|Seemingly subdued son succeeds volatile Bob Knight at Texas Tech|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2008 08:26|
``I'm not going to lie and try to act like I'm some tough guy,'' Pat Knight said, hours before his debut with the Red Raiders at Baylor. ``I'm really nervous, but I think I'd be worried if I wasn't. This is a big step.''
Two days after the sudden resignation of Bob Knight following 902 victories and three NCAA championships over 42 years, the Red Raiders (12-8, 3-3 Big 12) will try to get the younger Knight his first win against the Bears, who dropped out of the Top 25 this week after their second straight loss.
``He's learned under, to me, the greatest coach of all time,'' said former Akron coach Dan Hipsher, the only college coach who has been Pat Knight's boss other than his father. ``Pat has had enough personal tutoring.''
got that kind of training. He is the third second-generation coach now in the conference whose first significant head coaching job came succeeding his father.
(Pat Knight's only previous seasons as a head coach were one each in the United States Basketball League and the International Basketball Association before joining his father's staff at Indiana in 1998.)
Sean Sutton took over at Oklahoma State when his father, Eddie, resigned after the 2005-06 season. Before coming to Baylor five years ago, Scott Drew won 20 games in his only season as head coach at Valparaiso after succeeding his father, Homer, who then returned to the bench after his son moved up to the Big 12.
``People who know Pat know he knows the game,'' Scott Drew said. ``And he does a great job of relating with his players.''
Drew said his transition at Valpo was easy because his father gave him space to learn on his own while also being there when needed.
``I assume Coach Knight will be the same way,'' Drew said.
Bob Knight was not in Waco for his son's college coaching debut Wednesday. The elder Knight instead planned to watch the game on television from his Lubbock home.
Pat Knight said his father had mentioned a couple of times in the past month the possibility of resigning in the middle of the season.
``He wasn't really serious,'' Pat Knight said.
o his office.
``He shuts the door and is like, 'Boys, I'm done. I can't take it anymore. It's not in me,''' Pat Knight said.
Pat Knight said he missed a Tuesday news conference in Lubbock because he wasn't made aware the dozen or so reporters wanted to talk to him.
Texas Tech players found out about the coaching change before practice Monday, when Bob Knight told them. Pat Knight then addressed the team before leading them through practice, like he had done so often before as an assistant.
``(Pat Knight) just told us coach didn't quit on us. ... When he stepped up and said that, we felt good and comfortable about the situation,'' senior Martin Zeno said Tuesday.
Zeno and his teammates don't expect many immediate changes, at least on the court and how they will be expected to play.
``It's the same approach, just a different type coach,'' said Zeno, Tech's leading scorer. ``He's an up-tempo type coach. He's not as intense, but he played, so he knows what to expect.''
Pat Knight was tabbed Texas Tech's head coach designate before the 2005-06 season, but it seemed the wait would be longer when in September his father signed a three-year extension through the 2011-12 season. Now Pat Knight has a five-year deal that calls for a total financial compensation package equal to the median of the rest of the Big 12 coaches.
While Drew suspects that the Red Raiders could play a faster tempo game and use more zone defense over time as Pat Knight establishes his own philosophy, the coaching switch didn't change the way Baylor (16-4, 4-2) prepared for this game.
``Philosophically, we'll see the difference over time,'' Drew said. ``We expect them to play the way Tech teams always have; fundamentally sound and smart.''
In a decade as a college assistant, the only season Pat Knight wasn't with his father was the only season his father wasn't coaching - between the elder Knight's departure from Indiana and being hired at Tech. That was 2000-01 at Akron for Hipsher.
``He was great on the floor, great with kids and had a good mind for the game,'' said Hipsher, now an assistant at South Florida. ``His game preps were excellent, his work in practice, his skill development with the kids. He was charismatic.''
Associated Press writer Schuyler Dixon contributed to this report from Lubbock, Texas.