Tag:Coach Speak
Posted on: April 22, 2011 9:28 am
Edited on: April 22, 2011 11:25 am
 

Coach Speak: Larranaga to Miami?



Posted by Eric Angevine

Unless Jim Larranaga really likes golf, there's no way he should take the Miami job. Today's news seems to indicate that Larranaga will move to Coral Gables, however.

Over the past couple of days, we've seen conflicting reports coming from Fairfax, VA and Miami, FL. Trying to follow the developments has given the poor editor of the George Mason Basketball Blog whiplash.

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com just posted this interesting little tidbid about Coach Larranaga:
"George Mason's Jim Larranaga has had serious discussions with Miami officials about the ACC school's coaching vacancy, multiple sources told CBSSports.com on Thursday. Whether Larranaga is leveraging for a better deal from George Mason or on the verge of actually moving to Miami is unclear, both sources said. But the talks are advanced and ongoing, and the 61-year-old New York native has developed into Miami's top target."
More to come as this story develops. Hopefully it's just some smoke and perhaps Larranaga is trying to get another raise from George Mason. Keep in mind that Larranaga is widely viewed as the ambassador of the CAA (and mid-majors for that matter) and VCU's Shaka Smart is set to make about $500K more per year in his base salary.

Update: Steven Goff of the Post writes that George Mason granted Miami permission to talk to Jim Larranaga.

Update: According to 106.7 The Fan this afternoon some of the assistant coaches are looking for new jobs. Losing a guy like Chris Caputo would be a huge loss.

Update: Len Robbins from the NY Post reported that Coach L called a meeting to address the team tonight. Hard to think this would be for anything other than his departure from Fairfax.

Now Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports has stated there was so such meeting at George Mason. Wow.
It's tough to see why Larranaga would take the job, honestly, but it appears to be a reality. No official announcement has come out yet, and we've seen these things fall through at the last minute in other cases (Remember Billy Donovan to Orlando? Dana Altman to Arkansas?), but right now, the indication is that the 61-year-old coach will bolt.

It's easy to see why Miami wants him. He's been to the Final Four, He produces consistent winners, and he does it with integrity. Larranaga showed his priorities in the lead-up to the 2006 miracle season, when he suspended his best player, Tony Skinn, for punching Hofstra's Loren Stokes in the onions in a CAA semifinal loss. The one-game suspension held Skinn out of the 75-65 Big Dance upset of Michigan State that sparked the Patriots' epic run to the closing weekend. Not too many coaches would risk a huge loss to drive home a point to a kid who made a foolish mistake. It makes Larranaga seem like a guy who wouldn't be easily lured into a bad situation by mere money.

There's one other big reason this always seemed like a non-starter. Since 2006, the head coaching job at Providence College has opened up twice. Jim Larranaga played at PC from 1967-71, and seemed like the natural choice to take the job and return his alma mater to glory in the Big East, but each time he's let someone else take the job. If Larranaga doesn't want to return to his roots and rebuild, why on earth would he take a similarly difficult task in the ACC, far from his well-worn recruiting base?

The suggestion hinted at in the blog post above makes the most sense. Larranaga sees a hot young coach like Shaka Smart getting his just rewards, and he feels he deserves an honorarium. As the godfather of the CAA's growing national profile, he most certainly does, and there's no shame in using Miami's opening to jolt some money out of those who want to keep him happy in Fairfax.

According to the Washington Examiner, Larranaga has been in contract talks with GMU's AD since the end of the season. This flirtation with another job should have ACCelerated the process to keep Larranaga at GMU. There's still time, I suppose, but that time could end if an official announcement is made today.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: April 13, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 12:38 pm
 

Coach Speak: summer may warm ten hot seats

This man must own asbestos underwear

Posted by Eric Angevine

Getting fired is no fun. It's not something you really wish on another human being. But it's a fact of life, and even more so in the high-pressure world of coaching (at any level). These ten men bought a ticket for the ride, so we'll have to be honest in assessing their efforts to date.

The axes that are going to fall this season have mostly dropped already. Fire a guy in late April, and you have a huge mess to clean up and not much time to do it in. We saw plenty of that last season in the Big East, when Fred Hill (Rutgers) and Bobby Gonzalez (Seton Hall) went off the reservation and forced ADs to oust them. In each case, the school got a good coach in place, but it's a lot scarier to do that without the safety net of extra time.

Here are ten power conference coaches who need to recruit well this spring and summer and then actually DO SOMETHING with that talent in order to feel safe and secure this time next season.

