As we approach the Mid-Summer Baseball Classic and the Cat’s amazing NCAA run fades in the rear view mirror, Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com shakes things up a bit with a thought provoking article entitled "Is this guy Wright in the head?"
Mr. Goodman traces Coach Wright’s evolution from struggling coach during his first three seasons at Villanova to one of the nation’s elite college coaches, reaching the 2009 Final Four and fending off head coaching offers from the likes of Kentucky and the Philadelphia 76ers. He does a nice job explaining Coach Wright’s decision stay put on the Main Line as well as his reaction to growing expectations about next year’s team. By the way, Mr. Goodman left it up to the readers to decide on Coach Wright's sanity. As of this morning, almost 700 readers had voted and about 40% think he is crazy for staying at Nova; 60% think he is a breath of fresh air. What do you think?
Selected Quotes from "Is This Guy Wright In The Head?":
"Even though Wright is one of the best coaches in the industry at connecting with the fan base, he also enjoys his privacy and family time — and he understands achieving that privacy would be difficult with the avid, insane fan base at UK. He'd be completely out of his element in Bluegrass country, where every step he'd take would be not only followed, but scrutinized.
"I grew up in Philly, and my whole family is here," Wright said. His parents and siblings. Even his wife's family.
“[The Philadelphia 76ers] was a dream job for me," "But I love [Villanova] so much that I don't want to leave."
"This place is the greatest college basketball job in the country to me," Wright said. "This is what I grew up with. I love it and wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
"It was the perfect time [for me] to leave Villanova if I was ever going to leave, because we were really close last year, going to the Final Four, and I'd be leaving the program in a good place — with a new practice facility and everything," Wright added. "But at the end, it wasn't that I didn't want the 76ers. It was that I didn't want to leave Villanova."
Give Wright credit. In this day and age, most coaches would have bolted.
He would have been paid far more at either Kentucky or with the 76ers, and he also would have been put on a similar pedestal to the one Calipari now sits on with the UK faithful.
Wright has quieted the critics who have questioned his coaching ability over the last couple of years.
Although the expectations are high and the Wildcats should be a fixture fairly high in the preseason top 25 (FOXSports.com has them at No. 6), Wright isn't quite sure his team is ready for that. "Those three seniors were beasts," Wright said. "This team coming back has a lot to prove."
"Villanova's a unique place," Wright said. "I'm not saying it's perfect, but it fits me." Now that sounds sane. "