Replacing coaching legends can be losing proposition. Gene Bartow, John Wooden's successor, lost weight. Joe Hall, Adolph Rupp's successor, frequently lost his temper. Dan Devine, Ara Parseghian's successor, almost lost his desire to work.
Last week, Hank Raymonds, Al McGuire's successor at Marquette, just got lost.
He took off for a day, ostensibly to scout Florida, a future opponent. But his chief assistant, Rick Majerus, was certain there was more to the trip than x's and o's.
"It's Hank's way of relieving pressure," Majerus said. "He scouted when he was an assistant and he is comfortable doing it. He can get away from all the pressure around here and breath for a while.
"He says pressure doesn't bother him, but I think it does. People expect so much. We all can feel it."
In some ways, Raymonds' task at Marquette is more difficult than other postlegend coaches faced. He isn't confronted just with keeping up a winning tradition. There is also the matter of replacing McGuire's personality, the combination of showman, street hustler and phrase maker that made him unique.
It was McGuire's irreverent approach to the game that made Marquette different. Because Raymonds, his assistant for 13 years, is a basketball coach from the traditional mold, the Warriors soon will lose their freshness, something their new leader acknowledges.
"If they are looking for oneliners from me, they've got the wrong man," he said. "That's not me and I'm not going to change.
"No one can replace AL McGuire. I'm succeeding him, not replacing him. If they can't accept me for what I am, then they will have to look for someone else."
Certainly, Marquette couldn't have got a more startling contrast in coaching personalities had the school used a computer instead of McGuire's recommendation to find his replacement.
McGuire once said Raymonds was the man his players' mothers and fathers trusted because he wore a sport coat and tie.
Raymonds is a serious, straight-laced, tireless worker who arrives at the office before the sun comes up and loves coaching so much he is having trouble delegating many of the responsibilities he had as McGuire's assistant.
He also doesn't ride motorcycles, doesn't take trips to New Zealand on a whim, doesn't collect antiques and doesn't have an income of a millionaire. But what coach other than McGuire did?
"His life is basketball," said Majerus, who has been on the Marquette staff for the last five years. "Hank was always the guy who worried about the opponents and studied films and scouted. Al was a great delegator and he let Hank do just about everything he wanted."
Raymonds is so intense about the game that Majerus says one night when they were watching a game film together, Raymonds got so upset with a player's mistake that he forgot where he was and blew his whistle to stop the play.
McGuire has tried to ease Raymonds' burden. He isn't attending any Warrior games for a year and he isn't talking to reporters about the team. Still, adjusting to his absence is taking time.
The Warriors aren't used to seeing their head coach in his office on a regular basis. Nor are they used to hearing whistles blowing at practice. But that is the Raymonds way and it is causing some problems.
"This club is searching for an identity and it will take time," said Raymonds. "Because we've got three starters back from our national title team, people think we'll win again. But that's not fair. No one can tell how good we'll be yet."
That national title, the crowning glory of McGuire's impressive career, was one gift the outgoing coach didn't want to leave his successor.
Last year's team was not even close to being Marquette's best, but the Warriors reached their peak at the right moment, got a few breaks and went the rest of the way on emotion. McGuire had hoped that Raymonds would be that squad's coach, but made his decision to give up coaching too late for Raymonds to take over last season.
"It's not realistic to expect us to win the title again," said guard Jim Boylan, one of those three returning starters. "But we are in what Hank calls a bad situation. We aren't playing to win anymore, but to keep from losing."
Much like McGuire, Raymonds is a perfectionist. During games, he is constantly reprimanding players for mistakes, but Boylan says the yelling is nothing like before.
"Hank has to yell or otherwise he would have ulcers." Said Boylan. "But he isn't as abrasive as Al. There were times you loved him (McGuire) and more times when you hated him, but he brought out your full potential.
"He got on you and you became an extension of his personality. His teams were like him. He was a tough guy and he didn't give a damn about anyone else.
"With Hank, it's a little different. Al was the main attraction, but Hank wants the players to be the main attraction and he wants to stay in the background."
Now the veterans are trying to learn how to motivate themselves without McGuire jumping on them everytime they make a wrong move. And they are trying to incorporate the charges Raymonds has made in their style of play, which also is causing some confusion.
The Warriors don't appear to be playing any differently. Raymonds is trying to get them to run more - "He's more daring than Al," said Majerus - and he uses players on his bench more frequently. He even will vary his starting lineup, something McGuire would never think of doing.
My philosophy is much like Al's," said Raymonds. "Otherwise I wouldn't have lasted 13 years as his assistant. But there are some things I felt would make us a better team. I think we are adapting O.K. but it will take more time."
Raymonds thinks the emphasis on running after defensive rebounds will stop clubs from sending five men to the offensive board. "They've been doing that for years on us and it's hurt us at times."
The Warriors run well in practice, but get them in a game and they revert to our old style, said Boylan. "It's hard to break old habits. All we've been taught is get the rebound, hold the ball and walk it up the court."
McGuire also was reluctant to go more than seven deep in players during games, but Raymonds is for using all 12 men. He even substitutes a complete second unit (he calls his blue team) during the first half, much like Dean Smith at North Carolina.
"If players know they are going to get in, they stay in better shape and they are more alert," said Raymonds. "Besides in this day and age you need a lot people.
"I also don't believe in substituting on mistakes. You can't build confidence that way."
That philosophy should benefit Bernard Toone, the multitalented forward who suffered more than any player under McGuire's harsh tongue.
"The best thing that happened to Bernard was Al McGuire because he taught him discipline," said Majerus. "But the next-best thing for him was having Al leave."
Until Toone comes around, Raymonds will depend heavily on his marvelous shooting guard, Butch Lee, who ranks with Phil Ford as the colege world's premier backcourt player, and the other NCAA veterans, Boylan and center Jerome Whitehead.
"We are an old team with a new look," said Boylan. We've got a lot of talent but much of it is young. The guards are veterans and we adjust faster sometimes than the people up front.
"Things may not be smoothed out until another season. It's hard to tell."
But meanwhile, Boylan, the city-wise player from New Jersey, isn't about to concede anything to the opposition.
"I don't care what the polls say, we are No. 1 until someone beats us. That's how Al felt and why should we feel any different now?"