Bye, Bye, Bibby
He's gone!And it couldn't have happened soon enough.
USC finally fired Henry Bibby today as its head coach. This comes as a surprise to some in the basketball world, who held Bibby in high esteem. After all, this was the coach who brought USC to the Elite Eight in 2001, by beating Oklahoma State, Boston College, and Kentucky, before losing a close battle with Duke.
But for the past few years, Bibby has been over the hill. First off, we all know that he's not a great person. Mike Bibby would tell you he doesn't have the greatest dad in the world. Henry Bibby would irrationally bench or suspend players for the tiniest dumbest things, which only made everyone miserable.
His most famous benching came in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament when the fourth-seeded Trojans had David Bluthenthal sit in the second half and OT because he did something minor to upset to piss off coach. Bibby felt he had to teach the senior "a lesson." Good timing. USC was upset by North Carolina-Wilmington.
Recently, the program had deteriorated. Many of Bibby's top assistants who were most responsible for USC's great recruiting classes, like Curtis Townsend and Marty Menzies, left the program. Players were failing to respond to Bibby's virtual police state. Rodrick Stewart transferred (probably to Kansas). Twin brother Lodrick was close to doing the same. Bibby wasted four years of Desmon Farmer by giving him a hard time for the hell of it. You could basically say ditto about the Craven twins, and several others.
After last season Bibby had the gall to say that USC was still "a building program." Well, Henry, you're in 9th season. How long do you need to build?
In an era where UCLA basketball is as low as its ever been, Bibby failed to fully capitalize on his window of opportunity. His refusal to act like anything besides a jerk, especially after he reached the Elite 8 when he felt like a god, cost the program even more. The nail in the coffin was a blow-out loss to North Carolina, which showed this talented team wasn't close to contending with anyone good, and an embarrassing loss at beleaguered La Salle.
It was time for Bibby to go.
He leaves USC in better shape than when he took it over. But he wasn't going to take the program any further.