Wednesday, March 18th
Great conversation going on here! So, we thought that we would just elevate this entry back to the top and add this link from Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports to the mix.
He has listed the 12 coaches that could get hot and make a jump due to either their appearance – or performance – in the Big Dance. These are all non-BCS guys except the interim staff at Arizona.
First name on the list is none other than:
Sean Miller, Xavier – He’s been a commodity in the past year or two, but sources told FOXSports.com that the hefty buyout has dropped considerably. He’s done a terrific job overachieving with the current Musketeers group and should have a shot at Virginia or anything else that opens in his comfort zone.
Tuesday, March 17th
By now, you probably know how much we love the coaching carousels. This is the time when programs can be made and/or destroyed. The potential fallout of Virginia’s firing of Dave Leitao has added a layer of complexity and interest to this year’s carousel for us all as it is no secret that our own Sidney Lowe and Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt now enter next season as the two coaches with the hottest seats in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The following comments come from an article today from Duke graduate, Seth Davis.
We already have four openings at prominent programs: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and Virginia. What do all of those schools have in common? They’re all big state schools. We all know these schools are facing budget crunches, but aside from Arizona, their administrations made the decisions to create these openings. I don’t think they would do that unless they were ready to throw out some big money to find replacements.
Taking Arizona out of the mix for the moment, the two biggest names that will be mentioned are Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel and Missouri’s Mike Anderson. Should Anderson be inclined to leave Missouri, Alabama would seem to be an obvious choice since he’s from the state, but Georgia has a dynamic young athletic director in Damon Evans, and many in the business believe that is the better job because there are more players in that state. I think it is highly unlikely that Capel would leave Oklahoma for Alabama or Georgia. Yes, he’s about to lose Blake Griffin to the NBA, but freshman guard Willie Warren is probably coming back, and he’ll be joined next season by two McDonald’s All-Americans. Plus, Capel works for arguably the best AD in the country in Joe Castiglione. I’m sure he is prepared to do whatever he can to keep Capel at OU.
Virginia, however, is another story. Capel grew up in Virginia, his wife is from Raleigh, and of course he played in the ACC for Duke. Virginia is a first-rate university, it has a brand new arena and an excellent recruiting base. Plus, if you finish third in the ACC, they build you a statue. It will be awfully difficult for Capel to give up the success and job security he has in Oklahoma, but if he does, this would be the kind of situation that could be worth it. So stay tuned.
If Virginia doesn’t hire Capel, I think they’ll go after Tubby Smith. Tubby, in fact, is still on Arizona’s radar screen. I think Smith would be interested in both those jobs, but I do not see him at Georgia or Alabama. A lot of people are speculating that VCU’s Anthony Grant is going to be in the mix at Georgia, but from what I’m hearing, Grant is a longshot for that job at best. I’ve also heard that USC’s Tim Floyd might be a candidate at Alabama, but I find it hard to believe he will go there. Not only did Floyd just get a commitment from Renardo Sidney, one of the best high school players in America, but he’s a low-key guy who likes nothing more than being able to walk into a restaurant and have nobody recognize him. He certainly won’t have that in Tuscaloosa.
Otherwise, I still believe the Arizona vacancy is Mark Few’s to turn down. While the decision won’t necessarily come down to money, Arizona is going to have to demonstrate a commitment to Few that goes beyond his own salary. Right now, Gonzaga flies a charter to many of its road games, and Few has the use of a private plane for his recruiting trips. For a man who is so devoted to his wife and three young children, that is no small issue. If Arizona can’t lock down Few, then I’m hearing the school is likely to go after Tubby Smith or Reggie Theus. The sleeper? UNLV coach Lon Kruger, who is familiar with that area of the country, won’t cost too much money and, most important, is a great coach who spent time in the NBA. You cannot overstate how big of an asset a pro background is with prospective recruits.
I usually try to avoid speculating on jobs that are not vacant, but unfortunately that is part of the job. That said, I can tell you that all eyes in the college basketball world are on Lexington, Ky. While it may be hard to believe that the school would get rid of Billy Gillispie after two years, I am getting indications that athletic director Mitch Barnhart could very well be moving in that direction. There is a concern that if Gillispie comes back, many of his players will either turn pro or transfer. One well-placed source told me last week that the decision to remove Gillispie was already “done.” I believe that was overstated, but Barnhart’s relative silence on this matter has been deafening. I left a message for Barnhart over the weekend and my call was returned not by him, but by an athletic spokesman, who naturally told me Barnhart had no comment on the matter. If Barnhart thinks he can wait another few weeks until Kentucky is done playing to resolve this matter, he is sorely mistaken.
(sarcasm warning)…I am just wondering who in the hell would want to coach at Kentucky? Those fans are crazy! Obviously they won’t be able to attract any good coaches after the way they have run away a National Champion in Tubby Smith and now pressured Gillispie after just two years. This is probably a lot like Indiana who ran away a great guy in Mike Davis (who took the Hoosiers to the National Championship game). Obviously, these horrible fans are ruining these once great programs. No good coaches will want to work somewhere that wants to win so badly.