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Matt Doherty Blogs

Joe Ovies at 620 the Bull brings us some fabulous quotes from former UNC and current Florida Atlantic SMU head basketball coach Matt Doherty. Doherty did in an interview with where he said SMU was the "Duke of Dallas" and said he is modeling his rebuilding of SMU after the one Mike Krzyzewski did when he first arrived at Duke. Later on he responded to criticism of his comments through the blog he has been writing on since arriving in Dallas which contained a thinly veiled criticism of his former employer:

Duke fell on hard times and then Coach K came in my freshman year. They were decent. The next year they were worse and in came Dawkins, Bilas, Alarie… They weren’t very good that year because Coach K committed to the "youth movement"… Coach K weathered three difficult years, but AD Tom Butters stuck with him and it turned out to be a "decent decision"…An unpopular move with some fans, but a gutsy move that proved to be a wise decision. Could I have used another anology? Maybe. I could have used my own experience at UNC with the rebuilding process that included starting 3 freshmen and 2 sophomores my last year.

First of all, I tend to steer clear of the whole Doherty issue mainly out of ignorance since I was living in MA at the time and missed out on most of the firestorm in the local media. On the message board at Inside Carolina the waning days of Doherty's tenure are colorfully referred to as the "Doh Wars." In fact the issue was so divisive among the posters there that even today admins will lock threads which delve into the issue with any kind of specificity.

Secondly, why should I care what the head coach at SMU says? Yes, he is a former player/coach and I do wish him well in his new endeavor but if he wants to pontificate on the use of Duke basketball circa 1982 as a model for rebuilding then what do I care? Or if he feels the need, after three years, to take shots at the UNC administration then that is his perogative. A little unprofessional on his part but his choice all the same. Did he get a raw deal? Sure, there is some merit to that argument to the extent that the players(and parents) not the people actually in charge of the university made the decision about his future. One inescapable truth is that Doherty was inexperienced and I think that was reflected in the way he managed the team and his players. Of course we really have no idea what would have happened if Dick Baddour had stood behind Doherty. Then again when it was all said and done UNC won the 2005 title under Roy Williams and Doherty has landed on his feet elsewhere. Hopefully he can build a winner in Dallas and make the NCAA Tournament in the near future.

And then the selection committee will bracket SMU and UNC together and we will get to do this strange little dance all over again.