It’s time for a well-known college basketball team to make a move. It’s time for this program to fire its head basketball coach who has won 69 percent of his games. The same coach that has been there since the 1998-99 season.
Texas needs to fire Rick Barnes. Yet again, Barnes is showing his inability to be a successful coach and is putting up one of the worst coaching years in the history of college basketball.
The Longhorns were the No. 10 team in the country in the preseason and looked every part of that through non-conference play. Texas won the 2K Classic in New York, defeating Iowa and Cal by double digits. After playing No. 1 Kentucky tough in Rupp Arena and dropping an unexpected game to Stanford, Texas looked like a team that could make a run to the Final Four when Big 12 play started.
There’s an argument that could be made saying Rick Barnes is the worst coach in America when it comes to men’s basketball and people wouldn’t call you crazy. Since he made the Final Four in the 2002-03 season he’s made the Sweet 16 just three times.
Take a look at the talent that he’s had in Austin. The list includes Kevin Durant, D.J. Augustin, Damion James, Dexter Pittman, Justin Mason, Clint Chapman, LaMarcus Aldridge and Daniel Gibson. This doesn’t include the countless five-star recruits he’s had through the years. Now, there’s definitely a case where you could say a five-star recruit is overrated. However, when you have a plethora of five-star recruits, you need to be more successful than Barnes.
Moving onto this season, Texas is firmly on the bubble. In fact, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Texas as one of his last four teams in. The Longhorns have one quality win over West Virginia and sits near the bottom of the Big 12. They are currently 6-9 in the Big 12 and five of those wins have come over the seventh, ninth and 10th place teams in the conference. Texas finishes the season at Kansas and at home against Baylor and Kansas State. A 6-12 conference record is very possible.
Like many coaches, Barnes is a victim of his own success and the expectations that he created. Texas basketball is relevant because of this man’s early success, and he has enjoyed the protection this state offers a Division I men’s basketball coach because of his record and the fact Texas natives don’t care as much about his sport.
Yes, it’s all about what have you done for me recently, though, and that’s where Barnes is failing. Texas has suffered double-digit losses in six of its last seven years, something that shouldn’t happen with the type of NBA-talent Barnes has had.
The biggest surprise is Rick Barnes makes over $2 million a year for failing each season. Granted, the Texas athletic department has the funds to pay that, but it’s an absurd number for a well-below average coach.
So, who could replace Barnes? The question has to be asked since there’s a new athletic director in Austin as Steve Patterson replaces DeLoss Doss. The names you’ll hear won’t shock you, but, should it happen, a potential short list would be Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech), Shaka Smart (VCU), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Andy Kennedy (Ole Miss), Tubby Smith (Texas Tech) and Bryce Drew (Valparaiso). Discuss.