What Now?

After a disappointing 10-20 season, UL fans may want Robert Lee gone

Friday, March 6, 2009 - 5:34pm

Less than 1,200 fans showed up to see the Cajuns' season come to an end Wednesday night in round one of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

UL fans steadily stopped going to games this season as the team's success on the floor dwindled. UL finished this season 10-20.

The fan's obvious distaste for the basketball team raises some eyebrows about the future of the team's leader. Robert Lee has been with the program for 13 seasons...5 as head coach. His overall record of 50-75 doesn't seem to be winning any more fans over.

My take...

KEEP HIM.

No, 10-20 isn't the record you want to see at the end of the season but let's look at the facts. Lee had his entire team together on the floor at the same time exactly...

NEVER.

He lost one of his best defenders in Brandon Dison during early exhibition games. He had season ending ankle surgery. Randell Daigle, UL's starting point guard, missed double-digit games because of a broken hand. Last year's leading scorer, Chris Gradnigo, missed time because of elbow problems and the flu. La'Ryan Gary struggled with ankle and knee problems all year before suffering maybe the worst basketball injury in the history of the sport against FIU last Wednesday. Center Jeremy Barr was sidelined with a viral infection midway through the season. Travis Bureaua, Corey Bloom...the list goes on.

I'm surprised that Lee didn't come up ill himself during the year from all the long hours he had to put in trying to come up with ways to get 5 able-bodies on the floor each game.

The Cajuns struggled on the road. There is no doubt about that. They did marginally better at home. Should Lee get the axe? That's hard for me to say. All I know is that the guy never had a fair shot at it in '08-'09. He won 10 games with a swiss cheese lineup card every night. Ask Rickey Bustle how his team would have looked without Tyrell Fenroy and Michael Desormeaux for a third of the season. That's the football team's mirror to Gradnigo and Daigle.

Do excuses hold any weight? I don't know...are you a season ticket holder? Are you a band-wagoner? Do you read the newspaper and treat it like it's chiseled in stone fact? Don't blame Coach Lee for everything. He can't make the shots. He doesn't miss free throws. He can't make stops on defense.

Coach Lee's fate will be decided in the near future, most likely.

I, for one, would like to see him stay at the helm. He's got one year left on his contract...let him coach it out. If the Cajuns finish 10-20 again next year, then come at him with your pitchforks.

But don't do it yet.