Originally Published: Mar 10, 2011 4:23 PM CDT
In the growing debate on whether or not Joe Castiglione should keep Jeff Capel or make him the first coach that he has both hired and fired...I vote to give him more time.
* Heres the asterisk - if Joe C. knows of another NCAA violation or if hes been alerted to some kind of heavy handed punishment from the NCAA that is on its way...I reserve the right to change my mind.
The bottom line is, you either believe Jeff Capel is a good coach or he isnt. I think he is. Kudos for Wednesdays opening round win over Baylor, but one game will not decide the future of the program. I believe my eyes which have seen Capel coach up inferior talent and make them better...and coach up exceptional talent and nearly take it to the Final Four.
Last year was a complete debacle. Capel lost his team. They quit on him. It was hard to watch. But this year has been a different story. The record isnt much better, but it is obvious that the attitude of the program has taken a 180-degree turn for the better. The talent vacuum is certainly in large part due to poor character judgement in recruiting. He is being held accountable for that. But that shows up much brighter in basketball than football or baseball. You miss on 2 or 3 recruits and a program can take two steps back fast. We know Capel can go get big-time talent. Hes pulled in four McDonalds All-Americans in five years.
So if he can recruit and he can coach and hes only in his mid-30s...dont let that get away (unless the NCAA stuff is too bad to ignore).
Im not saying Jeff Capel is on the same career path as his mentor, but sometimes sticking it out with a young coach through tough times pays off. In his 1st five seasons at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski tallied an 85-65 record and missed the NCAA Tournament three times whiles posting two losing seasons. In his 1st five seasons at OU, Jeff Capel has tallied a 96-68 record and will miss the NCAA Tournament for the third time while posting two losing seasons.