There is nothing that energizes a fan base more than two things, a title run and a coaching search. Right now the Purdue and Indiana fan bases are buzzing and it doesn’t take a very smart man Jenny, to tell the reason for the buzz. Since we all know Purdue will choke away any late tournament run let’s talk about the Hoosiers.
Now if you follow me on Twitter, and you should, you know I think all this IU coach chatter is going to be for not and Tom Crean will be back for one more, and probably his last season next year. But how much fun is that? None, even tough as a Kentucky fan I hope he never leaves, so let’s talk coaching search!
If we assume CTC is let go or pulls a Tubby Smith and plans his own exit the question we all want the answer to is who’s next?
There are four names that keep coming up and let’s just get this out of the way.
Brad Stevens, Billy Donovan, Sean Miller, and Steve Alford are not leaving their current jobs. No really, they aren’t. No NBA coach has ever come back to college without being shown the door first. Pitino, Calipari, Montgomery, and Larry Brown would all still be NBA coaches right now if they had not been told no one wanted them. Brad Stevens and Billy D are not turning down the much easier life style and prestige of The Association to come back to the 24/7/365 world of college coaching. Now when it comes to Miller and Alford you can argue IU is a better job, sure, but you would be wrong. Just think about it. These two are really only recruiting against each other for the best west coast talent. Any move to Indiana would throw them back into the recruiting meat grinder that is the Midwest where you not only have to go against but beat the likes of Michigan St., Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, and the other 25 schools east of the Mississippi looking to grab top talent.
So then what? Well let’s take a look down on tobacco road at the mess at NC State to get a better read on who might be realistic options for the Hoosiers.
I went through a few websites and this is a list of names that keep coming up for the soon to be open NC St. job.
Archie Miller – Dayton
Kevin Keats – UNC Wilmington
Gregg Marshall – Wichita St.
Chris Holtmann – Butler
Will Wade – VCU
Vinny Del Negro – Former NBA coach
Mick Cronin – Cincinnati
King Rice – Monmouth
and get this….. Tom Crean!
Sooooooooo, what does this list of names do for you Hoosier Nation? Because this is the list, or one that resembles it, you will be choosing from. Are these guys better than Clappy? Are these guys going to recruit at the level you want?
Well here is my list. If I had to put money on who the Indiana coach will be next year I have seven names in this order.
- Tom Crean – I have been told from someone who would and usually does know that Fred Glass will not remove Crean at the end of the year. I do think there is a chance that CTC looks to find a soft landing spot on his own but he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that accepts defeat very well.
- Gregg Marshall – Wichita St.
- Chris Mack – Xavier – In his seven years at Xavier he has only missed the NCAA tournament once and made three Sweet 16s and has recruited the Midwest, including Indiana very well.
- Mick Cronin – Cincinnati
- Chris Holtmann – Butler – I get the feeling the fan base will never accept a Butler coach not named Stevens.
- Randy Wittman – Now here is a NBA guy that you could get. Does Randy move the needle enough to reunite Hoosier Nation? I’m not sure.
I think all these guys can do the job and would be solid hires but are they better than Crean? I know right now you probably think Billy Gillispie would be better but do these names get you excited? Let me know your thoughts Hoosier Nation.