The Obamas could bark for the Dogs

So there I was in the back room of an ESPN studio last week in southern California, chatting for nearly 30 minutes with the First Brother-In-Law. The more we talked, the more I kept hearing a bunch of barking in my head.

Georgia has an opening for a head basketball coach, you know.

“Yeah, I’ve heard,” said Craig Robinson, with wide eyes. In fact, he fits the profile of what the Bulldogs need to become relevant again in hoops. “Do I?” he said, with even wider eyes.

Robinson is the 46-year-old big brother of First Lady Michelle Obama, and his resume spans from his serving as a two-time Ivy League player of the year at Princeton to his working as a profitable banker on Wall Street. He’s also the miracle worker in his first season at Oregon State, where the Beavers just won seven games in the Pac-10 after managing zero last season.

Prior to Oregon State, Robinson spent the second of his two seasons at Brown taking the moribund Bears to a school-record 19 victories. And get this: Georgia needs a miracle worker after finishing 12-19 overall and 3-13 in the SEC.

“No comment,” Robinson said, before trying to stifle a chuckle “Hey, I just got here (to Oregon State).”

Coaches have been one and done before, and consider this: Georgia basketball has much potential courtesy of a strong backing from athletics director Damon Evans, a $30 million practice facility and a state loaded with gifted players who often go elsewhere.

Did I mention that Robinson is a splendid recruiter? Corvallis is in the middle of nowhere, but he just finished with the nation’s 22nd-best class, according to rivals.com. He also is on the verge of bringing some of that Georgia talent to the middle of nowhere.

“We’ve just met a couple of guys who have started an AAU program down there, and we’re sort of making our inroads into the Atlanta area, because we want to recruit nationally, internationally as well as locally,” Robinson said. “We’re trying to make some of this national publicity we’re getting work for us.”

That publicity includes Robinson’s insistence that his players use correct grammar. He even has a dictionary and thesaurus in the locker room. “I’ll use certain words so they have to look them up,” Robinson said. “I want them to understand that when the ball stops bouncing, you have to speak well. You have to write well. You have to present yourself well. You have to be bilingual.”

Here’s another reason for Oregon State’s publicity: Their coach knows Michelle’s husband. “What people slept on with Barack is how really smart he is,” said Robinson, adding that Obama is a good athlete beyond basketball. “He’s a golfer now, and I know he and my sister play tennis. He can retain knowledge as well as anybody. It’s terrific, and I’m happy he’s our president.”

Those in the Bulldog Nation would be happy to say, “The First Brother-In Law is our basketball coach.” Which means Evans should make that call to the middle of nowhere. He might be pleasantly surprised and instantly blessed.

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150 comments Add your comment

RxDawg

March 20th, 2009
12:02 pm

If he’s kin to Obama, I don’t want him!! It may cause taxes to go up on UGA fans to help pay for him (Trickle-Up-Poverty economics).

bruce

March 14th, 2009
10:30 am

upstate why attack Charles Stanley? compare him to Limbaugh? you obviously don’t watch his show.nice work T.M. UGA79

AJ Reser

March 13th, 2009
1:23 am

Screw the ducks!

GT Photographer

March 12th, 2009
11:26 pm

Go Georgia Tech, and Go Ducks!

http://www.photosbyms.com/photoblog/index.php?showimage=318

Oregon Ducks uniforms > Athens Waste-of-Biomass uniforms

Tennessee Dawg

March 12th, 2009
9:55 pm

The absolutely, unquestioned last thing I want is the Usurper and Mrs. Usurper having anything to do with UGA. The sooner his original long form birth certificate is finally released, the sooner we’ll be rid of this socialist muslim. Otherwise, I’m satisfied that Damon Evans will do an outstanding job. He’s a proven and honorable man with strong character. Have a nice day.

ean

March 11th, 2009
6:25 pm

Apples to Watermelon? More like and Orange to a Grapefruit. Corvallis is ~50,000 people Athen is ~100,000.

Ben

March 11th, 2009
5:42 pm

I think some people are just spouting off.
First: Despite having a poor record over the last 20 years
(coincidentally starting the year after Ralph Miller retired from coaching)
Oregon State is still the 13th winningest program in college basketball.
In fact, during the Ralph Miller years Corvallis held NCAA Regionals.

Second: Would Georgia really want a coach for their BB program that just bounced
after one year at another school? Kinda would seem as though the coach will bounce
to someone that’ll pay him more. Georgia should not be interested in any coach
that hasn’t spent some time at a school and is leaving the program in better shape
than what he took over.

Third, Corvallis has a very small population. Which means comparing Corvallis to Athens
is akin to comparing apples to watermelons. I’m sure most people wouldn’t find Corvallis on a map because the map wouldn’t have Corvallis listed. In fact, most maps only list Portland, Salem, Eugene and/or Medford for Oregon unless it is specific to Oregon or the Pacific Northwest.

Good luck in your search for a new BB coach, Bulldog fans. But pick someone you’ll believe in and not what the media hypes as the trendy-now pick.

ean

March 11th, 2009
5:37 pm

Swansoer,

I think Gill is awesome and has a ton of character. I also think the weight room is top notch. Is your comment directed at someone else? As it is now I don’t believe there is a court dedicated to pratice 24-7 for either men or womens teams. I never said the facilites were bad.

Swansoer

March 11th, 2009
5:25 pm

Its odd everyone complains about our (OSU’s) facilities. We just got a brand new (huge and nice) weight room for student athletes. Sure Gill doesn’t look great from the outside, but they are working on that, Sand blasting it then repainting it. On the inside its still pretty nice. 10,400 seats with almost no obstructed views (just the very upper corners, and still in great condition. They just re did bpth the mens and womens locker rooms. Really the only thing facility wise we are lacking is a dedicated courtspace for basketball and I believe they plan on addressing that by building a couple courts behind Gill. Our facilities may not look like the Rose Garden from the outside but inside they are good or better then most programs in the country. I know when they were showcasing the weight room during football season they were saying it was one of the best around.

I also agree with ean that it would be only a lateral move for CR to go to UGA (if he did). OSU does have a lot of history in Basketball, albeit 19 years removed from our glory days. We are the 15th winningest program of all time, have gone to the tournament 16 times and won our conference 20 times (5 times since it became the Pac 10). UGA has only been to the tournament 10 times and won its conference just once. Robinson has already shown he can recruit to Corvallis by bringing in Rival’s 22nd ranked class. Unlike in football, the Pac 10 is often regarded as one of the primer leagues in Basketball, Arizona, UCLA, Stanford and UO have all made at least two elite 8 runs in the past ten years.

Fun OSU fact, there has been an OSU alum in the NBA every year since the NBA formed, although that streak is dangerously close to snapping unless we get someone in before Brent Barry retires.

ean

March 11th, 2009
4:29 pm

Oh thanks for the info. I meant lateral move in terms of conference and history mostly. I do hear that Coach Rob has been putting pressue on the AD here to get practice facilities and a court dedicated to basketball practice. Kind of sad how bad the facilities are when you consider our history.