Vanderbilt basketball coach Jerry Stackhouse defended his decision to hold guard Tyrin Lawrence out of a blowout loss to Alabama and said Thursday that he still has the support of the administration.
Stackhouse said after the 101-44 loss Tuesday that Lawrence did not play after he showed up to practice smiling after a loss to Texas A&M. Tuesday’s loss was the worst loss for the Commodores (10-12, 3-6 SEC) since 2003.
“Every night you want to go out and win, but if there’s probably a scheduled loss that may have been (against Alabama),” Stackhouse said. “…. Guys aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do or they get sensitive and don’t want to shoot the basketball. … All right, then. I can be the bigger (expletive) if I need to be. I’ve been that a long time. So I’m pretty good at it. I’m not a coach to hold grudges. … But at the end of the day, this is a benevolent dictatorship. You got to do it my way. You got to do it this way. And I really don’t care who feels any different about it because I know what we’re trying to build here.
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“We’re not trying to build something that’s of no substance. When when you do something that has something substance, you have to do some tough things and make some tough decisions and and I’m the guy to do that and we’ll continue to do it until we get it right.”
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Stackhouse says he has institutional support
Stackhouse’s proverbial hot seat surely got warmer by Wednesday morning.
But Stackhouse put the onus on the players to have a better attitude in practice and take things more seriously. He emphasized that the team’s goal was to have a winning record and said there were enough winnable games left on the schedule to do that.
Stackhouse said the team had a day off Wednesday and moves on to its matchup with Ole Miss on Saturday (Noon CT, SEC Network). But he also said he’s comfortable with the job he’s done and said that he still has administrative support. Stackhouse received an extension prior to the season, but the terms are undisclosed.
“Just taking taking what we do serious. Not laughing and joking when you’ve (won) one out of four,” Stackhouse said. “Just about, I want to see the kids really give a damn about what’s going on a little bit more.
“… I got great support from the people that matter. The people that hired me and want me to do this job, know that I’m going to do it the right way. But most of all, I want to do it my way. And I think over time, it’s going to be something that we’re all be proud of. And then I feel like we got great fans that that support that and understand that of course you’re gonna have a few that don’t and most of those noisemakers and the rabble rousers, you become accustomed to to dealing with all that, but I’m very secure in who I am.”