June 30, 2008
For such a highly-touted draft prospect, Kosta Koufos was something of
a collegiate underachiever. Ohio State was never much of a contender in
the Big Ten last year, even failing to make the NCAA Tournament, while
Koufos had a totally inconsistent season. When draft people began
mentioning him as a top-notch NBA prospect, I'll admit: I was
surprised. (Koufos was eventually drafted No. 23 by the Jazz.)
If you ask Koufos' high school coach, Jack Greynolds, Jr., it's not that Kosta is a stiff (though he played one on my television last year). It's that Koufos and Thad Matta never got along, according to Greynolds:
"Listen, if you can't get along with a kid like Kosta, then you're clueless," Greynolds said. "If you're making $2 million season and can't figure out how to use a 7-foot-1 kid, you're clueless. If you can't get along with a kid who comes early, stays late and gets good grades, you're clueless, and you've got the problem."
Matta has been positive about Koufos in the wake of the draft, and Koufos won't say anything negative about Matta, so who knows? Matta seems like the kind of coach that might not get along with the occasional player ... and Koufos seems like the type of player that doesn't exactly soak up coaching like a sponge. Either way, it's safe to say Greynolds won't be guiding any more of his high schoolers toward Ohio State, and Matta won't be inviting Greynolds to any shady basketball camps or fundraisers in the near future. Something about biting the hand that feeds you exposure might apply here.