Eddie Sutton: Basketball HOF Finalist - 2020 version

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Sep 18, 2006
SEC country :(

The 2019 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducted a class that lacked star power by its usual standards. With no superstars hitting the five-year retirement threshold, a number of older, lesser-known players like Jack Sikma and Bobby Jones were enshrined in Springfield. That won't be the case this year, though. The Hall of Fame just announced its 2020 finalists, and the class looks to be absolutely loaded with big names.

  • Kim Mulkey
  • Rudy Tomjanovich
  • Barbara Stevens
  • Eddie Sutton
  • Tim Duncan
  • Tamika Catchings
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Kobe Bryant
While the legends will garner the bulk of the attention, the class as a whole has eight finalists. Mulkey and Stevens are among the greatest coaches in women's basketball history. Catchings is a WNBA and collegiate legends. Sutton is among the leaders in victories among collegiate coaches in his remarkable career. And Tomjanovich won two championships as coach of the Houston Rockets before a brief stint coaching Bryant and the Lakers.
Surely, after last year's fiasco, this is the year, right? Right?
Sep 18, 2006
SEC country :(
A bit more on the change in the voting process this year. If Eddie isn't voted in this year, then, yeah, complete screw job.

It seems as those they are going for big names on this, unlike last year where you had a bunch of mediocre/good, but not great, players somehow make it in. So for the nominating committee to include Eddie on the ballot, to me, it says they think he is deserving. With so few on the ballot, it would be glaring to not greenlight Eddie.

The combination of Bryant's passing and the enormity of the three names atop the ballot caused the Hall's nominating committee, led by chairman Jerry Colangelo, to change its rules this year by limiting the class to eight nominees to be voted upon and eliminating the direct-elect selections on a one-year trial basis.

The goal, Colangelo said, was to avoid the lesser-known honorees being lost amid the interest in the star names headlining this year's event.

"[That's] because of the enormity -- even before Kobe's death -- that we think Kobe and Duncan and Garnett bring to it," Colangelo said. "We've never had a class that strong at the top. And of course with Kobe's death, it added more focus.

"We thought the way of dealing with it was eliminating some direct-elects on a one-year basis. We have that flexibility, fortunately, to do it because some people could get lost in the shuffle, really, in terms of getting their due."
Sep 18, 2006
SEC country :(
Here are some college coaches who were candidates for 2020 enshrinement, but didn't make the cut for finalist:

Bob Huggins
Gene Keady
Rollie Massimino
Danny Miles
Jim Phelan
Bo Ryan
Jay Wright

That Jay Wright was just named AP Coach of the Decade and was bypassed says a lot to me.

Additionally, players such as Chris Bosh, Tim Hardaway, Mark Jackson, Chris Webber, and Ben Wallace weren't promoted.

With the finalist class being intentionally small, and having to go back to 2009 to find fewer than 10 inductees, it seems that the nominating committee cleared the way this year.

It's telling to me that Colangelo stated they don't want lesser-known honorees being lost among the stars.
Feb 27, 2018
From Bill Haisten...

Bill Self, ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla and Doug Gottlieb have been consistent advocates of Sutton’s candidacy. Coaches Chris Beard of Texas Tech and Kim Mulkey of Baylor have lobbied on behalf of Sutton.

Before the Red Raiders played at Oklahoma State last week, Beard outfitted his players in pregame shooting shirts that had “HALL OF FAME” printed on the front and “Coach Sutton 806” on the back.

Three of Sutton’s 1995 Final Four Cowboys — Randy Rutherford, Bryant Reeves and Chianti Roberts — addressed the Hall of Fame issue.

Rutherford: “I don’t have to give a sales pitch. The fact that he’s not in the Hall of Fame is a shame on the Hall of Fame.”

Reeves: “I have no idea why (Sutton hasn’t been selected), but it’s a shame on them.”

Roberts: “When (voters) look at themselves in the (mirror), can they sleep at night?”
Also, our editorial cartoonist Bruce Plante did another cartoon on the HOF issue.