In the overall scheme of things, it doesn’t seem that important. Assistant basketball coaches come and go, and, at USI, head coach Rodney Watson is very much in charge of every single practice, literally right in the middle of all of them. So it didn’t come as a surprise when he said the person who will replace Gerad Good — who left to become head coach at his alma mater, Manchester University — might very well be a former player of Watson’s.
“I’d like to find someone who is familiar with what we do,” said Watson the day the Good announcement came out. “I’d like to look at a former player. That would be really advantageous for us because … they would know our personality and know the culture of USI.”
I know, I know. Some of you out there think maybe USI needs someone who is NOT connected to the current men’s basketball culture. Maybe that would get the Eagles not only into but through much of the NCAA Tournament. An assistant coach also can influence recruiting, bringing in players who might not otherwise play here. But I can see Watson’s point: He wants someone he can work with, someone who can implement what he (Watson) wants done.
A winning basketball team is more than just a great coach, great assistant coaches and great players. If they’re great individually, they more than likely won’t be great collectively. It really is about team. Success is about getting all the parts to work together in a way that nobody outside that team can do anything to beat.