Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Hoops: More on Zam Fredrick

Well, the official stories are breaking now and Zam Fredrick Jr. is transferring. I'll post them below. However, here is my take:

1. Buck was inline to get major minutes. Now he will have to sit out a season. That is lack of patience. Buck, there are McDonalds All-Americans sitting on benches on the best teams. That's why they win. Heck, Lee Melchionni was a top 100 player and he walked on to Duke. Talk about sacrifice.

2. We are better off without Buck. Not because he couldn't contribute - because he would have. Because of the attitude. I don't know Buck's personal take on this right now, but everything from dear old dad is about the minutes. It's about PT. I'm sorry, but with Coach Hewitt's philosophy, we don't need someone that could be a cancer to the team. We lost Ed Nelson, an ACC ROY, and flourished. Why? We added Clarence Moore and we quadrupled team chemistry. You have to have people who buy into the team philosophy is you are going to have one. So we will be better off without a guy who is sulking about minutes, even if it means we have no PG at all.

3. I am curious how much of this is coming from Senior versus Junior. All comments are being spread by the senior. The appearance of things is that not only in Senior controlling the situation, but that he's using it to try and land a job as either the new head coach or an assistant at USC - his alma mater. Senior already met with Odom about Junior at the start of the season, so don't think this is a new situation.

4. Most of all I feel bad for Buck. Why? Because he might be missing out on the best opportunity of his life next season at GT - all because he lacks patience and wants to be the man. Could he succeed in the ACC? Many will take pot-shots and say no. Personally, I think he would have, but we'll never know. Unfortunately this is the minefield that exists when navigating the mixed messages being sent to the youth.

5. I do think this hurts Coach Hewitt's reputation. Don't get me wrong. I don't blame Coach Hewitt. He did what he felt was right. You earn your spot and your minutes and he felt Buck didn't earn his over the other guys in the line-up. But at the end of the day, Buck was Mr.Basketball in the state of SC. He is the state's all-time leading scorer. He does have worlds of potential, but Coach could not get through to him (or a combination of him and his father). That hurts a coaches reputation, but that is life in the bigtime.

6. Zam may have seen the writing on the wall about the future of the GT program. He knows that Coach Hewitt is recruiting a bigtime PG and he knows the talent coming in and the talent interested in GT for 2006. Maybe some of this is a confidence thing. Maybe he wonders just enough about his future in a rising program, and doesn't want to get shutout his entire career. He knows Coach plays people when they earn minutes. Maybe he has serious doubts about earning minutes with the direction the program is headed. Maybe he would rather go play in the SEC where he knows he will get the minutes he needs, even if it means sitting out a year. Tech fans are in distress about next season if Jack goes, A.Jackson never shows up and Buck transfers. But guess what - we all know one of the elite PG's will be coming on board the following year, along with the talented SG's Coach is signing up. So where will that leave Buck? Could be in the cold. Tech fans will be happy that he helped us through 2006, but then we'll be on to the "hotshot new PG", and we will push Buck aside as well. So from this perspective, I don't blame him. The only disappointing thing - if all that is true, then it means he doesn't have the confidence he could earn PT with more talented competition. But I am just speculating now.


Well, let's just say expectations from dad might be a little high:

Fredrick, Sr. said that sitting in the stands and watching the way his son was being used was "gut wrenching" to him as a father and his former coach.

"It was a situation where we didn't feel Zam and the coaching staff were on the same page," Fredrick, Sr. said.


More parental pressure:

South Carolina, the school where the elder Fredrick led the nation in scoring in 1981, tops the younger Fredrick's list for his next college home.

"We feel like that’s the best place for him," Fredrick Sr., said Monday.


"I'm going to be a Yellow Jacket, and I hope that I made the right decision and I want to thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity because without him, it wouldn't be possible. Now, I'm hoping that I made the right decision so I can do good things at the next level." - Guard Zambolist "Buck" Fredrick on Oct. 3, 2003 after announcing his plans to sign with Georgia Tech.

More from dear old dad:
"It was a combination of things," he said. "Early on as a freshman, you don't expect to come in and dominate, especially on a team like (Georgia Tech) where you had so many veterans at that position. But still, it's always been, and I'm a coach myself ... I understand how it is to develop young players and the one thing you want to take in account is their confidence level and give them enough space and room on the court to grow. I think halfway through the season ... during the recruiting process, there was never any discussion about the young man not playing. And that was something that we just could not accept. So here we are."

And guess what - could the elder Fredrick be using this opportunity to land an assistant coaching or head coaching job? You betcha:

With his son's search for a new home ongoing, Fredrick did not want to address comments about his future from the April 7 edition of the T&D. At the time, Fredrick said he would be very "interested" in applying for either the USC head coaching position if Odom left to pursue a similar position at the University of Virginia or an assistant basketball coaching job at the school.

With Odom apparently deciding to stay at USC, speculation now turns toward Fredrick possibly seeking an assistant position left vacant with Ricky Stokes' departure to become the new East Carolina men's basketball coach. For now, Fredrick said he plans to put such aspirations on hold as he searches for a new school for his son.