ACC

Seth Greenberg, 151-103 in eight seasons at Virginia Tech
: Yeah, I know, we say this every year. But here we sit again, with the Hokies juuust missing the Big Dance. I mean, it's admirable what Greenberg has been able to do with the injury issues he's had to deal with, but it's also rather surprising that he hasn't been able to adapt and overcome with the players who stay healthy. Give Brad Stevens last season's Hokie lineup and see if he doesn't win a championship with it.

Jeff Bzdelik, 8-24 in one season at Wake Forest: I feel strange putting a first-year coach on this list, and there's likely no way Bzdelik will be kept on that short of a leash, but man alive, was this hiring a mess. Clemson hired the criminally underrated Brad Brownell later in the year and had a pretty strong season. Wake fired Dino Gaudio for underperforming and got... much worse. Bzdelik is a real cypher - he moves around a lot but doesn't exactly blow the doors off anywhere he goes. He's like bizarro Larry Brown.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Miami dodged a bullet here. If Frank Haith hadn't been taken off their hands, this list -- like Spinal Tap's amps -- would go to eleven.


Big 12

Travis Ford, 65-36 in three seasons at Oklahoma State: Really, Ford doesn't seem to be in much danger, either. Then again, who saw Jeff Capel falling so far from grace this season? OSU has had three straight 20-plus-win seasons under Ford and has pulled some big upsets, so fans are probably relatively happy with him right now. Still, there has been a progression of diminishing returns, with the Cowboys going from 4th in the league in Ford's first season, to 6th the next, and now down to 9th. He probably has a couple more years to prove that his system can work, but T. Boone Pickens routinely ogles Bill Self over at Kansas, and that kind of open lust can put strain on even the strongest marriage.


Big East

Stan Heath, 41-54 in four seasons at South Florida
: I honestly can't believe I even have to write this one. Check these numbers: 20-13, 9-9, 9th place, NIT first-round loss. That's Stan Heath's BEST SEASON at USF. He's done a great job of lining up massive inside players that many programs would kill for, and yet he's made no progress in the Big East race. Last season his Bulls won two whole games in conference, dropping to 14th place. That, plus the 8 overall wins, is the lowest win total of his career to date. Not sure anyone's awake over in the ADs office at USF. Then again, this is fine golfing weather.


Big Ten

Ed DeChellis, 117-139 in eight seasons at Penn State
: It might seem a bit odd to put EDC on this list after he finally got over the hump and into the NCAA tournament, but seriously... what now? It took four years of superhuman effort from Talor Battle to achieve a first-round NCAA tourney loss. Now that Battle's graduated, how far will this program fall? I can't answer that question, but I can't imagine things are going to get in any way better without the one sure thing on the Nittany Lion roster next season.

Related links
Bill Carmody, 160-176 in 11 seasons at Northwestern: No, it's not really Carmody's fault that the Wildcats can't make the leap. In fact, his tenure has actually made people pay attention to Northwestern, and to actually believe that the Big Dance curse will finally be broken soon. Carmody signed an extension this year and isn't going anywhere, most likely because the folks at the Northwestern think tank (I'm not being sarcastic) know that a disruption at this point could plunge them back into the dark ages again. Still, by empirical measures, this all looks so mediocre it hurts.

Tom Crean, 28-66 in three seasons at Indiana: I hold a firm belief that Tom Crean is a good coach, and that he is probably the right man to turn Indiana back into a powerhouse. I also hold a firm belief that fans in Bloomington are crazy. Anyone not happy with Crean's rebuilding efforts over the past three seasons will be doubly outraged if he fails to win a Big Ten championship now that he's secured the services of local hero Cody Zeller. You'd like to think that Hoosier fans would direct their anger at the state of the program to Kelvin Sampson and even Bobby Knight, rather than Crean. You'd like to.


Pac-12

Craig Robinson, 40-49 in three years at Oregon State
: Hard to really fault Robinson for the state of the program in Corvallis, but he wasn't hired to maintain the status quo, either. In three seasons, we're still waiting for Robinson to win more games than he loses in any given season, and that shiny CBI trophy (No, I have no idea what it might look like, it could be made of balsa wood) isn't going to make anyone forget that the Beavers dream of more.


