Darrin Horn is in his fourth year at South Carolina. He has taken the Gamecocks to a single NIT appearance (and that was during his first year). This year his team is 8-10 overall, 0-4 in the SEC.
Mark Fox is in his third year at Georgia. He took the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament last season, but the two NBA-level players he inherited from Dennis Felton bolted for the pros early this past offseason. His squad is 10-10 overall, 1-5 in the conference.
Suffice it to say, the natives are getting restless in the Peach and Palmetto states. Thus the calls for calm from Fox himself at Georgia and from Horn’s boss at Carolina.
After last night’s loss to Kentucky, Fox gave his take on the state of the UGA program:
“I think the educated fans and media members can look at us and know what we’ve lost. But I have no issues with the way we’re going about things on the court. We have no academic issues. We have no social (off-court) issues. When I first came here, there were some issues. But now we’re two years into changing the culture of Georgia basketball.”
Meanwhile, in defending Horn’s work, Carolina AD Eric Hyman reminded fans that nine of the Cocks’ 11 scholarship players are freshmen or sophomores:
“I know our teams ant to do the best they can and try to perform up to expectations. Sometimes it happens on their timeline, sometimes it takes longer. If you’re going to do it the right way, it just takes longer. You have to have the patience and understanding that if you’re going to do it the right way, it takes a little longer. I understand the passion and I understand the feeling. A program has to create hope. But on the flip side, it takes time to do it the right way.”
Think Hyman had any recent, fast SEC turnarounds in mind with all those “do it the right way” remarks?
Are Fox and Hyman correct in their assessments? Does it matter?
We now live in a world where I can immediately find the lyrics to the Lithuanian National Anthem with a touch of my iPhone. It’s a world in which college football coaches are now being canned after two years.
So while Georgia’s coach and Carolina’s AD are preaching the truth, the word “patience” can no longer be uttered in connection with athletics. Fair, not fair, that’s just the way things are today.
So forget the teams’ depth and inexperience issues and the positive comments coming from both camps. If Georgia and South Carolina want their fans to stop grumbling they’ll have to start winning.