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March 20, 2009

By Monday Morning, we'll be knee deep in rumors

The following coaches have seen their seasons end, and all of them are being mentioned for multiple openings.
  • Tubby Smith (Minnesota) - Name mentioned with UVA, UGA, Arizona and Bama jobs. Tubby's wife is from North Carolina, and Tubby is from Virginia. He also coached at VCU for 7 years. He's one of the top candidates to fill the Cav's opening if he's interested. Arizona should have their job open by Sunday night at the latest so Tubby is about to be Ground Zero for coaching hot stove talk. Any movement regarding Tubby will be very public given the media attention from around the country.
  • Anthony Grant (VCU) - Mentioned mainly with UGA and UVA. I watched the UCLA vs. VCU game last night and felt better about some issues with Grant, but other concerns were confirmed. Grant's team plays with great intensity and tempo, and I liked their defense. It was also nice to see that Sanders is such a solid product because it means that VCU's key talent isn't just Capel's recruits. Offensively, he runs the same 4 out 1 in offense that Felton, Purnell and Hewitt run. It's a system dependent on individual players creating their own shots. It's not a pretty system for those who value ball and player movement. Grant wouldn't be a bad hire, but he's not who I would start my search with if I had $2 million to spend. Grant's team was in that game because Eric Maynor (who he didn't recruit) was the best player on the floor. I could live with hiring him, and I do think this is who we end up with. But it doesn't wow me. A killer press conference could sell me more. (Update: Mark Bradley has a man crush on Grant.)
  • Brad Stevens (Butler) - He's 56-10 in two years as a head coach at Butler. They play an intriguing brand of basketball, but he's very young (32). He hasn't really been associated with our job, but he's one of the hottest mid-major coaches in the country.
  • Lon Kruger (UNLV) - Kruger only makes $1 million a year. As I said earlier, he's a Plan B candidate at Arizona, and he's probably on the list at Missouri if Anderson bolts. With his regional experience at UF and the Hawks, he's someone that logically would get a phone call as a Plan B candidate in Athens.

A game to watch today is Tennessee vs. Oklahoma State. We heard an interesting theory earlier this week that if Travis Ford's Oklahoma State team beats Bruce Pearl's Vols; it might spell the end to Gillespie's career in Lexington. Many Wildcat fans would love to have Travis Ford return home, and beating Pearl would set their hearts a flutter.

I'm expecting Capel, Anderson and maybe Miller to still be in the tourney on Monday. So their names won't heat up yet.

By Monday, the rumors should be running wide open.


ht - rnb34


Anonymous said...

Good article but regarding Kruger, he's more of a plan D candidate at Zona. Unless their top 7-8 candidates all turn them down, there's no way a big-time program like Zona hires him.

Anonymous said...

I was really disappointed to see VCU last night. I watched them earlier this season against GA ST, but I do not think that was much of a guage.

Their offense looked eerily similar to the disjointed trainwreck that we have had to sit through for the last few years. It was basically let Maynor do whatever he wanted and let everyone else try to get rebound scores.

It was startling to see the contrast in the UCLA players, none of whom had a tattoo, against the VCU guys, who were inked from head to toe. I know it seems like a small thing, and I am not usually an image guy, but I could never wrap my hands around the idea that Felton was instilling discipline in his kids and making them better men, while at the same time allowing them to brand their hands and necks, something that no reputable employer would ever be able to look past.

I also did not like how the VCU kids argued after seemingly every call. The refs were uneven, at best, but Maynor was granted about 6-7 iffy fouls that went against Holliday and Colleson. For him to be barking at the occasional call against him sort of frustrated me.

I was really a heavy lean to Grant, but after watching him last night, I fear that it would simply be an extension of the last 6 years, with the possibility of a talent upgrade.

Anonymous said...

Actually, most UK fans don't want Ford for some reason. However, if his team somehow makes the Final Four, they'll be sacrificing babies to the basketball gods and selling valuable thoroughbreds in order to outbid Boone Pickens for his services.

peacedog said...

Well, OSU did their job. . .

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other comment regarding Grant. That game really soured me. Call me crazy, but I just find his offense unappealing and don't think I could get really excited about driving to Athens to see games in person. I guess that makes me a lousy fan, but it is what it is.

Defensively on the other hand, I really liked the way they play.

Anonymous said...

Dubyadee, you say "I just find his offense unappealing..." and "Defensively on the other hand, I really liked the way they play." Sounds like a perfect explanation of the last six year here. May be the reason to look elsewhere...

Anonymous said...

PWD - I was intrigued by the possiblity of bringing in Xavier's head coach Sean Miller to UGA. No mention of it here, has something happened?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it would be realistic to make a good hard run at Jay Wright at Villanova. Sure, they've got a better program right now than we do, but for all the reasons we've hashed over here before, I just wonder if he might be pried away. He'd be at the top of my list if so.

Anonymous said...


I have no idea why we're not all over Wright. He's not a lifer at Nova, and he's not an alum.

his home court seats 6,500, and his practice facility is 1/3 the size of ours and not nearly as nice.

There's no way he makes more than $1.5 million. I'd be on him like white on rice.

Anonymous said...

More and more it's Chad Warner

Anonymous said...

Jay Wright is also very well-dressed. Which is a huge factor in hiring a BBall coach ;)

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