I caught about an hour of WTKA this morning, and in the aftermath of the Iowa debacle we had a full on football season-esque panic from the callers. Most of it was directed at Coach Beilein, who never gave a good reason why he benched star player Manny Harris (through whom Beilein readily admits most offensive plays are run through) for the entire overtime of a must-win game.
Callers accused Beilein of being stubborn, dumb, and short-sighted to name a few. What wasn’t directed at the coach was directed at the refs, who sucked again. If nothing else, it shows that people out there care about basketball and the possibility of a NCAA tourney bid have got folks excited.
Mark Snyder of the Free Press was on hand in Iowa City and called into WTKA to offer his perspective on the game and aftermath, here’s the audio:
Notes from Snyder’s call:
- Sam Webb asked him if there was something we missed (“did many say or do something?”). Per Snyder, no one in the locker room said anything, Harris said “he had no idea” and that he hadn’t talked to Beilein about it. None of the players claimed to know anything.
- Beilein told Snyder it was because Harris “wasn’t fresh and hadn’t played”. Of course Harris had played all but 2 minutes of the game.
Certainly something happened to piss Beilein off. I wish he’d just say it. I assume he doesn’t want to embarrass Harris by making it public and whatever it is, he wants to handle it internally. I mean, does anyone really need to argue that the team is better with Harris on the floor? The weak explanations to the media are at best silly and at worst insulting.
I don’t mind coaches benching players and I’ll give Beilein the benefit of the doubt that it was worth risking this game. I’m flying in formation, to steal a phrase from Rodriguez. But level with us–if he’s teaching Manny a lesson, don’t pretend like it’s something else. It kind of makes his comments from last week (about having to be at every practice for the last 32 years to understand why he does what he does) especially annoying.