Coming on the heels of another great NCAA run where his Loyola Men’s Basketball team made it to the Sweet 16 by beating Georgia Tech in the first round and then stunning University of Illinois from wire to wire in the second round, Porter Moser was named the Head Basketball Coach at the University of Oklahoma on April 2nd, 2021.

We talked a few times during the week leading up to his third round game as his world was spinning at a pace that is hard to explain. Indiana was pulling at him, Marquette was pressuring as they didn’t want to wait to make a hire, DePaul… well they are DePaul and just did the absolute worst job possible handling his situation, Minnesota was in the mix, and then there was Loyola who squeezed their coffers dry just trying to keep him there forever.

I asked him very simply, “What is going through your mind” as he sat in his hotel room in Indy inside the proverbial bubble of the NCAA Tournament.

His reply was predictable as I have know Porter since he hosted me on my recruiting visit to Creighton in 1988.

“Eddie, all I can do is focus Oregon St. and hand off these calls to Drew (his Assistant Coach and now Head Coach at Loyola, Drew Valentine)… I have to stay locked in and not get distracted.”

Schools didn’t wait and like Porter, I believe everything happens for a reason.

Loyola loses… Lon Kruger retires… Porter is now at Oklahoma which was not even on the radar when we spoke.

Then… reality sets in.

Mass exodus of players to the NBA and into the transfer portal and he is left with four players who did not play key roles.

So here he is simultaneously building a staff and trying to sign players when the best of the best were almost all gone from the transfer portal when he got the job.

 

Almost eight months later and their first game in sight, I get this question often, “How do you think the Sooners will be this year since it is Porter’s first year?”

My answer is simple.

“They will be really fun to watch because they are going to play like his Loyola teams. Maybe not all the time as there is a learning curve but they will get after it defensively, they will play so damn hard, they will communicate. Offensively it make take them a while to pick things up (or it may not) but they will play together and make it hard for teams to guard them, and they will play with a passion and singleness-of-purpose that is hard to find which will translate into a high-energy team on the floor.”

See, every team has an identity, and that identity is a direct result of their head coach and what that coach values, believes in, expects, and accepts.

Keep doing great things,

 

This was originally published as a weekly newsletter from Ed Molitor, with The Molitor Group. If you’d like to receive the weekly newsletter, follow this link to subscribe.