Getting The Job Done

Matthew Parrino

On November 10, 2010

  • Matthew Parrino

I'm sick of hearing people bust on Reggie Witherspoon.

And before you say it, I'm not a homer and I'm not writing this because I go to UB or anything like that. I just think it's unwarranted.

Ever since I started covering the Bulls and the men's basketball team I have heard countless arguments from fans that Witherspoon can't win the big game.

Last time I checked, players play the game.

Is it really Witherspoon's fault that Akron played one of the best defensive games of the season in shutting down Pierce and company in 2009?

Former Bulls guard Turner Battle all but delivered a Mid-American Conference Championship in 2005 before former Ohio forward Leon Williams tipped in the game-winning bucket to beat the Bulls by one point.

Let me guess: that was Reggie's fault.

Listen, I get it. At first glance it seems as if Witherspoon coached teams struggle under the bright lights, but can you really make that conclusion from just two games?

What about 17 wins in five of the last seven season? Doesn't that matter? Isn't that what Buffalo sports fans clamor for in every other sport, a team that wins consistently?

Considering the state of Bulls basketball when Witherspoon took over, fans should be thankful for the teams they've been able to cheer for since he arrived.

Last season the Bulls not only won 18 games, but they posted the best road non-conference record in the MAC and swept MAC East teams at home for the first time in school history.

The MAC is a tough conference to win. In 1999, Miami (Ohio) made it all the way to the Sweet 16, and they didn't even win the MAC Tournament.

Witherspoon is a Buffalo guy. He is a huge figure in the community and genuinely cares about the city and the University.

The development of players is one of the most important jobs a head coach has, and Witherspoon continues to make the most out of the players he has to work with.

With another promising recruiting class, Witherspoon continues to bring in quality players and young men and makes a concerted effort to make them into better people when they leave.

In sports, coaches generally focus on winning above all else even though most will tell you otherwise. Witherspoon wants to win and deals with the MAC Championship losses on a daily basis. He thinks about what could have happened and what things might have been like if they'd won just one.

Witherspoon wants to win, but he also wants his players to graduate and he doesn't want to take away from the success of a season simply because the end result wasn't what the team was aiming for.

Witherspoon is Buffalo basketball and as long as he continues to win and recruit great young players, he can stay for as long as he wants if it were up to me.

Trust me, the alternative will leave you wanting him back.


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