College Basketball Nation: Matt Doherty

Video: Picking a college hoops title game

January, 7, 2013

CBB Live Extra predicts the title game if college basketball's national champion was decided tonight.

3-point shot: SMU eyes Buzz Williams

March, 26, 2012
1. SMU is joining the Big East in 2013 and wants to make a slash in replacing Matt Doherty. The Mustangs, according to sources, have Marquette’s Buzz Williams in their sights. But those close to him would be stunned if he were to leave Marquette, now a top Big East program, for a school that will enter the league at the bottom. The money can’t be more than comparable to what he makes now, and proximity to his hometown can’t be that big a deal, right? Unless something happens to prove otherwise, chalk this one up to wishful thinking.

2. Illinois has now been spurned by VCU’s Shaka Smart and Butler’s Brad Stevens. This should be yet another sign how well schools pay at some spots outside the power six. And it speaks volumes about being happy with your situation, school, boss and city for a coach’s family. Now that Illinois has struck out with Smart and Stevens, it should focus on Ohio’s John Groce. Groce has done wonders with the Bobcats and has strong Big Ten ties. I’d be surprised if Groce were to turn this gig down if offered. He’s hot now and, while he could win the MAC next year, it’s still likely a one-bid league and winning the conference tournament is a tenuous proposition.

3. South Carolina would like Kansas State’s Frank Martin. But if Martin is seriously interested in leaving Kansas State (he has publicly said he hasn’t talked to anyone), he should look at Mississippi State, which is a better basketball job than South Carolina. There is plenty of talent in the state, more recent success in the sport, and a more passionate fan base for hoops.
Apparently it's "Former ACC Person You Hadn't Heard From In A While" day. First we had Bobby Hurley and his equestrian liquidity issues. Now it's Matt Doherty, the former North Carolina coach whose abject failure at UNC from 2001 to 2003 gave way to Roy Williams' tenure, which has been anything but.

Doherty is the subject of a big reconciliation-type feature in the Charlotte News & Observer today. And hey, it seems like he's doing OK.
His tiptoe back into the Carolina basketball family, he said, stems from a long-overdue heart-to-heart last September with Roy Williams - an assistant coach when Doherty was a player in from 1980-84, a mentor when Doherty served as his assistant coach at Kansas from 1992-99, and the man who ultimately replaced him in Chapel Hill when Doherty was given the boot with three years left on his contract.

Williams said Doherty has always been a talented coach and Tar Heel in his eyes.

[...] "There needed to be a conversation ... why did this person do this? Why did they say that? What was the timing of this, or did this conversation take place?" Doherty said last week. "We all need to learn how to forgive, and I was struggling with that. I wanted to forgive, but I think in order to forgive, there had to be a conversation first, so I could let go of that."

If there's anyone who can get UNC types to stop hating Matt Doherty -- and Matt Doherty to stop hating UNC types -- it's Roy Williams. He's like a big cuddly wool suit-wearing grandpa. And in the UNC "family" (which is what North Carolina people insist on calling their former players and coaches), when grandpa speaks, the family listens.

That said, it would have sucked to be Matt Doherty. He was somewhat rudely pushed out the door with hardly any of his original salary, and then two years later his insanely talented players (Sean May, Rashard McCants, Raymond Felton et. al.) went on to beat Illinois' one-loss team in the national championship game. That Doherty has seemingly let this go is a major emotional accomplishment. I would still be bitter. Wouldn't you?