Coaching Carousel Update (9:30 Update – Altman Goes Cremins)

Butler’s Lickliter takes Iowa job. Analysis: Solid, sensible hire.

Creighton head man Dana Altman heads to Arkansas. Analysis: We expected him to be more of a candidate for the Iowa job, but Altman (in our view, correctly) viewed Arkansas as a better job. Altman’s Bluejay teams played a style that Hog fans will enjoy, but Altman has coached in midwestern circles for almost 20 years – how will he adapt to the South and playing in the unfamiliar SEC? UPDATE: As Lee Corso would say – not so fast, my friend. Altman pulls the ultimate Cremins, and Arkansas AD Broyles is this year’s Lee Fowler. Dare the Hogs approach Gregg Marshall, who went the Cremins route himself last year? I really have no idea who they could get at this point. Somebody desperate, I guess.

Stan Heath Lands at USF. Analysis: Definitely a step back for Heath. He stays in a power conference, but with one of the 5-10 worst power conference jobs. Being at the bottom of the Big East barrel is compounded by the fact that the last 4 teams don’t even make the conference tourney. That makes a tough job even tougher. The job is so bad that Winthrop’s Gregg Marshall turned it down. We think he could be waiting for Dave Odom to retire at USC.

Beilein likely has an offer from Michigan. Analysis: If this comes to pass, it would be interesting to see if he sticks with the infamous Princeton offense, or simply uses “Princeton principles” in a more varied offense (like Georgetown’s John Thompson III). CBS Sportsline reports that this is a done deal, but with the mysterious buyout clause, we wouldn’t make any definitive conclusions yet. Remember, he was considered a 95% “done deal” to NC State last year.

UPDATE: Is Colorado going the Princeton route with Air Force’s Bzdelik? I suppose it’s worth a try – the Buffs really, really suck.

– Lots of dominoes could still fall once the Kentucky opening is filled. One would expect the Donovan courtship to conclude soon, and Marquette’s Tom Crean could still be waiting in the wings.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

06-07 Basketball 07-08 Basketball General NCS Basketball

95 Responses to Coaching Carousel Update (9:30 Update – Altman Goes Cremins)

  1. TNCSU 04/04/2007 at 8:25 AM #

    I wonder if Altman pulled his name from Arkansas because he got a call from Kentucky?? or WVU?? or Florida if Billy D leaves??

  2. Trout 04/04/2007 at 8:29 AM #

    ^ Dont think so. He just really liked Creighton and Omaha.

  3. primacyone 04/04/2007 at 8:30 AM #

    ^^RE: JJ Hickson

    Dave Telep – Founder of, etc. was on 850 the buzz over the weekend disucussing JJ. He said JJ should move up to around the number 10 spot overall for top 2007 recruits after his performance in the Mickey D’s. I think he was at number 19 before the game.

  4. TNCSU 04/04/2007 at 8:42 AM #

    Trout, after reading the article, I think you are correct.

    On the subject of J.J., I think he’s a player…and I loved his attitude during the McD’s game. He seems humble, but he’s goes all out — on both ends of the court.

  5. BoKnowsNCS71 04/04/2007 at 9:47 AM #

    Official — Beilein is off to Michigan

    The carousel continues……………………..

  6. packbackr04 04/04/2007 at 9:56 AM #

    i just hope jj stays for at least 2 years

  7. Rick 04/04/2007 at 10:43 AM #

    Arkansas may end up scraping the bottom of the barrel and call Tempe.

  8. scoots 04/04/2007 at 11:05 AM #

    Arkansaw needs a new AD & we’ve got just the guy. He does wanna be in the SEC, and he could hire Herbie. Can Uncle Jed say “Sooooeeee”?

  9. Trout 04/04/2007 at 11:28 AM #

    Beilien would never have gotten the WVU job had not Dan Dakich of Bowling Green accepted the job, then changed his mind – just like Altman, Cremins, Marshall.

    Interesting, Dakich resigned from BG this year. WVU came out much better after Dakich had his change of mind, will Arkansas do the same?

  10. Jeremy Hyatt 04/04/2007 at 11:29 AM #

    for TNCSU:

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    NC State Basketball Future Looks Bright…Article….

    NC State’s performance in March was magical for NC State fans. The Pack made an improbable run to the ACC title game and took top-seeded North Carolina to the final moments before giving way. Then two days later and playing its fifth game in six days, State defeated Drexel in Philadelphia 63-56 I the first round of the NIT. A win over Marist at Reynolds Coliseum gave the Pack its third straight 20-win season. The last time State enjoyed such a run was when they won 20 or more four straight seasons from 1985-1989.

    There are reasons for optimism in Raleigh these days. The Pack’s 20-16 overall record and trip to the third round of the NIT was far more than any preseason prediction. With five of the top six scorers returning, NC State could be poised for a return to the NCAA Tournament.

    Here is a quick preview of what’s returning for the Pack.

