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Goodbye Doug? Should "Wojo" go?

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I've heard an earful from MANY of you over the last few days claiming the only option for TU basketball is to cut ties with Doug Wojcik NOW. While I agree it hurts to not be in the NCAA tournament for a 9th straight year, let's examine if canning Doug is the way to go at this time.

Complaint #1: The games are boring

One of the MANY complaints when it comes to Doug is how the attendance has fallen off. How the team plays a "boring brand of basketball". Really? I went to plenty of games at TU this year and many of them were pretty exciting finishes. The games were competitive and Tulsa finished with a very good home record in conference. Overall, they went 10-5 at home. Of those games, they were 6-2 in CUSA competition. One loss was at the buzzer to SMU. One was a blowout against Memphis. The others were to Arizona State, Wichita State (NCAA tourney team) and Creighton (NCAA tourney team). "Boring brand of basketball"…

Since when is winning boring? TU ended the year 6-1 at home. Fans aren't showing up because….. why? Protesting? Only two CUSA teams had better winning percentages at home that TU.

Complaint #2: Attitude

Apparently I have been missing out on all of these little Doug pet-peeves. He's "rude to radio guys and in press conferences" and "blames the players for losses"? Really? I know the radio guys and they don't have problems with Doug. At least they've never voiced their frustration in any of our conversations about TU hoops.

I have been in MANY post game press conferences. I can't remember a time when he blamed a loss on a player. He does say things like, "Tim Peete hasn't been shooting with any confidence lately", like he did after TU lost to Memphis. That is not blaming players for losses. That's pointing out the obvious. Big difference.

I asked our sports photographer, who has been here 15+ years, if he ever remembered Wojcik being terse with the media. He couldn't remember one instance.

It's easy to paint someone in a certain light when all you do is pick one quote from a 10 minute conversation and use it the way you want to use it to fit your newspaper/blog article. Don't believe all you read unless you were in the room, too.

Complaint #3: Poor X's and O's

I actually heard someone complain that Doug allowed Marshall to roll the ball to midcourt instead of pressing the ball in the final seconds. Really? THAT'S your big complaint. You must want every coach in the nation to be fired then. That is incredibly common place all over every level of basketball. Very rarely will you see a team push up on the ball once it has been rolled for fear of letting the guy get by them. That's just one example, though. Not everyone is bothered by that.

There are complaints that TU doesn't play any zone on defense. Well, not all coaches like to play zone. Maybe he feels like the type of players he has don't excel in a zone. If you're not very good at it, why go to a zone when man-to-man gives you a better chance to stop the opponent? It is a philosophical thing. He doesn't like zone so he doesn't play it.

TU certainly isn't as exciting as some teams to watch but that's a product of the players too. There aren't many alley oop combos on the floor for TU. If that's what fans want to see, that isn't on the horizon. He has had plenty of high-flying talent coming in next season. Maybe that changes. Maybe not.

Complaint #4: NO Postseason wins

There is no excuse for that. The postseason wins are really what count in college hoops and Doug is the first to tell you that at the beginning of every season. That's the team goal. It's also difficult to do. Memphis is USUALLY the only team that makes the NCAA tournament from CUSA.

Since TU's last NCAA appearance in 2003:

Southern Miss: 0 NCAAs. Last appearance 1991

UCF: 2 NCAAs – 2004, 2005. 0 wins

Marshall: 0 NCAAs. Last appearance 1987

UAB: 4 NCAAs – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011. 3-4 record

Rice: 0 NCAAs. Last appearance 1970

Houston: 1 NCAA. (after winning CUSA tournament in Tulsa) 0 wins. Last prior appearance 1992

UTEP: 3 NCAAs. 2004, 2005, 2010. 0 wins.

East Carolina: 0 NCAAs. Last appearance 1993

SMU: East Carolina: 0 NCAAs. Last appearance 1993

Tulane: East Carolina: 0 NCAAs. Last appearance 1995

Memphis: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011. 14-6 record.

It's tough to do in a league that has been traditionally a 1-bid league. There were plenty of chances to go in the seven years that Doug has been at TU, but the NCAA tournament is clearly not a birthright in a league like the one Tulsa plays in. Throw out Memphis, who has won the league 6 of the last 7 years, and the CUSA's overall record in the NCAAs is 3-10. Would TU fans trade anything JUST TO MAKE IT?

My question to Tulsa fans is this: IF Tulsa has made the NCAA tournament this season, how much time would that buy Doug in your eyes? Another 7 years? Unlikely. Fans that have contacted me expect NCAA trips each year and that's simply unrealistic. I KNOW TULSA WENT EIGHT TIMES in about a decade. I KNOW THAT. That's the exception to what has been the rule for mid-majors.

There is nothing wrong with wanting your team in the NCAAs every season. I want my alma mater in! South Florida hasn't been in 20+ years. I'd like to see them go back. BELIEVE ME… I want to cover teams that are playing relevant postseason games. That makes my job more fun. I didn't have a great time this week going ALL THE WAY to Memphis (something very few TU fans did, by the way) to come back two days later.

Is it all Doug's fault? Is it time for a change? Is the fan base ready to move on? I wish Doug the best no matter what the school decides. He averages 20 wins per season. Most of those who have contacted me don't care about that AT ALL. I have a feeling the only number fans care about are NCAA wins.

And that's commendable.

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