Monday, March 31, 2008

IU Coaching Search, Part 2

Well, now that a couple weeks have passed since my longwinded discussion about who I want to be the next IU coach. Since then, the first two weekends of the NCAA tournament have passed, and several potential coaches did better than others. Sources (whoever they may be) have indicated that IU hopes to name a coach by the end of this week.

Below is my revised list. Unfortunately, Washington State coach Tony Bennett decided not to pursue the IU job. He may also be holding out to take over LSU (come again?) or Wisconsin (where his dad coached and where he is from) whenever Bo Ryan returns underground to join the rest of the Morlocks. Whatever his reasons, even from an objective standpoint, this may turn out to be the biggest mistake of his coaching career. He would have moved up to be my second choice. Now he must be destroyed.

Also, there have been whispers about Tom Izzo (which I've actually heard more from MSU grads than anywhere else). I don't think there's a chance in hell of that happening, so I'm not including him. Rest assured, he would top the list.

I am also excluding Larry Brown and Bob Knight, both of whom were on my original list, and I added a couple names.

Anyway, here is my list, with some additional comments about each.

1. Bruce Pearl, Tennessee head coach - Even though he says he's not going to leave Tennessee, IU needs to make a run at him and pay him whatever he wants. As Christoff says, the man "is out of his goddamned mind," which makes him perfect for IU.

2. Rick Barnes, Texas head coach - I still like Barnes, even though his team's loss to Memphis in the Elite 8 essentially destroyed my previously pristine chances at winning several pools.

3. Rick Pitino, Louisville head coach - Elite 8 appearance and throttling of Tennessee moves him up. Not that he will leave Louisville anyway.

4. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh head coach - Second-round loss to Michigan State was disappointing, but I still like him.

5. Sean Miller, Xavier head coach - Elite 8 appearance bumps him up, although he has said that he is at Xavier for the long haul.

6. Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach - The college basketball world is waiting with bated breath to see if OSU and Florida are headed for a rematch of last year's NCAA championship game. Both are one game away from the finals . . . of the NIT.

7. Trent Johnson, Stanford head coach - After escaping to the Sweet 16 with a victory over Marquette, his team got destroyed by Texas. I do like the fact that the usually-cool-and-calm Johnson got booted from the Marquette game for arguing with the refs.

8. Tim Floyd, USC head coach - Floyd is a dark horse candidate that no one is really talking about. While his head coaching record in the NBA was subpar, he is a great college coach and a great recruiter, winning at traditionally bad basketball schools New Orleans (127-58, 2 NCAAs, 3 NITS in six seasons), Iowa State (81-49, 3 NCAAs, 1 Sweet 16 in four seasons), and USC (63-36, 2 NCAAs, 1 Sweet 16 in three seasons).

9. Jay Wright, Villanova head coach - Taking a 12 seed to the Sweet 16 is always a good thing.

10. Lon Kruger, UNLV head coach - Kruger's name has popped up in a couple places. He is a pretty solid coach who has won everywhere he's gone (at least at the collegiate level) and has turned UNLV back around with 2 MWC championships in the past 2 years and a Sweet 16 berth a year ago.

11. John Calipari, Memphis head coach - Now that he has reached a Final Four with Memphis, I think he is less likely to make a move. Also, IU likes players who graduate, and Calipari is tepid at best when it comes to graduation.

12. Tom Crean, Marquette head coach - He was a last-second shot away from the Sweet 16.

13. Mike Montgomery, Assistant AD at Stanford, ex-Stanford head coach, ex-Golden State Warriors head coach - His name has been popping up in the search, and he would be higher on my list if he weren't 61.

14. Scott Skiles, ex-Chicago Bulls head coach - He has been mentioned in the search and has possibly been contacted. I'm still not sure how I feel about the fact that he has no college coaching experience. Actually, I am sure how I feel about it, and, frankly, I don't like it.

15. Scott Drew, Baylor head coach - He could have helped his cause big time by beating Purdue in the first round, but he did not.

16. Mike Brey, Notre Dame head coach - After dismantling George Mason in the first round, Notre Dame got dismantled themselves by Washington State, and there is still that issue with the sportcoats with t-shirts and/or turtlenecks.

17. Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt head coach - Siena? Really?

18. Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois head coach - Second round of the NIT. Whoopdeedoo.

19. Anthony Grant, VCU head coach - A first round NIT loss isn't that cool, as far as I'm concerned.

20. Brad Brownell, Wright State head coach - It's confusing as to why Wright State didn't get an NIT or a CBI invitation. It's even more confusing as to why he is even being mentioned as a candidate for the IU job.

21 (tie). Lawrence Frank, New Jersey Nets head coach; Keith Smart, Golden State Warriors assistant coach; Randy Wittman, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach; Mike Woodson, Atlanta Hawks head coach; Isaiah Thomas, New York Knicks GM - Not only do none of these guys have great (or any, in some cases) college coaching experience, I find it highly unlikely that an NBA coach would quit mid-season to be a college coach, which is essentially what they would be doing if IU wants a coach by the end of this week.

1 comment:

RDC said...

Get used to the idea of a glorified high school coach since that lame duck loser Dakich went ahead and booted our two best players off the team. I'm sure a Bruce Pearl will love the idea of leaving a stacked Tennessee team to come to a complete clunker rebuild of an IU squad.