John Feinstein talks about Paul Hewitt’s job security at George Mason

John Feinstein was on the 106.7 The Fan this morning talking with the Sports Junkies about local college basketball. Here is his response when asked if Paul Hewitt is in trouble at George Mason:

Thoughts?

  • Justin Edwards

    I agree he gets at least 1 more year especially because of the switch in conference… do I agree… no but John F was on point.

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikhernquist Erik Hernquist

    I think he’s right on all accounts. Hewitt has a lot he can point to – new conference, losing Arledge, several close games, next year’s recruiting class, etc. I’m not saying I agree, but there is obviously a friendship between Hewitt and TOC, so these make for nice excuses.

  • Rick Jank

    I’d say he’s got the temperature of the situation about right. While he thinks Hewitt will stay on, I don’t think he’d be particularly surprised if he were fired.
    What must TOC be thinking about now (assuming he’s capable)? He is paying more for Hewitt than the guy he let go, Larranaga, and a comparison of the results for each coach isn’t even close. Sure, there is the hubris factor, Hewitt is his hire, but at some point don’t you have to send the message about expecting success?
    And speaking of that, though we may be hearing others express more “reasoned” opinions about how it’s “sensible” to keep Hewitt on a little more, we the fans have a voice, and we just might expect more in the way of results than this or that sportscaster or administrative head (though Feinstein has been a good friend to the Mason program). In a way I was glad to see empty seats for home games, for that is surely one way our voice gets heard. We hardcore fans will always be there, but the more casual fan is more easily distracted away from a team that is wallowing at the bottom of the standings.

    • StopWearingPurple

      Same here on the empty seats. It sends a message that can’t be ignored. Plus, the only bright side to so many home losses was easy in and out.

  • GaMoo79

    Feinstein knows his stuff. I agree with his assessment. If we improve next year Hewitt definatley gets year 4, if not, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    • dsnjd1

      I agree, in fact their is an institutional history to support the rehiring of Hewitt. Look at Paul Westhead, another name coach with a pedigree from another program and another level. Sure, its ancient history, but history never-the-less. Plus, as a state school without “Enormous State University” assets they’ve gotta’ let him stay to complete his contract, paying another coach to sit somewhere else is not something that Mason can afford. We do not have rich alumni like Ga. Tech did when they paid him to “please go sir….please”.

      • Bentley

        Sadly, this is very accurate.

  • dsnjd1

    Schadenfreude update. The “Cuban Judas” coaching tree: Former Mason Assistant James Johnson was 9-22 at Va. Tech. Interestingly, he his ONLY conference wins came against “The Cuban Judas” (lol), and he also played Miami tough in the ACC tournament losing by only a couple. Prediction, with a new A.D. at Tech, J.J. is likely gone. Too bad, that means no more horrendously bad Hardee’s Chicken Tenders commercial during Tech games on the radio. Bill Courtney, was 3-26 overall and 1-13 in the IVY LEAGUE! The highlights of Cornell home game on their web site seem to have the attendance of a high school freshman girl’s basketball games. Prediction: Normally things would not bode well for a coach…..but this is the Ivy League…so who knows….and in fact who really cares? Lastly, Scott Cherry, has had four mediocre years at High Point (73-80 over four years, 10-14 in 13′-14′). Too many wait til’ next years’ for Scott? Oh’ ,I almost forgot, the “Cuban Judas” himself was 17-15 overall and 8-11 in the ACC .A real step-down from his A.P. Coach of the year award (Face it, was given solely to make-up for the time he DID deserve it, but didn’t get it in 06′) He’s got a lifetime contract though, and despite his Northeastern accent, he’s changed the pronunciation of his name to appeal to the Cuban fan base, and he’ll retire there at 70+ as Miami as a private institution as no mandatory retirement age.

    • GMUPATS74

      You completely lost me with this post.

      • dsnjd1

        Sorry I thought we were all college grads here….let me simplify…1. Its ironic former Larranaga assistant coaches James Johnson, Bill Courtney and Scott Cherry may all have ALL coached their last games at their respective schools and may be fired in the SAME YEAR, 2. Larranaga’s AP 2013 COY award was simply undeserved and equates to a “make-up” for dissing him in 2006 (when they gave the award to Roy Williams….lol),And lastly, Larranaga, who has carefully crafted his public image at ,BOTH at Mason and Miami and is in reality nothing like the true man, and is motivated now simply by maximizing his income before he dies. Oh’…lol…,and “Schadenfreude”, is taking joy in the misery of others. Still, lost?

