Huge hypothetical here, if Fran had Raveling's recruits


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Fran would have a sweet 16 or an elite 8 on his resume. Other than their personalities(what we are exposed to publicly) I don't see much of a difference between Dr. Tom. It was equally frustrating watching teams repeatedly throw over-the-top of Dr. Tom's press as is watching Pmac or whoever flying out late on a wide open 3 point shot.


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Yes rewind to about 1986-1992.

You had Arkansas' 40 minutes of hell
UNLV's high octane attack
Iowa’s 94 feet of denial
Cleveland State's Run-n-Stun
Oklahoma's full throttle attack
Loyola Marymount's "seven seconds of shot clock" offense
Tulane's five man posse platoons
East Tennessee State was a tournament tournament terror (who would have knocked us out if not for Troy Skinner's career game)

What I think was happening is the decline of the baby boom population, and the period before European players came over, led to a lot of unathletic bigs that teams were trying to force into the lineup. After a period between Lew Alcindor and Patrick Ewing where legit bigs dominated the game, there was a dearth at the center until Shaq came along. (Remember when teams tried to make players out of Uwe Blab,, Chuck Nevitt, Jens Kujawa, Tom Greis and Shawn Bradley?) Teams that stopped recruiting those types of players early and instesd loaded their rosters with athletic players in the 6'5-6'8 range were a step ahead of the curve.

The full time press is just about dead at the D 1 level because good guards will destroy it. I don't even think Bruce Pearl presses that much anymore and he learned it from Dr Tom and Kevin Mackey.

Damn, Northside

Nice research, indeed


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Fran would have still have his boys playing 32 and 18 minutes so Iowa wouldn’t even of probably made the Tourny. That’s a fact…


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Fran is an average recruiter at best, probably because he is, by all accounts, squeaky clean. You don't land the type of talent GR landed without getting into the mud at least a little.

Fran is an above average Xs and Os guy, but with a couple blind spots. He rests his talent too long (especially in the first half), his bench is usually too long, and his refusal to play a star with 2 fouls in the first half is pure stubborn rigidity. Beyond those issues, he calls a good game, draws up plays wells, and generally pushes the right buttons. Certainly better than GR.

Fran is an excellent developer of talent. Well above average and well above GR.

Fran sees talent before his peers. This might be his greatest skill as a coach. He can project what a 16 year old kid will become, not what he is.
I couldn't agree more or articulate it any better. Being a clean recruiter has most certainly held him back at times in recruiting over the years. How couldn't it in that world? There's never been a whisper of him cheating either.

Yeah he loves to play 9 plus guys a lot and sometimes you need to ride your horses more. That has gotten us in trouble before.

Look no further then Garza and Aaron White in regards to developing talent. And he also hasn't had a team that doesn't get along. I can't remember any strife amongst players with each other or the staff. Fran is a straight shooter and players always know where they stand with him and their roles. We've had kids transfer out sure but their reasons for doing so made sense and were obvious.


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The 1987 team under Tom Davis went 30-5 and got a #2 seed and made it to the elite 8, of course it took a miracle shot by Gamble against Oklahoma in the sweet 16 game just to make the elite 8.

But the point is it was a super talented and deep team that played a fast paced tempo. That plays to Fran's strengths and style.

In the end, probably the only coach who wouldn't have got Iowa to the sweet 16 that year was Raveling himself.
That team had an 18 point early second half lead against UNLV to go to go to the final 4.
(and lost) Fran can't get his team to the final 4 of the BTT. He is what he is, an average coach.