SEC

Darrin Horn, 50-42 in three seasons at South Carolina
: Horn is young, and South Carolina is not an easy place to forge a sterling career. Still, the wunderkind from Western Kentucky has been easily outstripped by the likes of Anthony Grant at 'Bama and Mark Fox at Georgia. It's not out of the question that Tony Barbee could turn around Auburn quickly, either. The SEC has been largely wide open behind Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt in recent years, and it would have behooved Horn to take advantage. Now he's behind the curve yet again.

Trent Johnson, 49-48 in three seasons at LSU: My, how exciting 2009 must have been in Baton Rouge! Trent Johnson arrives from a wildly successful run at Stanford, amid expectations that he'll blow the doors off the SEC, since he won't have to worry about the academic profile he had to pursue at the Pac-10 school. In his first season, Johnson guides the Tigers to a first-place finish and an NCAA berth. Just imagine what he'll do with his own players!!! 22-40 overall, 5-27 in the SEC and two sixth place finishes in the West. If you think Horn, a relative rookie, was a disappointment in these circumstances, imagine how people must be looking at Johnson.

Each of these guys can begin the reversal of fortune by landing some recruits over the next few weeks. After that comes the hard part: turning talented parts into a fully-functioning machine.

Photo: US Presswire


Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: April 7, 2011 11:47 am
 

Knight should relish rare second chance at Lamar

Pat Knight should relish his rare second chance at Lamar.

Posted by Eric Angevine

I've honestly always had mixed emotions when a legendary coach hands his job over to one of his kids. On the one hand, it seems unfair to other rising coaches who may be more qualified, but never even get a chance to interview. On the other hand, it usually feels unfair to the man who gets the golden opportunity, as well. Sure, he's getting a big-money job early in his career, but the weight of expectation is almost always too heavy to carry.

We've seen a lot of this recently, with Pat Knight and Texas Tech being only the latest example of how tough it is when this sort of thing happens. The first example of this that I remember clearly happened at DePaul. For younger fans, it's hard to imagine that DePaul was once one of the greatest jobs in America, thanks to the legendary Ray Meyer, who compiled 724 wins there and made a Final Four before handing the job over to his son, Joey.

Joey had a pretty long run of 13 years at the school, and made the NCAA tournament seven times over that span. But he was never his dad, and when the Blue Demons finally parted ways with him, that was it for his big-time coaching career. He's bounced around the NBDL ever since. Not exactly where he thought he'd end up, I'd wager.

Related links
In that respect, Pat Knight is extremely lucky right now. He was given another shot immediately. The shot he probably should have had in the first place. The Lamar Cardinals haven't been to the Big Dance since 2000, and they can use the notoriety that will come from Knight's presence. Knight, on the other hand, can use the relative anonymity of coaching in Beaumont, Texas to build his own coaching profile under an appropriate level of scrutiny. This is, honestly, the type of job he should have had in the first place. Something that can be truly his.

The Big 12 actually has given us previous examples of the value of going it alone. When Eddie Sutton came to Oklahoma State, he had Scott Sutton as an assistant coach, then, later, his son Sean joined the staff. Scott was unwilling to wait for dad to retire, and headed out and took an assistant's job at Oral Roberts under Bill Self. He worked his way up to the head coaching spot and built a real reputation as a giant killer, knocking off Self's Jayhawks at one point, and taking the Eagles to three straight NCAA tournaments. Since then, he's been a bit of a victim of his own success, with the team's RPI falling as larger schools began to avoid the Summit League upstart (Oakland, beware). Still, one gets the sense that Sutton can climb the coaching ladder if and when he wants to take the next step, based on his own accomplishments.

Scott Sutton's younger brother, Sean, had the Joey Meyer experience, but much worse. He played and coached under his famous dad, then took over for at OSU in 2006 after Eddie struggled with prescription painkillers and alcohol abuse. Sean was out just two years later, with a 39-29 head coaching record and, eventually, addiction issues that mirrored what his father had gone through. Now he's an unpaid assistant to none other than his big brother Scott, at ORU.

There are some good things about being a crown prince, and that's all most of us tend to see. We devalue our own experiences of toiling in obscurity and working our way up the ladder, daydreaming of the privelege and ease of the handpicked successor. But today's crown princes don't have the guaranteed job for life, the way someone like England's Prince William does. They tend to get one brief shot to prove that they're loaded with magic DNA and then they're thrown on the scrap heap if they prove to be ordinary, or even above-ordinary mortals.

