The Loop

NCAA tournament-bound team hosting tryouts, in case you have college eligibility left

March 11, 2019
NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Nashville

Frederick Breedon

To say University of Cincinnati basketball coach and human volcano Mick Cronin has Napoleon complex is a slight to Napoleon. (Which, if Cronin read this, would further infuriate him and possibly cause the first known self-combustion.) College basketball coaches are not a breed known for tranquility, but Cronin's weekly performance of the Lilliputian Hulk is a sight to be seen. He stomps like a kid denied candy at Toys 'R' Us, has a righteous look of indignation after every call that would make Tim Duncan blush, and screams at his players in the vein of a prisoner at a wayward juvenile in a "Scared Straight" program. The guy once missed half a season dealing with an unruptured aneurysm and somehow returned less chill.

But while it's tough to top challenging an opposing player to a fight, Cronin's latest hard-guy act has truly outdone himself.

After his Bearcats lost to the Houston Cougars on Sunday, Cronin declared his team—which, despite two straight losses, remains firmly forecast in the NCAA Tournament—would be hosting open tryouts.

"I may call (football coach) Coach Fickell," Cronin said. "We'll see. I don't know [when] his guys start spring ball. We'll have tryouts tomorrow at 3 o'clock. I'm not being funny. 3 o'clock tomorrow, we'll have tryouts to see who goes to Memphis.

"See the beauty of college is you keep your scholarship. But if you're going to get on the plane and represent the team that I coach, you're going to block out and then you're going to go after the ball. That's not really rocket science."

Okay, rant point made. There's no reason to continue this charade...

"Oh, yeah," Cronin said, if he was being serious. “Of course."

Oh. Well then. Any words of wisdom to aspiring players at this open audition?

"(The players) need to worry about where my head is at," Cronin concluded.

No need to state the obvious, coach.

Admittedly, getting the chance to walk-on to a March Madness team a week before the tournament is a pretty sweet deal. At worst, you can definitely get some TV exposure by being the overzealous "EVERYBODY HOLD BACK" dude at the end of the bench.

Alas, it also means you also have to deal with this psychopath. Life, a game of compromises.