilitation caused an apparent conflict that led to multiple meetings among Carmody, Coble and Coble's mother, Carlys.
- That gives some credence to the concept that maybe this is less about Coble's injury and more about Coble's unwillingness to play. Greenstein also focuses on Coble's seeming disassociation from the rest of the team, at least in a social sense.
- Some really great - and optimistic, for all y'all down in the dumps today - analysis from The Only Colors and Basketball Prospectus, echoed by ESPN's Eamonn Brennan. Even without Coble, Northwestern had a fantastic offensive team last year. Second best in the Big Ten in terms of offensive efficiency. The fact that we were below .500 is a testament to how horrendous our defense was - last in the Big Ten. By a decent margin. Kevin Coble is a great offensive player. Other than his above-average rebounding skills, he's not a defensive presence. Perhaps this isn't so bad after all? TOC points out that John Shurna is a freakishly similar player to Coble, and I don't completely disagree. Also, props to TOC for a great headline.
- Also, unsurprising that a Michigan State blog has a great post about Kevin Coble. (He played against them this one time, you might remember it.)
- More optimism from ESPN's Andy Katz - all your problems in life can be solved by going to Italy. "Ayyyyyy! A-spicy meat-a-balls will-a revive-a your-a tourn-a-ment hopes-a!", said Katz, before dancing a very convincing rendition of the Tarantella.
- "Optimism? Why's there so much damn optimism here?", I'm sure some of you are thinking. "Where's the good ol' fashioned hate? Why hasn't anybody written an article that reminds me of a nice firebombing?" Well, for you, friends, there's CNN's Gary Parrish, who ethers the entire Northwestern basketball program including Coble and Bill Carmody.
John Calipari loses players to the Wizards and Kings.
Roy Williams loses players to UCLA.
Bill Carmody loses players to a lack of interest.It's like that, for 1000 words. Even Nas is like, "woah, chill out with all that undying hatred."
So, to wrap it up NU fans are very depressed, and oddly, outsiders seem to think we still have a shot. I think that's the first time those two things have ever happened simultaneously.So that's it for now. Go back to wailing and gnashing your teeth.