In that respect, Pat Knight is lucky. He has a job that allows him do what he loves. His short stint at Tech gave him a national profile that was actually very positive: Pat projects a likeable sort of forthrightness without the overt bullying and fit-throwing his father has been known to engage in. He may actually be a really good coach some day, and he has the opportunity to prove that notion on his own merits.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: March 29, 2011 11:21 am
 

Mooney's UR extension had ripple effect

Everyone's in motion except for Chris Mooney

Posted by Eric Angevine

We spend a lot of time reporting on the men who get on the coaching carousel in late March and early April: Anderson to Arkansas! Painter to Mizzou? Will Brad Stevens or Shaka Smart be lured by big money? You know the drill.

Sometimes, it's the guys who refuse to get on the painted horsie that really make a difference. Chris Mooney signing a ten-year deal at Richmond has been the biggest non-move in the game so far, and it changes the game for several programs currently in the market.

Primary amongst those was Georgia Tech. Mooney has always been refreshingly honest about his suitors, which is rare. Recall Mike Anderson vehemently denying that he had any interest in the Arkansas job he now holds. That's how the game is played. A denial means there's interest. An open flirtation means the coach would rather stay put, but wouldn't mind if his current employer showed him a little more financial love. Whether that was Mooney's intent or not, that's what he got. He acknowledged that the Yellow Jackets were courting him, and he got a deal that should keep him in Richmond for a while - he's got security if his stock never gets any hotter, and if he does become even more desirable in the future, notice has been served that only a dynamite situation will serve to lure him away.

Mooney's extension meant that Tech turned to Dayton's Brian Gregory, a move that puzzled me a bit. There's a pretty big gap between a current Sweet 16 coach and last year's NIT champion.

Richmond, a growing power in the Atlantic 10, has served notice that the private university located on a peaceful, leafy campus in Central Virginia plans to continue to challenge Xavier and Temple for the league lead in years to come. The confluence of personal comfort and professional opportunity worked for both parties in this case.

"In talking to Chris, his perspective is that it’s kind of a double-positive for him," said Richmond AD Jim Miller. "He can have the lifestyle that he likes living here, but he can also be successful and win at the highest level as well."

Miller also pointed out that the University's commitment to basketball, beyond the core matter of keeping Mooney properly compensated, likely played a part in the coach's decision to stay put.

"Chris and I sat down and looked at every component of our basketball program and developed some strategies and thoughts of what we could do to continue to improve, and University leadership bought into that," Miller said. "Staff compensation, the amount of time our PR people and strength coaches can spend with the players, the way our team travels. We looked at budget issues and how we can make our program better."

The key to getting the deal done was a desire by both parties to maintain a marriage that's working, to preempt any temptation that might come along from outside the relationship. "We knew that there were a lot of schools interested in him, but our position was that we didn’t want to get into a situation where we were going to be reactive and trying to outbid people," Miller said.

Richmond hired Mooney after he forged an 18-12 season at Air Force in his single prior season as a head coach. Not exactly an awe-inspiring record, but the University took a chance on the young Princeton graduate that has paid off in a big way. As a former assistant coach at Virginia Military Institute, Miller said he respected Mooney's ability to succeed in the tough environs of a military school, and felt his system would work for UR. Now that he's been proven right, the University leadership has seen fit to place a high reward on something that was once high-risk. This is only proper for a school that has one of the top Business programs in the country.

Odds are, not many schools have the wherewithal to follow in Richmond's footsteps. Sometimes ambition trumps the right fit (see Lickliter, Todd). If Butler and Virginia Commonwealth have the means and the vision to get something like this done, however, it can be a win-win for all concerned.

Photo: US Presswire

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: March 28, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: March 28, 2011 11:24 am
 

Gregory to Georgia Tech a bit of a puzzler

Posted by Eric Angevine

As my colleague Gary Parrish reported earlier today, Dayton's Brian Gregory will become the next head coach at Georgia Tech, succeeding the recently fired Paul Hewitt.

Dayton fans are actually kind of happy to be losing their coach. That should be a red flag.

I'm pretty sure Tech fans are pulling some pretty puzzled expressions out there at this news. This is unlikely to be a popular hiring down in Atlanta. Not Jeff Bzdelik to Wake Forest confusing, but only slightly north of that low-water mark.

I'm not saying Gregory is a bad coach - far from it. But his resume isn't going to assuage any fears that backers of the Ramblin' Wreck have accumulated during the past decade.

The knock on Paul Hewitt has been that he is able to occasionally bring in superior talent, but for all that, has been unable to do much with what he has. I'd argue that the same can be said of Gregory.

