Does Lickliter get any credit for Butler Final Four?

Butler coach Brad Stevens - from the NYTimes.com

While watching Saturday and Monday’s Butler games, I wondered if former Iowa coach Todd Lickliter will get any credit for his former Butler team going to the Final Four and being 2 points short of a national title? Not every player was a sophomore. Some, were seniors or juniors.

Will we look back at this in 10 years and say, maybe there is something wrong with the culture of the Iowa men’s basketball program and it wasn’t Steve Alford or Todd Lickliter?

Did Coach help Butler and coach Brad Stevens get ready for Michigan State? In this article from the Detroit News, Stevens does give praise to Lickliter. Coach Lickliter elevated Stevens to full assistant when Thad Matta left for Ohio State.

A little Lickliter help?

Former Butler and Iowa coach Todd Lickliter is unemployed right now but could soon be put to work by his former school.

Bulldogs coach Brad Stevens confirmed Thursday that his former boss is in Indianapolis this week and is expected to attend Saturday’s game against Michigan State.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Lickliter helped Stevens with some scouting of the Sparatns.

“We haven’t talked much,” said Stevens, a former Lickliter assistant. “Certainly coach Lickliter has had the biggest influence in my coaching career. No question about it.”

Several of Lickliter’s former players that competed for him at Butler are expected to attend Saturday’s game against the Spartans.

During Lickliter’s three losing seasons at Iowa, he posted a 1-5 record against the Spartans. I’m not sure what kind expertise he can share.

Stevens praised Lickliter for his ability to make players better and make a lasting impact on them.

“Everyone that plays for him is better off for having played for him,” Stevens said. “I think that is the sign of a (good) coach.”

Stevens said Thursday he spoke Wednesday night with Ohio State coach Thad Matta to get advice on how to “handle some of the distractions” involved with a Final Four.

Stevens also worked for Matta when he was at Butler. Expect a lot of support for the Bulldogs this weekend.

And this comes from Mike Hlas at the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The post shows that Lickliter was received warmly in Indianapolis by his former school, which is also his alma matter.

Good for Todd Lickliter — he gets a warm reception from his Butler friends
Posted on Apr 04, 2010 by Mike Hlas.

Todd Lickliter has caught more than his fair share of criticism the last couple years .
In Iowa, that is. But at Butler University, he continues to be held in high-esteem, and with good reason.
This Indianapolis Star blog post tells of how Lickliter was asked to speak to Butler people Saturday, and how he was welcomed. An excerpt:

Lickliter was recently fired by Iowa. That obviously has zero influence on how he is regarded at his alma mater. Bobby Fong bragged that his first hire as president was Lickliter, who twice took the Bulldogs to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The coach was warmly received, and it was obvious he genuinely appreciated the reception. Stevens has been asked about Lickliter several times over the past week and a half, and Stevens unfailingly has said that those who are coached by Lick are better for it.

Sometimes people simply enter situations that aren’t right for them. I would bet good coin that Lickliter has another very good coaching experience ahead of him and hope it’s so.

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One thought on “Does Lickliter get any credit for Butler Final Four?

  1. Lick does deserves credit for helping maintain the success of Butler, including Thad Matta and Barry Collier before him as well. Butler has continued to be a very reputable program since the days of Tony Hinkle and their recent success over the past decade speaks volume.

    Brad Stevens is a good coach, but that should not be a surprise, given their success. Lick and Collier has proven to be good coaches, unfortunately things at Iowa and Nebraska didn’t work out well for both guys. Situations like that are bound to happen and vice versa if things go well (like for Matta at Xavier and Ohio State).

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