Your Senior Associate Head Coach, seemingly officially hired two days before Dana Holgorsen said he’d hired the best available candidate, will make $600,000 this year and $400,000 next year. And if Holgorsen resigns, Bradley’s contract terminates either in 180 days of at the end of the second year (Jan. 30, 2016), whichever comes first. Bradley would be compensated for the remainder of his time under contract.
Plenty of different ways to read that part:
1) Bradley and/or WVU doesn’t want to see Bradley promoted if Holgorsen resigns, and actually wants to stamp out that idea right now;
2) It clears the deck if Holgorsen resigns and gets Bradley to a point where he’s set to negotiate a new contract and be elevated;
3) WVU is taking care of a guy just in case things don’t go as they hope to see them go in the next two years and makes sure he’s paid if something happens and he’s not retained.
And as for the aforementioned timeline, the contract is dated Feb. 19, and in my experience, that doesn’t mean much.
The pre-spring luncheon where Holgorsen didn’t have a ninth assistant coach and played it as though he didn’t know what to do was Feb. 21. The offer could very well have been out and a contract could have been sent to Team Bradley Feb. 19. It’s possible Bradley got it and had his people look at it and signed and returned it the two days later, which was when he was announced.
Or it could have been as it appeared and WVU’ just didn’t want to turn the luncheon into a Tom Bradley convention.
Ether way, it’s not the sort of thing I’m going to get hung up on.
Success never comes without obstacles, right? Well, sometimes those obstacles come after the success — as if winning at Baylor wasn’t hard enough.
WVU’s women’s team did indeed beat the Bears Sunday and jumped to No. 7 in today’s poll. A day after ending Baylor’s 35-game home winning streak, the Mountaineers are ranked higher than they’ve been since January of 2011. WVU was No. 6 then and has never been above that under Mike Carey.
Yet there was a muted celebration because WVU couldn’t fly out of Waco, Texas, because of ice storm. A bus ride to Austin followed, though that was compromised because of ice. The trip took three-plus hours, which is about an hour longer than normal. Once there, the Mountaineers learned they couldn’t fly into Clarksburg because of a state of emergency. They instead headed to Pittsburgh and arrived at around 11:30 at night, but ended up having to stay there for the night because of road conditions. The made it back to Morgantown Monday morning and had to practice in advance of tomorrow night’s regular-season finale against Kansas.
I suppose it’s fair to mention that history is on the line because TCU, while infested by injury bugs, is so close to being historically bad. So close.
The Horned Frogs have a 15-game losing streak, all of it in Big 12 play, after going 9-3 in non-conference competition. The .750 winning percentage outside of league play was the best since going 11-3 in the 1999-2000 season.
A WVU win today would make TCU just the third team to start 0-16 in Big 12 play. The 1998-99 Baylor team and the 2003-04 Texas A&M squads started and finished 0-16. TCU could be the first to go 0-18. This is the third season with 18 games — and the Big 12 has been a thing since the 1996-97 season — and teams have gotten close to 0-18 twice, including 2-16 TCU last season. Texas Tech was closer at 1-17 a year before.
But wait, there’s more. The conference record for consecutive losses is 20 games (Baylor, 2004-06), though the Horned Frogs, with four games remaining, are unlikely to tie or set that one because of a probably cozy home opener next season. The record 19 straight Big 12 losses (that same Bayor team) could happen in January. TCU has lost all 17 of its Big 12 road games, and hasn’t won a conference road game since Feb. 20, 2012, but is a long way from Colorado’s 35-game Big 12 road losing streak (2006-10).
Nevertheless, WVU can and honestly ought to keep all those things going today and has to be counting this one when Bob Huggins maintains confidence that his team can make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team.
Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which is afraid it has some bad news for you today. WVU released its spring football schedule yesterday and it’s not good for Tier 4. I’m bummed, man.
Ten of the practices are closed. No public, no media, which means no watching, no interviews and, I’m sorry, no reports. I don’t know how to commentate on what I can’t see. It’s like covering a game and not knowing who’s playing.
One of the open practices is actually the spring game and another is the opener Sunday, where we’re allowed to watch for 30 minutes. Dana Holgorsen will speak to us before that practice, which seems weird because he did that last Friday, but, whatever. I need the head coach, right? I’ll do something Sunday night, for sure, but it’s going to be tough after that.
Four of the open practices are open to the public, which I still think is really cool, but one is the spring game. I’m looking at this schedule and I realize I have 41 days to cover before the spring game and only four chances to see the team and six opportunities to talk to the head coach and his assistants and players.
And here’s the weird and awesome part: The schedule is actually Exhibit A through Z for what I was talking about in my opener on Scoop & Score yesterday … before the schedule came out. Beyond that, though, I’m glad I got Stephen Nesbitt and Geoff Coyle on there for the spring preview round table. Here’s the link to the podcast and that’s probably the most you’re going to hear me talk about spring football this year. And I hope you enjoy it because I think it was pretty good. Actual opinions are found within and they aren’t weak. Listen to it. Share it. Debate it. Comment on it.
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, be real.
Hallelujah! Gibby is an acquaintance/friend but Bradley is a friend of a friend and universally respected (or as much as is possible in this game). He was, in Herman Wouk’s phrase ‘the last captain of the Caine’ and, while nominally given control of the program for a spell, was only commissioned to drive the ship into the scrapyard.
