Is today the day a college basketball team from the New York metropolitan area wins an NCAA tournament game for the first time in 14 years?
If not, it would not surprise me to see Kevin Willard fired at Seton Hall.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Once upon a time, Bobby Gonzalez was fired at Seton Hall … and the baskeball journey he has traveled has taken him around the globe conducting clinics, eating noodles (lots of them), making crazy picks that come true (Mercer beating Duke, for example), and eating more noodles (hey, when you are coaching in China, you can’t just drop into a Burger King any time you feel like it.)
Gonzo is profiled today by Steve Popper in The Record, and the article gives a new window into what has been going on with one of the most successful coaching minds in New York basketball history. (Let’s not forget, Gonzo was also a columnist here at SheridanHoops.com for two seasons. Here is his archive.)
“When I first got hired at Manhattan and I first started winning games, people said, ‘Who the hell is Bobby Gonzalez?’” he said, laughing as he recounted his treatise on the fleeting fame of the game. “When we played Syracuse in the first round with Carmelo Anthony at the Fleet Center in Boston and they went on to win the National Championship, and I started getting good, knocking off St. John’s at the Garden, and then Seton Hall, they started saying, ‘Man, get me a Bobby Gonzalez type.’ “When we beat Florida and lost to Chris Paul and Wake Forest, an eyelash from the Sweet 16, then they said, ‘Get me Bobby Gonzalez,’ and I’m up for all these jobs. Now here we are all these years later after Seton Hall and I’m back to, ‘Who the hell is Bobby Gonzalez?’”
Gonzo is going to land on his feet — trust me on that. With the FBI about to takle down about 100 of the best college basketball programs in the country (OK, maybe not 100. But dozens of programs are going to be impacted), a ton of jobs are going to open up.
Same thing in the NBA, where hope no longer springs eternal for about 22 teams. If 21 of them go the traditional route and recycle guys who have failed at every stop of their careers, that means there will be one team remaining that will think out of the box and bring in a true hoops savant.
So stay tuned on that one.
Meantime, Gonzo’s travels have produced quite a number of photographs. Here are some samples: