By Gary Parrish
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN MEMPHIS AND LAS VEGAS -- I'm on a flight from Memphis to Las Vegas right now (with ESPN.com's Dave Telep and LSU coach Trent Johnson) that's supposed to land a little before noon. The second 10-day stretch of the July evaluation period for college basketball coaches starts tomorrow, but most everybody travels west early today so that they can get settled ... and then spend the afternoon and night drinking and gambling and eating expensive meals.
That used to be my plan.
But the past two years I've spent this day speaking at various coaching clinics, and today will be no different. I'm in the post-lunch group at the Rising Coaches Elite Conference -- a really nice event put on by "an organization created for aspiring college coaches by aspiring college coaches." It's mostly for video and operations guys tying to transition into the role of full-time assistants. The men who founded it -- among them DePaul's Andy Farrell -- are good dudes with a passion for the sport. I've gotten to know them well over the past couple of years, and it's clear they're headed for big futures.
The conference is today and tomorrow at the MGM Grand. Here's the post-lunch schedule for this afternoon:
1:00 – 1:45: Memphis head coach Josh Pastner
1:45 – 2:30: Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard
2:30 – 3:15: CBSSports.com Senior Writer Gary Parrish
3:15 – 4:00: Xavier head coach Chris Mack
4:00 – 4:45: Florida assistant Matt McCall
4:45 – 5:30: N.C. State assistant Bobby Lutz
5:30 – 6:00: Alabama head coach Anthony Grant
8:00 – 8:45: USC head coach Kevin O’Neill