Look at the past three seasons in Dayton. In 2009, Gregory had Brian Roberts leading his backcourt and scoring over 18 points per game. Alongside him, promising sophomore Chris Wright and junior Marcus Johnson gave the Flyers plenty of dynamic scoring options. That team went 11-5 in the A-10, lost in the second round of the league tourney, but got an at-large bid anyway. The Flyers nipped West Virginia and lost to Kansas. Not a bad showing at all.

Last year, the Flyers had a perfect storm of naming synchronicity: Chris Wright, Marcus Johnson and Chris Johnson put on a show from time to time and had Flyers fans thinking of a repeat trip to the Big Dance. Not so. The Flyers were 8-8, lost in the second round of the conference tourney, and went to the NIT. They won the whole schmear, taking down North Carolina to do so. It wasn't the NCAAs, but Gregory's name was still red-hot in the summer coaching rumors.

This year, Wright and Johnson were back, and local stud point guard Juwan Staten joined them in the backcourt as a freshman. Excitement surrounded the program once again. The hope was to build on the NIT championship momentum and get back to the NCAA tourney. Instead, UD went 7-9 in league play, lost to Richmond four games deep in the A-10 tourney, and lost to College of Charleston by ten in the first round of the NIT. Staten announced his intention to transfer from the program shortly thereafter.

The knock on Gregory has been that his offense is rather staid. It hasn't been terribly efficient, either. Slow and ineffective isn't going to thrill ACC fans used to something more fluid.

All of this is unlikely to scan properly for folks in Atlanta today. It doesn't mean Gregory is a bad coach, but it's not likely to convince anyone that he's the guy to resurrect the once-proud Yellow Jackets program, either. The first thing Gregory is going to have to do is sell himself to the local fans, who are going to wonder why they should embrace this compact Midwestern fellow as the savior of their team. Then he'll have to sell himself to the players, and then make a splash on the recruiting scene, especially within the city limits.

It's a tall order, and it's proper to question if Gregory is up to the task. If I have to some day eat my words with a side of Sriracha hot sauce, I'll do it with gusto. I'd rather see Gregory succeed than fail, as would fans of the 'Jackets. But right now, the only defensible stance to take is a somewhat skeptical wait-and-see attitude.

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: March 27, 2011 8:28 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2011 8:37 pm
 

Cuonzo Martin will be good for Tennessee

Posted by Eric Angevine

The news just became official: The University of Tennessee has moved quickly to fill the coaching vacancy left by the firing of Bruce Pearl, and has hired Cuonzo Martin of Missouri State.

Martin is a 39-year-old former Purdue player, a product of the Gene Keady coaching tree. Martin played for Keady from 1991-1995. His NBA career was over in 1997, and by 2000, he was back in West Lafayette as an assistant. That led to his hiring as head coach at Missouri State in 2008.

The hiring of Martin works on a couple of levels for Tennessee. First, Martin seems to be a good coach. Second, he looks like a genuinely good person.

If Bruce Pearl was the slick, popular car salesman, Martin is the humble church deacon. He may not entertain like Pearl did. He most definitely will not appear shirtless and painted orange for any reason. What he will do is win coaching awards and speak from the heart about what it takes to be a good man. We know this, because he gave this moving speech after being named Missouri Valley coach of the year this season:



Only the most cynical fan could look at that and think that Martin is anything but a genuinely decent man who will fly the Vols program straight and be a good mentor to his charges.

That's how we know he's a good man. We know he's tough, because he's survived a bout with cancer at age 26. How do we know he's a good coach?

Truthfully, the evidence is slim, but all good. He learned from Keady as a player and assistant coach. He worked with Matt Painter, the current Boilermakers coach. No doubt both can and did vouch for Martin in the process of the coaching search. When Missouri State was looking for a replacement for Barry Hinson in 2008, they tabbed Martin, and he turned the mediocre program around quickly. His first season was an 11-20, injury-riddled mess, but the team did manage to beat Arkansas in the non-conference season before sliding to 10th in league play. The next season, the Bears were 24-12 and 7th in the MVC and played in the CIT. This past season, Missouri State went 26-9 and won a dramatic final home game over Wichita State to claim the school's first regular-season Missouri Valley title. The tourney title eluded the Bears, who made it to the second round of the NIT.

So, admittedly, in some ways, this was a cosmetic hire. Martin doesn't have any direct head-coaching experience with the NCAA tournament, and his bio is short. But the University of Tennessee has been in a world of hurt over the past three seasons, with scandal dogging the football and basketball programs. To get ahold of a man who has a spotless reputation, a direct and forthright manner, and the potential to right the reeling program quickly is about as good as the Vols could have done under the circumstances.

