Villanova head coach Jay Wright and former Wildcat guard Kyle Lowry guest hosted an episode of ‘The Vertical Podcast with Woj’ yesterday, and for any nostalgic college basketball fan, it was tremendous.Wright and Lowry’s strong bond is apparent by the way they speak to one another, and Villanova clearly holds a special place in the NBA All-Star’s heart. That’s what college sports are all about. The two also shared some hilarious and inspirational stories, and overall, it’s an outstanding listen.
It got us to thinking: what other coach and former player duos would we like to hear reminisce about ‘the good old days’ in podcast or interview form? Here is our list.
J.J. Redick and Mike Krzyzewski
Yes, I cheated. This already happened on Redick’s podcast, and it was captivating.
Redick was one of the best and most polarizing players in college basketball history, and Coach K is a bona-fide legend. Put those two together, and you’re bound to hear some fantastic stories and memories. Redick mentioned on the podcast how Krzyzewski attended his wedding when he had a Duke basketball camp to run the following morning, and how much it meant to him. They also talked about Coach K’s role in transforming Redick from a good player in his freshman and sophomore seasons into a Naismith winner by the time he was a senior.
Draymond Green and Tom Izzo
Oh, the stories these two must have. Green arrived in East Lansing as an out-of-shape freshman, and he left as one of the most decorated players in Michigan State history.
Green averaged 3.3 points per game as a freshman in 2008-09. As a senior, he averaged 16.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, and he’s improved even more drastically in the NBA. Izzo and Green clearly have a strong relationship; Izzo has attended many of Green’s NBA playoff games over the past few seasons.
That’s all great, but what would really make this podcast worth listening to is how entertaining of a guy Green is. He’s not one to hold back during interviews, and there would certainly be a lot of jokes, truth and (tough) love from both sides of the conversation.
Evan Turner and Thad Matta
Turner has one of the most interesting personalities (and Snapchats) in professional sports these days, and he was a legend at Ohio State.
Turner averaged a dazzling 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and six assists in his junior year in Columbus, and he’s among many great players Matta has coached at Ohio State. Some other notable names: Jared Sullinger, Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. The difference between those three and Turner? The latter played for the Buckeyes for three years, and given his gregarious personality, this would be an awful lot of fun to listen to. Given Matta’s experience in dealing with star players, it would be interesting to hear how he's managed all of the different personalities he's encountered.
Doug McDermott and Greg McDermott
The McDermotts both arrived at Creighton in 2010, and they experienced plenty of success together. Doug averaged 26.7 points per game in 2013-14 and captured the Naismith Award.
But beyond that, listening to these two delve into the father/son/coach dynamic would be very intriguing. It’s a delicate situation to navigate, but getting a behind-the-scenes look at all that went into the relationship on a daily basis would be worth the listen alone. When did Greg wear the ‘dad’ hat, and when did he wear the ‘coach’ hat? Was there ever friction? I’d be interested in learning more.
Adam Morrison and Mark Few
Morrison’s Gonzaga years were full of buckets, elation and tears; nothing was boring about his Spokane tenure. Mark Few has coached at Gonzaga since 1999 and has mentored plenty of great players, but Morrison will always be the guy people associate with Bulldog basketball.
Morrison’s NBA career may not have panned out as he had hoped, but his battle for the scoring title with Redick in the 2005-06 season was one of the most fun college basketball story lines of the decade. It sure would be a treat to reunite these two and get Few’s take on all of the Morrison hoopla.