Daily Bullets (March 20)

Written by Steven Mandeville
All about the Benjamins

The root of all recent instability in OSU basketball:

Some in the basketball office already were questioning Holder’s commitment to the sport, saying he wanted a Big 12 caliber program on a Missouri Valley Conference budget.

Of course, spending someone else’s money is easy. Spending the money for which you’re responsible is more difficult. Holder knows that money is tight around OSU hoops. An OSU source said basketball revenues are roughly half of what they were the previous decade. [NewsOK]

The tension of the two can’t be more apparent. Spend money to make money: 44 percent increased attendance with Underwood is clearly making money. Or risk following up, what was likely a fireable offense most places, a heinous ten year contract with a rational (four, five years?) longer deal that could go south if progress stalls out.

Holder had to evaluate which was the most likely worst case scenario: pay Underwood and he Ford’s (stalls out in the Big Dance perpetually) or find there’s no more Underwood’s growing on trees and stall out the momentum of the program. I think OSU’s short to intermediate-term basketball fate rests on Holder’s ability to find that Underwood tree.


Over Correcting

I liked a thought here that Bobby A. had on recency bias.

Travis Ford had a great first season and here came other schools calling. This time Holder had to be convinced he had a firm grip on his coach. Underwood’s contract had a buyout, a serious buyout. It would cost a Big 12 team $6-million to come in before March of 2018 and steal Underwood. For Illinois the price was $3-million and apparently, they felt Underwood was worth it.

Holder was victim of an over steer, an over correction, after being burned by a contract with Ford that caused the school to keep the coach that most fans showed they didn’t care for (by their absence) for at least two years more than they would have liked. [GoPokes]

We all got drunk on Underwood after an atrociously long period of irrelevance. Competitiveness was intoxicating even if he went 1-9 against the top third of the league.

But when Ford nearly took down Dajuan Blair and Jamie Dixon’s Pitt Panthers, how did we feel? Frustrated that we didn’t go to a Sweet 16? We were disappointed but supremely hopefully after a first round exit as a ten seed this year.

This all matters as it’s shaping our perspective on what we feel Underwood was worth – and what somebody should or shouldn’t have paid him.

Please show this to a high school student, as they haven’t seen Oklahoma State win in the tourney since they were in elementary.

OSU and NCAA Notes

Springs ball fires back up on Tuesday….Chief (OSU football equipment head guy) is moving up in the athletic department….Bests and Worsts of the Big Dance first weekend…Gregg Marshall’s wife has no chill in the loss to Kentucky….CRFF gives some more names for Underwood replacement


Swept Northwestern State on the diamond this weekend.


Your middle of the road thought of the day (and most likely the truth):

TCU’s hanging in the NIT, defending our honor beating Big Ten teams.


What You Missed on PFB
Other Stuff I’m Reading

These thoughts by the Warriors (via ESPN) are ridiculous….Three steps from Seth Godin….Things that healthy (Christian) couples should do when life gets busy



  • OKsailor

    I hate it when I’m at the table asking for millions and the guy with the millions wants me to show why I deserve it. I think the 2.2 to 3 mil offer was reasonable. We all know that could even be negotiated again if next year ended with Big 12 and NCAA tourney wins and a high finish in conference. Giving him 3 mil only leaves Self (his record speaks for itself), Huggy (again, a long record of success at this level), and Smart (at a school with more money than us, plus Final Four appearance and conference tourney championship) above him in pay grade. I agree with Holder that even though we believed in Underwood, he hadn’t quite achieved what those guys have and thus was premature in salary demands. I guess we’ll see if he ends up being worth it in the next few years. I would assume at 3mil plus the buyout that if he doesn’t win the conference and get to a Final Four pretty quickly, that he won’t be there long.

  • oSutoothdoctor

    The video of the ’09 win brought back some memories. That team had a lot of talent: Byron Eaton, Terrell Harris, James Anderson, Obi, and Marshal Moses. It’s no wonder Travis won some games that year.

    Raises a good question: who had the better career at oSu? Byron, Smart, or Jawun (if he heads to the NBA this year)? Byron is the only one with a tourney W.

    Gregg Marshall’s wife is wack. He doesn’t seem worth the trouble if they are a package deal. Lol

    • Pistols Fired!!

      Ford should still be at oSu. We had to pay him anyway, so he should have been forced to be the highest paid RECRUITER/Director of Basketball operations ever. Okay, the glaring hole in that plan is that he wouldn’t recruit worth a dang if he wasn’t the head guy…
      As for best career, Markel Brown. I never thought Smart all that.. and still don’t see him as special in the NBA. Of the three you mentioned, I lean toward Byron. For the guard spot all time, I sure enjoyed Lucas.

    • austinpoke

      Eaton had a great senior season under Ford, and was money in his 2 tournament games. He also had a monster game vs. Blake Griffin and OU in the Big 12 tournament his senior year.

  • Sugar Skull Pete

    Did Gundy’s contract extension get signed yet?

    • Pistols Fired!!

      …half signed… lol

    • Sonny

      Not yet. Holder reminded him that he hasn’t won a natty, so “Big Daddy” threw a tantrum by growing a mullet, interviewing with Baylor, wearing a singlet, and rattlesnake hunting. Anyday now, he’s expected to be caught with his son’s 16 yr old girlfriend in the backseat of his ’69 Mustang Cobra 2 while listening to Whitesnake. I can’t wait for presser after that.

      • Sugar Skull Pete

        Hello AD Mike Holder. Why are you so bad at relationships?

  • Pistols Fired!!

    What has historically been one of the more stable programs in the oSu athletic department, along with wrestling and baseball… and if you want to count it, equestrian… our basketball program has become the “Sybil” of the athletic department, riding more mood swings and personalities than Freud has ever seen. In less time than it takes to get over this year’s brand of flu, we have went from hopeless optimists akin to a new bride on her wedding night… to the skeptic level of the wife who awoke one morning wondering why she married such a lousy lover and miserable human being.
    Being a Cowboy alum from the eighties, I never believed I would say it in earnest, but thank goodness we are a football school… I think. :-/

  • Mark

    After watching the brief clip of OSU beating Tennessee I’ve decided that Holder’s contract extension strategy has over-corrected the way that basketball shorts have over-corrected in length.

  • Bryan Cauthon

    Gundy is the big, big winner here. Holder better show up in his office with a wheelbarrow full of money and get that contract extension signed. Holder needs a win right now and some positive PR.

    I liked the idea of Doug last year and still like the idea. He’s an OSU guy, loves the school and won’t leave the minute some school opens the checkbook. He will find good assistants and I think players would play for him. Recruiting, IDK, but he has a passion for OSU that would be hard to duplicate.

  • Saucy Takes

    Gundy is refraining from saying you see the bleep I have to put up with. My boss stinks.