Dec. 15, 2004
It's early in the season, but a handful of teams haven't met expectations. These six clubs have been disappointing so far, though there's time to turn things around...
FLORIDA STATE — This was supposed to be a good season for coach Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles (4-4), who had a solid recruiting class coming in plus an eligible Diego Romero. Instead, the 'Noles have lost to Florida International, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, TCU and Kent State. Florida State has also struggled in several wins too. The ACC schedule is right around the corner, so this team has to get its act together quickly.
MEMPHIS — The Tigers (5-4) have to listen to their coach, John Calipari. The recent loss at home to Mississippi was stunning since the Rebels had lost to Arkansas State and suffered a blowout defeat against Air Force. The Tigers don't seem to play as a team. The talent is there, but if they don't learn from a veteran coach like Calipari, they will remain a disappointment. The potential for success is there.
MISSOURI — Coach Quin Snyder has had his share of distractions due to NCAA violations, but Missouri (5-4) should not have lost to Davidson and Houston. Good luck in the Big 12 against the likes of Kansas, Oklahoma State and Texas.
PROVIDENCE — The Friars (5-4) were excited when Ryan Gomes spurned the NBA and returned for another season. Coach Tim Welsh's team has struggled at home, losing to Winthrop and Wichita State (coach Mark Turgeon's team can flat-out play, so the Wichita State result was a little less shocking).
PURDUE — It's a shame that coach Gene Keady's final season in West Lafayette has gotten off to a shaky start. The schedule has been rough for the Boilermakers (2-5), who have lost to Cincinnati and Oklahoma as well as Memphis (see above).
STANFORD — Mike Montgomery went to the NBA, but new coach Trent Johnson and the Cardinal (3-4) have their share of returning talent. Chris Hernandez, Rob Little and Co. lost to Santa Clara and Tennessee. Falling to Michigan State wasn't a shock.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.