His radio work for the Steelers network has been impressive both for the Xs & Os and for his insight into the mentality of the coaches before, during and after games.
The word panic is not in his vocabulary and hopefully his sense of calm borne of experience will be a steadying influence on the rest of the program including the offense and, yes, the head coach.
Opinions vary on Bradley, but I’m on this side of the line. Given the reality of the situation and considering plausible outcomes, getting Tom Bradley has to be close to ideal. But we can disagree. And we will …
It started during the player introductions and you can hear some of the jeers steered his way as Eron Harris was Public Enemy No. 10 Wednesday night. (Aside: Music! Iowa State, you’re better than that!) I think the noise affected him, and possibly only inspired him, though perhaps to a detriment in the first half. Asked afterward what impact the crowd had, he said “None,” and stared ahead and waited for the next question.
I’m telling you, he’s unrelenting.
And so, too, is that Iowa State offense. West Virginia’s defense is a mess right now, and has been for a few weeks, save one exception against the Cyclones. But WVU has to go punch for punch with these teams and that’s difficult when Terry Henderson is home with an undisclosed illness for an unspecified period of time. When the opponent is Iowa State, at home, the Mountaineers have to play much, much better than they did and just can’t miss repeated open shots and wave a red cape at driving defenders.
Nothing new there, much as there was nothing really new about last night’s 83-66 loss. But that’s three straight losses, each by double figures, each when shooting at or below 40 percent, each when allowing the opponent to shoot better than 50 percent.
I’m on the road and in the air and then on the road again today, but Scoop & Score goes on as planned. Stephen Nesbitt and Geoff Coyle joined me yesterday for a taped edition that previews spring football at WVU. Some above average questions and many compelling and pointed answers can be found live at 9 a.m. I’ll post the podcast later. (Give me a break on the audio … we streamed calls from four locations. And I was in a Fairfield Inn. Not ideal!).
Sometimes you’ve got your head down writing or typing when you’re listening to something or someone and you get the words, but not the context.
Knowing what we know now — which is that Terry Henderson has quite a bug and that it’s going to keep him not only out of a second straight game, but away from the team for a second straight game … and maybe longer — what happened following the first game against Iowa State is finally ringing in my ears.
“He could have said, ‘I was sick.’ He didn’t. He just said, ‘This one’s on me. I’ve got to be able to play through it.’ “
Was Henderson sick for the Kansas game? Because, man, Henderson looked bad that game. I said he looked beat. Whatever the case, whatever the adjective, he was not himself and, near as I can tell, no ink has been given to the possibility, or maybe now the fact, that he was sick when he was 0-for-3 against the Jayhawks.
And has what ailed him that day in Lawrence followed him ever since? Did a diagnosis arrive just a few days ago?
I think those are a pretty interesting questions, though certainly secondary to “When will Henderson return to the lineup?” We know he’s been ill for a while, but we don’t now for how much longer WVU expects to be without it’s third-leading scorer during the final push in a conference that really requires scorers.
What I have to say about him and his role tonight is the same as it was Saturday. WVU needs Henderson. It can’t shorten the bench. It can’t expect to match up with Iowa State and its pace for 40 minutes and rely on just Juwan Staten and Eron Harris doing all the scoring in the backcourt or with three-guard lineups with Gary Browne, which then removes a link to other plans that might involve, or necessitate, getting Staten and/or Harris on the bench.
Henderson was hot early in the home win against Iowa State – I thought he faded, but, whatever, it was a blowout that didn’t need 30-plus points from him — and what he did made life easier on Staten and Harris and Remi Dibo, who had a career night that I don’t think you can expect without some assistance from others to clear the way first.
Given what Texas and Baylor have done in succession, it stands to reason the Cyclones are going to (try to) take away Harris and Staten and roll the dice on Dibo and Nathan Adrian. I don’t think Iowa State has the size or the length the Longhorns and Bears posses, so I’m not sure it comes so easily, but whether Staten and Harris succeed or not is somewhat irrelevant. In either case, they’ll have to get Adrian and Dibo involved.
If those two start writing checks, then Iowa State will adjust, but not in such a dramatic manner that will leave Staten or Harris unaccounted for and unchecked. For the entirety of the season, Dibo and Adrian have been front runners. They get open shots because of the attention given to others, but they also shoot and score better when WVU is in the lead and confidence is high (Dibo did a lot of damage against Iowa State after WVU ran away, as an example). We really haven’t seen one or both carry the weight of the offense, or at least provide a leg to stand on and walk a mile.
WVU’s perpetual struggle this season has been finding a third scoring option, be it a player or a tactic. Losing Henderson and then managing all the subsequent side effects that absence causes, makes that struggle no easier. And for all we know, WVU may have more time than it cares to encounter to get a plan together.
Tonight we have two teams that match up stylistically and individually, as well as the rather obvious backdrop we’ll get to in minute. It’s a potent mix because WVU is going into the Hilton Coliseum, where there’s Magic and the average attendance is about double what WVU knows as a home crowd.
The coldest I can remember being in a long, long time was that football game two seasons ago just when I was walking across an open field to the parking lot they have there. It was colder than frozen over Hell and an icy wind just cut through you.
How cold was it? This is true: I took a bottle of Dasani with me when I left the press box for my hour-long drive back to my hotel in Des Moines. When I made it to my car about 15 minutes later, the water was beginning to freeze.