Maybe Pat Knight knows what he’s doing.
After eviscerating his team in a press conference following a 62-52 loss to Sam Houston State on Thursday night, Knight’s Lamar Cardinals went out and smoked Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, winning 72-49 and silencing critics (ahem … me) of the way he handled his team.
“I had a couple moms thank me,” Knight told Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports. “I didn’t get personal, I just told the facts. I don’t take anything back. It’s just the truth. … If this wouldn’t have worked out, we’d have to go to the fireplace and sing ‘Kumbaya’ I guess. We’d have to do something milder.”
This wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction or an emotional response from Knight, who is a much different person and basketball coach than his father. This was a calculated effort to light a fire under his team. He didn’t call them out simply to embarrass them — although being humiliated in a video that goes viral is a good way to convince a college kid to change his behavior — as much as he did to try and get across the point that he’s not the only one thinking they are blowing an incredible opportunity to do something with their lives.
“I screwed up at [Texas] Tech,” Knight said. “I took too much B.S. I can’t take anymore B.S.”
And Knight was dealing with a lot of, as he put is, B.S.:
Every player had at least one F on his report card when Knight took over.
“Most of them had two or more,” he said. “Two kids flunked out.”
In January, senior guard Charlie Harper was arrested for marijuana possession and was suspended three games. Two guards were benched for discipline reasons. Four players missed breakfast on the road at George Mason Feb. 18. And even after that, Knight said players were still missing weight workouts in the morning.
I probably would have snapped, too.