Hey Joe Why Wait?
By John Ventola
Jimi Hendrix died over 46 years ago, but the title of one of his hit songs has resonated with the LSU fan base over the past fifteen months. “Hey Joe” has been spoken many times, most often in frustrated tones, as Tiger fans clamored for university athletic director Joe Alleva to change leadership of their football and basketball teams.
Alleva fumbled miserably in November, 2015 when Les Miles avoided the ax after a
late-season three game losing skein and received a fourth quarter reprieve after the home finale. However, his own hardheadedness and two losses in the first four 2016 games proved too much—-even for Alleva. Fans do not want Alleva to literally follow Hendrix’s lyrics and carry a gun in his hand, they just want competent leadership to lead Tiger athletes in games.
Fifty weeks ago, this blogger wrote and suggested Alleva should allow basketball coach Johnny Jones to finish the 2015-16 season, a campaign where LSU finished 19-14 with consensus Player-Of-The Year Ben Simmons. Simmons, Keith Hornsby, and talented, erratic Tim Quarterman covered some of the holes in Jones’ coaching, but even last year’s team looked disorganized and played no, or little, defense.
I wrote at that time it was painful to watch Simmons and some other Tiger talent take the court game-after-game with no direction. I even said Alleva granting Jones the final
games of last season would probably establish him as the worst coach to ever lead the LSU basketball program. Exaggeration? Not really, and there have been a few stinkers along the way.
Jones, like Miles, seems to be a nice man. Trouble is, recruiting and motivational skills without strategic know-how and genuine X and O ability does not bring enough victories, much less conference championships.
Alleva initially fumbled the Miles debacle before scoring a touchdown with the hiring of Ed Orgeron. After his fumble, Alleva had an unforced turnover when he gave Jones another season at the LSU helm. He needs to correct that mistake, just as he did in Miles’ case, and fire Jones—not at the end of the season, but NOW!
He needs to cut the Baton Rouge ties and influences on the program and find the most qualified coaching candidate. The current LSU basketball situation, eleven straight SEC losses, a 9-15 overall record, and a 1-12 SEC ledger, is an embarrassment.
Jones played and was an assistant coach under Dale Brown. Jones’ hiring five years ago was pushed by Brown and Collis Temple Sr., the first black basketball player at
LSU in the early ‘70s. Temple, who had sons Collis, Jr., and Garrett (now with the Sacramento Kings in the NBA) play for the Tigers, is the focal AAU guru, and the man responsible for channeling recent Baton Rouge talent (Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas) to Tigerland.
Hey Joe, don’t let Jones con you by pointing out that his seven top scorers could possibly return next season. Sad truth, they had no direction this season, and they would not have any next year either. And, sadly, there is NO DEFENSE for that.
Jones should know that. He somehow has managed to win 56% of the games he coached in his 17-year head coaching career (one year at Memphis, eleven at North Texas State, and five at LSU). Decent recruiter, but lacking as a game strategist and tactician.Thanks For Visiting JV Sport Shots .Com’s Website And Viewing Our Latest Blog(s) / Page(s). We Would Really Appreciate It If You Would Leave Us A Comment Or Remark Below. This Helps Us Provide Great Sports Content; You Would Like To See In Future Posts.
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