Coaches on the Hot Seat……

Coming into this season, two coaches who really need to have good years to save their jobs are Georgia’s Dennis Felton, and Norm Roberts from St. Johns. Unfortunately for both, they have both gotten off to tough starts and unless things get better quickly, they may be the first two coaches to go when the season ends.

Felton saved his job at the end of last season with the Bulldogs miracle run through the SEC tourney (which saw them win 2 games in one day) and gain an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs finished 17-17 last year and are 78-81 in 5+ seasons under Felton. After 5 very successful seasons at Western Kentucky (100-54), expectations were high for Felton to succeed at UGA. Felton’s first few years on the job were spent cleaning up the mess created by Jim Harrick. Now it seems that they just can’t get over the hump. Although the Bulldogs have started this season 3-1, it has not been very impressive. Their only loss came to Loyola (Ill) by 21 in the pre-season NIT. Since then, they have had less than stellar victories against Eastern Michigan (61-60) and Presbyterian (55-47) – definitely not SEC level teams. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I don’t think it’s going to get any easier for the Bulldogs once conference play begins.

Roberts came to St. John’s under similar circumstances as Felton – having to clean up a mess. The St. John’s program was in shambles 5 years ago under the leadership of Mike Jarvis. Roberts came in and cleaned it up, but has not won. After winning 11 games last season, the pressure was on for Roberts and his staff to have a good year. They have gotten off to a good start record-wise (3-1 with their only loss coming to Boston College), but got some bad news over the weekend. Their best player, Big East All Conference forward Anthony Mason Jr. will be lost for the season after tearing the peroneal tendon in his right foot. St. John’s was predicted to finish 14th in the pre-season Big East poll (…)

and the loss of Mason will do nothing to help this. The Red Storm have a very user-friendly non-conference schedule, and may be able to pile up some wins, but will be in for a rude awakening when the Big East season starts in January.

The DirtKing will keep you posted on both of these situations as soon as any new "dirt" surfaces.