        • GaMoo79

          dsnjd,
          Explain, fine. Arrogance and name calling, uncalled for and beneath a “college graduate’s” level of sophistication. Besides, I thought we were all on the same team here.
          I am willing to bet that there are plenty of Mason fans who could compose posts that you wouldn’t understand too; GMUPATS74 among them.
          It seemed to me also that you were going out of your way to be clever, when in reality all you managed to do was be vague.
          And, lastly, you kind of took some schadenfreude in slamming a fellow fan, didn’t you?

          • dsnjd1

            Hey chill, I don’t disagree with your basic premise. I posted my response as a separate entry below

  • Rick Jank

    Stan Heath just got the axe at USF. His situation was fairly similar to our own. So see, TOC, it can be done!
    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10607942/stan-heath-confirms-firing-south-florida-coaching-job

    • GaMoo79

      Not happening Rick.

      • GMUPATS74

        I second Gamoo79′s comment.

  • dsnjd1

    FYI: Over on the Georgia Tech basketball post they are complaining about their current coach too, saying he needs to be fired. And although they are not longing for Hewitt to return, they are saying how much better it was under Hewitt. You think they would be up for a trade? lol

    • GaMoo79

      These are the same fans that were laughing at US a few weeks ago!!! Hilarious!

  • Sean Cassidy

    The CAA always beat up on the lower half of the A10. It may have been a major upgrade like he said but they couldn’t even do what they did when they were in the CAA. Something is amiss and oh by the way maybe the new President will have a say in whether Hewitt AND TOC stays.

    • GaMoo79

      True. We couldn’t even win in a weakened CAA last year. I can’t help but feel, though, like we have been playing with half a deck the past couple of years. After all, noone has come close to replacing Morrison or ” the Beard”, who, we need to remember, was CAA POY, BEFORE VCU left. We don’t have the quality of players we had during the Final 4 year either. It seems from reports that we might be upgrading considerably next year. Hopefully it will show in wins.
      My biggest concern is that we need a PG who can shoot, dish, and make free throws. Moore is a decent ball handler but needs to improve his overall game to open up the inside and keep defenses honest on Holloway.

      • Daniel Wu

        Julian Royal is a four star and highly recruited PF of his class. So perhaps Royal is the better, taller, and more talented version of “The Beard” just no actual facial hair growing like Pearson’s.
        With Okoloji gone Hewitt should definately look for a PG/SG combo.
        The future looks like its heading into the right direction and hopefully it will turn out okay.

        • GMUPATS74

          Daniel Wu are you, Gamoo and I the only ones who believe we’re headed in the right direction?

          • StopWearingPurple

            I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say, the right direction but I am definitely in the give him a chance to play all his guys camp. Also, I think one of our desperate needs is a guy who can guard A-10 guards who lit us up this year.

    • GaMoo79

      And on Cabrera… Good to see him attending and tweeting about our sports early on. Remains to be seen, though, how involved he really is in the sports programs. I think he will be great in advancing us academically (which really is priority number 1) but sports…lets hope he’s a HUGE fan.

      • Daniel Wu

        Academics will follow along with the success of sports.

        • GaMoo79

          Daniel, I usually agree with you, but academics don’t need sports. Yes, success in sports does increase student apps and brings in money and engenders school spirit, but in the long run, we could shutter the doors on all of our teams, and we could still become a world class academic institution.

          • Bentley

            Hmmm, in theory, yes. But Mason was put on the map by a final four run. I know that makes people angry, but Mason was just a commuter school “aka” George Mason Community College until the final four run. The money and exposure from that run fundamentally made the school better and provided resources unreachable beforehand. Shutter the doors to BB in 2005, and we are still just GMCC. Academics are the goal and the end game, but sports build a community, a spirit, and if done right, a financial base and exposure that cannot be achieved otherwise.