    At the point

    How good NC State will be next year will likely be determined by what happens at this position. Gone is Engin Atsur. He started more games in four years (114) than any player in NC State history not named Julius Hodge, and had he played in all 36 contests this year he would have edged Hodge by one to set a new record.

    More than anything Atsur provided a stable presence at point guard that allowed the rest of the team to play in its more natural positions. For the year Atsur averaged 11.3 points and 4.2 assists a game and boasted a 1.7 to 1 assist to turnover margin.

    But Atsur was NC State’s only true point guard, and it showed when he missed 12 games with a nagging hamstring injury that slowed him even when he returned to the lineup. Next year the Pack will at least have options at the position, but the talent is very unproven.

    ..> ..> ..>..>

    Farnold Degand will compete for the starting point guard job.
    The two leading candidates are Farnold Degand, a transfer from Iowa State who will begin his college career next fall. Degand redshirted as a freshman for the Cyclones, and then he transferred when there was a coaching change. Degand, a 6-foot-3 native of Boston, is noted as a speedster, but he will need to add strength to his 170-pound frame. The one time Wolfpack fans got a chance to see Degand in action was at the Red-White game last October when he had nine points on 4-of-7 shooting, missing both three-point attempts and making 1 of 2 free throws, and two assists against two turnovers. He also was whistled for four fouls in his 39 minutes on the court.

    Competing with Degand in the fall will be Javi Gonzalez, a 6-foot-0 recruit from Dr. Michael Krop High in Miami. Gonzalez was named co-Miami-Dade County player of the year as a senior and turned down offers from Washington State and LSU to select the Pack. Like Degand, Gonzalez is noted as a fairly quick and speedy point guard who should help the Pack push the pace a little bit more in 2007. Gonzalez averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists a game for one of the best teams in the state of Florida. Krop went 28-4 and reached the quarterfinals of the 6-A, Florida’s largest classification, state tournament before being upset by city rival Northwestern High.

    Marques Johnson, a 6-foot-5 Fort Wayne, Ind., native transferred to NC State from Tennessee in midseason, and like Degand he is expected to have three years of eligibility left once the first semester is completed in December. Johnson however may be more suited to play shooting guard, although he impressed enough in Knoxville to warrant consideration for their starting point guard job. Johnson actually got the nod there in the Vols’ first preseason game and scored seven points and had four assists in 19 minutes against LeMoyne-Owen. However fellow freshman Ramar Smith eventually won the battle, and Johnson elected to transfer after four games. He averaged 2.0 points and 1.3 assists in a Tennessee uniform.

    Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl thought enough of Johnson to express disappointment when he left.

    On the wing

    The starters should be clear. Sophomore Courtney Fells and junior Gavin Grant both started 35 of NC State’s 36 games this year. Fells, 6-foot-5, played shooting guard and averaged 10.9 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. The ultra-athletic and long-armed Fells had several highlight reel dunks throughout the course of the season and showed he is a capable shooter by making 45 three-pointers. After getting off to a slow start behind the arc, he warmed up in ACC play to shoot a very respectable 37.3% there (22 of 59). He also led NC State with 40 steals and 28 blocked shots.

    The Pack will hope for more consistency from Fells in 2007-08. On pure athletic talent he has a chance to be one of the better shooting guards in the ACC.

    Grant averaged 14.7 points a game this year, second highest on the squad. He actually stepped up his game in ACC play, as he was the only Wolfpack player to average more points a game in conference action (15.3) than for the overall season. He also pulled in 5.3 rebounds and led the team with 137 assists on the year. Grant also showed marked improvement on his jump shot. Coming into this season he was a career 22.8% three-point shooter, connecting on just 18 of 79 threes. This year he made 29 of 92 for 31.5% and was a solid 14 of 40 in ACC play (35.0%). Grant is also the Pack’s best slasher to the basket.

    But State would like for the 6-foot-7 Bronx native to make better decisions and commit fewer turnovers. He led the team with 151 this past year, an average of 4.2 a game.

    With Fells and Grant, NC State will have one of the more athletic wings in the ACC once again. But next season there should be depth to back it up. At shooting guard Johnson and Trevor Ferguson are options to give minutes. Ferguson, 6-foot-4, played in 16 games after becoming eligible in December and averaged 1.8 points a contest while connecting on 6 of 15 threes (40.0%).

    At small forward, with the addition of some low-post players Dennis Horne could see more action at his natural position. The 6-foot-7 freshman had solid performances throughout the ACC and NIT tournaments, and he finished the year averaging 4.6 points and 2.3 rebounds a game while playing all 36 games, including eight starts. He may be State’s best shooter. In fact he was one of only two Wolfpack regulars to make more than 50% of his field goal attempts, connecting on 54 of 102 shots for 52.9%. He also made 22 of 48 threes for 45.8% and 37 of 44 free throws for 84.1%, both team-highs.

