Red Raiders' Knight being himself

December 26, 2009

Pat Knight seems to have coached himself out of an identity crisis.

Knight acknowledged he had a difficult time adjusting in his first full season at Texas Tech last year. Players said he may have tried to please too many people - his bosses, fans, his team.

Maybe even his famous father, Bob Knight.

Pat Knight, who took over after nine years as an assistant to his dad at Texas Tech and Indiana, said he was unsure how to act at first. Should he be subdued, the antithesis of his father?

"Finally, toward the middle of the year, I'm, 'To hell with it, I've got to be me.' And that's getting after people," Pat Knight said. "There's too much stuff I worried about that I shouldn't have."

The transition wasn't easy, said Knight, who claims he's more like his father "than anybody knows."

Bob Knight, who resigned midseason in 2008, didn't come to practices last season, when Texas Tech finished 14-19. That left Pat Knight to forge his own way.

He abandoned his father's man-to-man defense for a zone, which he said he truly didn't "know the first thing about." The Red Raiders won only three Big 12 games.

"We didn't really know how to approach each other," Pat Knight said of the relationship with his father. "It wasn't bad. It was just odd. He didn't want to overstep boundaries, but now we got that all straightened out."

The two now talk regularly, and when the elder Knight is in town, he comes to practices and offers input.

Pat Knight has a more athletic team this season and has returned to the man defense. It seems to be working. The Red Raiders (10-1) are ranked No. 23.


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