February 25, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Cuonzo Martin directs his team against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the second half at Colonial-Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE
Of course. Comcast SportsNet Chicago is citing Secret People Who Supposedly Know in reporting that coach Cuonzo Martin is "interested" in the vacant head coaching gig at Illinois. This means that we should all immediately take to the streets in our Freak Out clothes. After all, football and men's basketball is over for the season, and we need some way to kill some time before spring practice starts next week, right?
Martin is his own man and shouldn't be viewed negatively because of our Rumspringa with Lane Kiffin. I just don't see anything in Martin or in the circumstances that make me very nervous. Martin's nostalgia resides in West Lafayette, not in Urbana-Champaign. And is Illinois' program better than Tennessee's? Better at all, much less to the tune of Martin's current $2.6M buyout?
Martin seems to be already focused on next season at Tennessee, telling media that they're "planning on being one of the best teams in the country." Most of the team will be back, including Jeronne Maymon, who we just learned scored 17 points and 7 rebounds on a torn meniscus. Cam Tatum will graduate and Renaldo Woolridge will spend his new fifth year of eligibility somewhere else, but with the exception of one other guy (Dwight Miller? Wes Washpun?) who will apparently be making room for new 2012 guard Armani Moore, Martin will have essentially the same team with more experience and another year in Martin's defense-first system. Surely we can stop the high ball screen with eight months of practice.
That's not to say that Martin-to-Illinois couldn't happen. We Vol fans know better than to tempt fate to feed us another slice of Minnie's Chocolate Pie. Fate sure does like a challenge, and it's a creative old cuss, too. So don't quote me that this ain't happening.
But I just don't think that it will. What about you?