Hello from Cincinnati. No, not the University of Cincinnati, just the city of Cincinnati. This letter is in response to your apparent interest in noted children's book author and occasional basketball coach Michael Walter "Mick" Cronin. I am writing in hopes of dissuading you from pursuit of him for the head coaching vacancy currently in place at your men's basketball program.
First of all, I want you to know that he will absolutely not bring attractive basketball to Las Vegas. In my heart of hearts, attractive basketball has three basic components: pace of play, effectiveness of offensive effort, and postseason success. You should be aware that those three pitches have effectively struck out Cronin.
His pace is beyond sluggish. Other than doing so by accident in his first year at Murray State, he has never placed a team in the top 100 in the nation in pace. Or the top 150. He has put one other team in the top 200... at 195th. He knows the more possessions in the game, the more likely it is that his team is going to lose.
Why does he know that? Because he can't coach offense. At all. Not even a tiny bit. If you locked one of Mick Cronin's teams in an otherwise empty gym overnight, you could come back after breakfast to a total of about eight points. He has been coaching for 14 years and has shown absolutely no growth in this area.
He has never put a team in the top 50 in offensive efficiency. He has only put 7 teams in the top 100, and only 5 in the last 12 years. Think about that: he has basically a coin toss chance that, in addition to being brutally slow, his offense is also going to be tragically ineffective. This year his team found itself behind noted offensive powerhouses High Point, Central Michigan, and Nebraska Omaha in efficiency. You might recognize those as teams that nobody is spending money to watch.
Of course, all can be forgiven if a coach is using an ugly style to Mourinho his way to championships. Cronin is not. He has a total record of 4-8 in the NCAA tournament with just a single Sweet 16 to his name. He's also 0-1 in the CBI and 1-1 in the NIT. Step aside, Coach Wooden. When there’s a big game to be won, you can be confident that Mick Cronin will be the guy on the opposite bench, watching it get won by someone else’s team.
For all of his ugly basketball, he's also an ugly personality as a head coach. Go through some of his old press conferences and see if you can tell me what his top priority is. If you said "Mick Cronin," you are correct. Bad loss? Throw the players under the bus. Poor on court conduct? Air everyone's dirty laundry at the media table. Team has an unimpressive resume? Whine about the Selection Committee while comparing the program to Duke. Lost a tight one? Complain about the refs, bad luck, bad weather, anything that might deflect blame from miserable coaching.
For that package of mediocrity and low-grade narcissism, you're rumored to be putting together a $3,000,000 offer. According to USA Today, that would put Cronin comfortably in the top 10 highest-paid college basketball coaches. For that amount of money, you could offer a raise to some really good coaches.
Listen, Cronin's not the guy you want. He doesn't win, doesn't represent the program well, and doesn't try to boost the profile of anything or anyone but himself. Plus, he's really good at losing to Xavier. How about you let us keep him in town here, and you go after someone else? Might I suggest Jay Wright as a place to start?
Joel D, Banners on the Parkway
Cosigned by Xavier fans everywhere