Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Coaching Candidates

Since I won’t get a chance to post my updated coaching rankings until later this month, I wanted to briefly discuss the top non-BCS coaching candidates.

In Your Dreams
John Calipari
Mark Few

Maybe the Oklahoma St. money could do it, but I highly doubt it.

Not Interested in Moving
Dana Altman
Jim Larranaga
Phil Martelli
Rick Majerus

Larranaga has already turned down the Providence job. I don’t see Majerus moving this soon. I also think he may prefer to keep a lower profile job.

Top Candidates
Sean Miller, 3 NCAA appearances, 4 NCAA wins
Keno Davis, 1 NCAA tournament appearance, 0 NCAA wins, 1 coach of the year award
Lon Kruger, 2 NCAA appearances, 3 NCAA wins at UNLV, extensive college & NBA history
Bob McKillop, 3 straight NCAA appearances, 4 in last 7 years, 3 NCAA wins this year
Rick Byrd, 3 straight appearances at Belmont, almost beat Duke

The interest in Keno Davis seems to have cooled some, but that coach of the year award is still impressive. McKillop probably won’t leave Davidson, especially with Curry coming back, but he deserves a mention. If Rick Byrd is looking to move up to a mid-major, now might be the chance.

Don’t Forget
Chris Lowery, 3 NCAA appearances, 3 NCAA wins
Mark Fox, 3 NCAA appearances, 2 NCAA wins
Bobby Lutz, 5 NCAA appearances in last 10 years, missed 3 straight

Bill Grier of San Diego and Brad Stevens of Butler are too new to get an offer, but are worth keeping an eye on. There are also a slew of people like Fran McCaffery of Siena (won in tournament this year) and Ronnie Arrow of South Alabama (two straight NCAA trips, one with TexasA&MCC) that are interesting, but probably need to do a little more to move.

This really looks like it is going to be a boring year for coaching moves. Last year there were a lot of major dominoes to follow, particularly due to the Michigan and Kentucky openings. This year, Indiana caused a major stir by hiring Tom Crean, but with Marquette choosing an assistant for the head coaching position, and California going to the NBA to get Mike Montgomery, there isn’t expected to be a lot of movement among BCS teams. About the only way things are going to get really crazy is if Oklahoma St. is able to pull over Bill Self or another BCS coach. Assuming that doesn’t happen, here are the three BCS teams with vacancies still open:

Oklahoma St.

Will they choose someone from the above list, or will they get another BCS coach? The fun is just beginning.