    Recruit Johnny Thomas, a muscular 6-foot-6, 210-pounder from Greensboro (N.C.) Day High will also be a candidate to add some depth at small forward. Thomas led Greensboro Day to a 31-2 record this past year and is noted for his good athleticism. However he was not asked to play much on the perimeter in high school and may need to work on that area of his game.

    In the paint

    Both Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley are expected back after breakout seasons. Costner, a 6-foot-8 redshirt freshman, made a strong case for Most Outstanding Player of the ACC Tournament when he scored 90 points in four games. He finished the year leading State in points, 16.8 a game, and rebounds, 7.3. He was a match-up nightmare for many teams with his inside-out game. Costner connected no a team-high 61 three pointers on 161 attempts (37.9%). He will likely be a preseason All-ACC pick next year.

    McCauley, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, proved he could be a big man in the ACC by averaging 14.4 points and 6.9 rebounds a game. He shot 58.4% from the field by making 211 of 361 shots. Pack coaches would probably like McCauley to shoot better from the free throw line, where he was just a 65.3% shooter (96 of 147) this past year, but McCauley proved himself as a low-post presence.

    And help is on the way. Costner and McCauley averaged 34.4 and 34.5 minutes a game respectively this past season. With the addition of McDonald’s All-American J.J. Hickson and four-star recruit Tracy Smith, depth should be much more aplenty in 2007-08. Hickson is a 6-foot-9 prospect from Wheeler High in Marietta, Ga., who averaged 25.9 points, 13.8 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 2.0 assists a game. Smith, a 6-foot-7 Detroit-native from Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C., averaged 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists a game this past year for a 24-11 team.

    One area in particular that Hickson might be able to improve NC State in is shot blocking. Costner and McCauley are not shot-blockers, but Hickson is noted for athleticism and could develop into one.

    Also 7-foot-3 freshman center Bartosz Lewandowski redshirted this past year after suffering a knee injury, and both Horner and Thomas probably can play the power forward position in a pinch if needed. Horner spent most of his time as a freshman occupying the four spot.

  11. ADS95 04/04/2007 at 12:20 PM #

    ESPN’s article today says that Michigan is NOT paying any portion of Beilien’s $2.5MM buyout, saying that it is an agreement between the coach and WVU.

    I’m really glad their AD is smarter than our AD.

    As for Beilien, I bet he’s been looking to get the heck away from WVU ever since they either duped him or forced him into signing that contract, because its akin to a payday lender (or worse, “protection” money) for WVU. Perhaps they told him they wouldn’t really “enforce” it, but then turned the tables when the time came.

  12. Dan 04/04/2007 at 1:34 PM #

    btw, rivals put the Pack in next year’s preseason top 25.

  13. TNCSU 04/04/2007 at 1:50 PM #

    Thanks for the above post! Good Stuff!

  14. Dan 04/04/2007 at 3:07 PM #

    Fowler is an idiot whose idiocy may have saved himself.. from himself.

    Case in point: (regarding the beilein buyout)

    Michigan hired a lawyer to examine the contract.

    From link:

    Timing would be the key. Kahn said no tax would be due if Michigan hired Beilein, then paid the buyout. The contract doesn’t specify when the buyout must be paid.

    “There would be an agreement with West Virginia that the payment isn’t made until after he is hired, until he’s clearly an employee,” Kahn said. “If an employer reimburses an employee for a business expense, it becomes a non-itemized deduction. Then it’s above the line and there are no limitations on it.”

    end of linked info.

    Man, Jed is dumb.

  15. Jeremy Hyatt 04/04/2007 at 4:05 PM #

    point taken Dan, but it’s still a substantial buyout– I hope Beilein fired the agent that got him into this agreement, what a doosey.

  16. BigRed 04/04/2007 at 5:02 PM #

    Nice to see that J.J.’s stock has gone up since the burger exhibition.

    Did anyone else notice that C.J. William’s ranking was also on the rise? now has him at a four-star rating with a national position rank of 19 among small forwards.

    These guys were good picks when they were courted and are seen to be better now. This speaks very well of our staff’s ability to recognize developing talent.

  17. legacyman 04/04/2007 at 6:42 PM #


    Should you be surprised at how well our coaching staff can evaluate players…we have two former head coaches, a coach with AAU ties and the main recruiting assistant to he who left, in addition to Sidney…how much better could it get.

  18. primacyone 04/04/2007 at 8:00 PM #

    Nice points BigRed and Legacy. Makes you wonder if one reason their stars are rising is because they are coming to NC State. We’ve had the chicken versus the egg debate before. Nice to think that being recruited by NC State makes your stock rise.

  19. Jeremy Hyatt 04/04/2007 at 11:14 PM #

    check it out, we are “on the fringe”, a good kind of fringe, when it comes to the top 10 projections for 2007-08 season:

  20. Texpack 04/06/2007 at 9:22 AM #

    BCG leaving the Ags for UK per the Houston Chronicle.

Leave a Reply