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Talking Fred Hill with Rutgers blog On the Banks

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You can't spell "SLOW NEWS TIME PERIOD" without "I ASKED A BLOGGER FROM SB NATION'S RUTGERS BLOG ON THE BANKS TO TALK ABOUT NORTHWESTERN'S NEWEST ASSISTANT BASKETBALL COACH", or maybe you can, to be honest, I didn't check.

The impression I've gotten is that Fred Hill wasn't a bad hire: he just was a really, really bad hire as a head coach. He doesn't seem to have the wherewithal to pull that gig off, but he could do a really good job for NU in this role.

Dave, the basketball writer for On the Banks, took some time to answer a few quick questions about his perception of the dude's time in New Brunswick.

SoP: How do you look back on Fred Hill's tenure on the program?

OTB: A wasted four years, to be honest.  Hill came in with a ton of hype and backed it up early with some strong recruiting.  But character issues, chemistry problems, and some flat out bad coaching doomed him.  It was torturous to sit in the stands and watch the basketball that was played in the Hill era.  There wasn't an identity, there weren't a lot of close games, and besides the recruiting, there wasn't much excitement.  Also, he repeatedly cut off his seniors and handed the keys to the program over to the young guys.
 
SoP: The positive people bring up with Fred Hill is his recruiting acumen, but that seemed to be neutralized by his inability to keep players in the program. Do those factors offset? Can we expect him to be a good recruiter?
 
OTB: I think you will see Hill be able to recruit, though it may not be as good as before.  I think some of the shine has washed off Hill and there may be a little baggage he's bringing to you guys.  He should be able to get players, but don't expect the big names he got at Villanova and Seton Hall.


SoP: What do people around Rutgers think about the whole baseball game thing? Would Hill still be coaching at Rutgers if that hadn't happened? Is he always kinda crazy, or just that one time?
 
OTB: Hill would have been fired in 2011.  With Rosario transferring and little in the way of an inside game, Hill wouldn't have been able to get much effort out of players who the fans looked at as talentless (Mike Rice proved the fans wrong and got a ton out of them.  There was some talent on the team, Hill just squandered it).  There was no way, under Hill, the team would have won more than 12 games.  He would have been fired then, when it was more affordable. 

The baseball game, I believe, was looked at as a blessing.  Hill screwed up--twice in the span of two days, and gave our AD an out.  It worked and now we have a coach we're psyched about.  As for Hill being crazy, he was always a little silly, kicking a hole in the scorer's table, falling to his knees to beg a ref for a call... but I don't think any of us foresaw a blow out on a baseball field.


SoP: Would you say Hill is the type of guy who should be in charge of a program, or is he better suited to be an assistant?
 
OTB: I think Hill is better as an assistant.  He can be with his guys and be the good guy.  Hill as a head coach, unless he learned from the RU gig, would alienate players, coaches, and fans.  He never seemed to get the idea of a whole "program" as opposed to get players in and let them go.