          • GaMoo79

            I agree with you about spirit and money and said as much in my original post. But, I disagree that before 2006 we were just GMCC. Anyway, no prob, just two different viewpoints.

    • Bentley

      This is the X factor being left out right now. Cabrera. TOC is not his guy and he doesn’t have loyalty to him. He inherited him. I firmly believe TOC keeps Hewitt. But what if Cabrera doesn’t like that and shows both the door? That is something I will be watching to see if there is any smoke to indicate a fire there. Won’t be surprised one way or the other.

  • Bentley

    The irony here is TOC has now hired 2 “big name” coaches and both have blown up in his face. His best hire was an “unknown” from Bowling Green named Larranaga who had a track record of a solid consistent program. And he righted the ship and won the conf in his 2nd year. That would be the best move, to go find a mid-major coach with a solid record consistently winning and being stable.

    Will he do it, not by himself, he won’t admit his mistake yet. But I got to think the University might weigh in on this. Can’t be lost on them they committed to stepping up and investing more resources to join a better conference and now see an empty arena game after game with no fan or student support. They hosted a top 10 team this year with attendance like a 12 year old little league game. That place should have been packed with an electric environment! Let’s face it, the only thing going for the program is the Green Machine.

    If you look at the body of work, Hewitt took over a stocked roster with the CAA POY, coming off an NCAA 8 seed in his first year and they grossly underperformed and didn’t make the post season. Last year was a disaster, middle of the pack in the CAA, a conference that was one of the weakest in the nation. Sadly the stupid CBI tourney allowed them to get “20″ wins grossly skewing how bad the year was. And then this year… I thought they’d be between 9-11 in the conf to start the year, but they proved me wrong and were last. Couldn’t even give the Green Machine a chance to play in front of a crowd at the actual tourney. (Play in game had no crowd)

    So if you just look at the body of work, arrow is going down without a single glimmer of hope. Mark my words, if he stays another year the team will be even worse, empty arena, more season tix cancellations, and 7-10 wins for the year. That is not what this school deserves.

  • dsnjd1

    Listen, let’s call a truce okay? I really don’t want to get into a controversy with another fan whose beliefs about the state of program probably are consistent with mine ninety-eight percent of the time. I’m just frustrated, like you are obviously too, that state of the program is where it is now. We are the largest school in the state, but still have the financial inability to eat Hewitts contract and will thus be stuck with him a little longer. That’s reality. When North Carolina faced a similar problem with Brad Daughterty (sp) a few years ago they simply paid- him-off and sent him packing and absorbed the financial hit as a cost of doing business. Sadly, Mason can’t do that.

    • GaMoo79

      No problem. Truce. I think we’re all frustrated and a bit testy.

    • Guest

      The good news is that we can only get better. someone here said we’d win 8 games next year total. I don’t buy into that.
      Next year dsnjd1 you, me and everyone else will hopefully be looking back on this season and laughing.

  • Rick Jank

    I just hope the same sort of tense conversation is going on in closed offices at GMU at this time. There may not be any moves made, but at least it would show there’s a genuine interest and concern about the direction of the basketball team, instead of lip service and business as usual. At minimum, the sparse attendance at games means less revenue, which has to get somebody’s attention.

  • gmurva

    Hewitt is a players coach. Talked to Lamar Butler at length in NY and he would have been happy to play for him and believes Hewitt will right the ship. He had opinions on why the team has struggled the past two seasons and really likes the recruiting class. Most interesting was his comments about the gatech program. Sounds like they have issues bigger than coaching and the previous post on this thread seems to support that.

    • GaMoo79

      Glad to hear that Lamar is a pro Hewitt guy, and believes he will right the ship. Makes me feel a little better going into the off season.

      • Daniel Wu

        If Hewitt can find a PG/SG to take Anali’s scholarship then the ship is definately heading the right way. I wonder who’s left. Most of the players with talent levels to match the A10 have been picked off.

        • GaMoo79

          I agree Daniel.
          BTW, I wonder how much VCU’s injured player affected their close loss to St. Joe’s today? Be interesting to see what Shaka says.