We'll know more about what Martin will have to work with (and against) when the NCAA has its say in upcoming months. That's when the transfers will likely start and recruiting will become difficult. Martin knew all of that coming in. Tennessee backers are going to have to have a lot of patience with their athletic program over the next few years. But they can rest assured that Cuonzo Martin has a plan, and he won't embarrass them any further.

All things considered, that's a big win for a program that has been dragged through the mud recently.

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: March 21, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 4:27 pm
 

Tennessee would be smart to hire Shaka



VCU's Shaka Smart would be the... intelligent choice.

Posted by Eric Angevine

Gary Parrish has sources who confirm that Bruce Pearl is on his way out at Tennessee. This is not unexpected news, at all.

If the Vols want to keep things running smoothly, they should hire the hot coach of the hour, as soon as he becomes available. That means Shaka Smart of VCU. Sure, some fans will agitate for someone with a bigger name (nobody has a cooler one), like Buzz Williams. Williams would actually be a great fit, but he's already in the Big East, and competition for his services will be stiff after this tournament run ends. He may also not much like the looks of rebuidling a program on probation.

But what about Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart? A move to the SEC would be a step up in money, and the facilities at Thompson-Boling are top-notch. 

Smart runs an up-tempo system that will appeal to Volunteer fans, players and recruits. Even if it was his fate to lose a few games right out of the gate, his teams would look good doing it, and he'd never give up. He also has an SEC pedigree, having coached under Billy Donovan at Florida. In fact, when he left to take the VCU job, he was replacing another Donovan protege, Alabama head man Anthony Grant. Perhaps the key to building a stronger SEC hoops profile is to hire as many Florida (or Kentucky) assistants as possible.

Smart's Rams have become the first school to make the Sweet 16 by winning three games, thanks to a berth in the inaugural First Four competition. Let's not assume that 1) he'll be easy to get or 2) he'll be willing to jump the first time someone shows him a check. The odds of his stock getting hotter than it is right now are pretty slim, though, with Jamie Skeen, Ed Nixon, Brandon Rozzell and Joey Rodriguez ready to graduate. Then again, there are always other jobs.

Smart is... well, smart. He is intelligent enough to know that this isn't going to be the best job in the world. He knows he's hot right now, and can wait to see what else pops up. But he's also smart enough to know how to rebuild the Volunteers, and do it without all of the scandal the UT football and basketball programs have brought aboard recently. He'd be in much the same situation as gridiron coach Derek Dooley, who took advantage of an opportunity to move from Louisiana Tech to one of the nation's top historical programs last summer. Smart might be too hot for such a move right now, honestly. He'd look even better at Missouri, should the rumors of Mike Anderson's departure be true. He wouldn't even have to buy any new ties.

If Tennessee has the money, and a plan of patient support in place, they just might be able to make the hire they need to make.

Get Smart. Hire Shaka.

If UT can't, perhaps they should just cut out the middle man and hire one of Billy Donovan's assistants directly.

Photo: US Presswire

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: March 19, 2011 10:09 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 12:32 am
 

Report: Mizzou's Mike Anderson to Arkansas

Per reports, Mike Anderson is headed back to Arkansas

Posted by Eric Angevine

Nolan Richardson left the University of Arkansas in 2002. The team hasn't been back to the Final Four since, and Richardson hasn't coached in college again.

If reports are true, Arkansas is about to get the next best thing. Missouri head coach Mike Anderson, who played for Richardson at Tulsa and coached under him at Arkansas for 17 years, is expected to accept the head coaching job recently vacated by John Pelphrey.

The news hit tonight via a tweet from Chris Lincoln, Sports Director at KTUL-TV in Tulsa:

Reports out of Arkansas say Mizzou coach Mike Anderson to be introduced tomorrow in Fayetteville as Razorbacks new head basketball coach.
CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish has updated this story with the latest news from his sources. The sources agree that the deal is likely to be finalized soon, but that nothing official can be announced until some details are worked out.

Anderson has always run his own version of the high-pressure "Forty Minutes of Hell" system Richardson used to win the 1994 national championship.

If this press conference does, indeed, happen, will Mizzou take a look at Missouri State head coach Cuonzo Martin? Or will they lean toward a big name from outside their back yard?

More NCAA tournament coverage
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com