    • Bentley

      Great. But Hewitt inherited deep talent, had deep talent, brought in new capable talent and has mismanaged all of it. Nobody doubts his recruiting ability. Why would bringing in new talent change anything? Hewitt didn’t inherent a rebuilding effort, he inherited a top 25 caliber roster and it has gone downhill under him. I love Lamar, but he does have a tendancy to speak with confirmation bias.

      And as I watch Luke Hanncock prepare to try and earn a 2nd national championship ring I still wonder, why didn’t Hewitt spend a little more time recruiting in house when he arrived? Bird in hand…. Having Luke would have been a monster boost to Hewitt’s program.

      I have watched this team the last 3 years, They aren’t motivated, play poor fundemental basketball, and make really, really dumb mistakes in the clutch. 3 years of this points to poor coaching. Empirical evidence is now in hand.

      What’s that saying? The definition of idiocy is doing the same things and expecting different results. Pressing on with Hewitt falls in that bucket.

      • gmurva

        I don’t believe you can coach heart. Hewitt has also had some misses on recruits too but they will have all moved on by next season. I think Luke being around may have helped, but I don’t think he would have stayed even for Coach L – players don’t turn down the opportunity to play for Pitino and/or Louisville and/or Big East. Had he stayed we would have still be in the same boat this season.

        We were competitive for most games this season so it will be interested to see how the 6 – A10 teams fair in the tournament to see how good the A10 really was. I am only supporting the argument for one more year.

  • PiMpJoOsE

    Let’s see … I learned a few weeks ago that Anali, Gray, and Edwards had intentions on leaving at the end of the season. We also have Sherrod, Bryon, and Williams wrapping up their studies. TOC’s contract expires on June 30 … and he been living in Masonvale since selling his house last fall (so I’ve heard, but haven’t tried to verify). … In spite of the things that Hewitt does in-game that irritate me (7-min remaining TO, anyone?), I want him to be successful at GMU. Personally, I think he stays at GMU, at his current salary, for as long as he wants. Only a new AD wanting to make his/her own footprint on the program will change that.

    • GaMoo79

      What if TOC doesn’t renew in June? That depends on if he wants to or not, AND if Cabrerra wants him to.
      I dont think Hewitt gets to stay “as long as he wants”. At some point even TOC has to add up wins and losses.

      • PiMpJoOsE

        I’m thinking that the evidence points to TOC **not** renewing before the end of June. However, I don’t think Cabrera has enough experience with athletics to lead the search for a new AD, so it is very possible that TOC will have his hand in that search, perhaps promoting someone from within. With an internal promotion, I think Hewitt stays a while longer, whereas an external hire may result in Hewitt’s exit sooner than later (well, by not renewing Hewitt’s contract, at least). … for now, the financial bottom line of the athletics programs is far more important than wins and losses. As long as the program isn’t losing money, the status quo will be good enough for the administration.

  • GaMoo79

    Say what you want about the CBI and CIT, at least those teams are still playing. We’re not even good enough to be invited to a pay to play tourney.

  • dsnjd1

    I’m a little encouraged, at least RPI fell on its face though. The countdown officially begins on Shaka’s position as the “hot young coach”. Another “one and out” to an inferior squad, and the UCLAs (ie.,, the elite schools)., of this world will not consider him anymore. Don’t you think his agent may talk to him about this. Come ‘on Shaka, the shelf-life of your role as the” young genius of College Basketball is in danger”, leave now before another “one and out” makes people question your “genius” and severely hinders your marketability.

  • GaMoo79

    I dunno. The A10′s top sixth man was out for the A10 championship game and the SFA game, and they almost won both. Plus, VCU has the 15th ranked class coming in. I think Smart’s rep is safe.

    • dsnjd1

      I’m just venting. Shaka’s not worried about his reputation yet, but you can’t pass on too many of these opportunities. Its Brad Stephens move to the pros puzzles me. He was in the exact same position as Smart, he could have punched his ticket to a Big BCS program and yet chose to go to the pros….? I know that Shaka definitely take is Florida job and they would probably offer it if Donovan ever left. We can only dream.

      • GaMoo79

        Actually, you may be on to something. Front page article in the Richmond paper today about all the money VCU is spending on a new practice facility and Smart’s contract. Said the school needs to get more on its return than back to back second round exits and first round upset.

  • PiMpJoOsE