Posted on: September 22, 2008 12:00 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2008 10:04 pm

Dear Gary (on picking a school)

Here's Monday Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: If you had a son ranked 50th in the class of 2009 by national recruiting services, to which school would you want to see him go and why? Eliminate the close to home factor, but consider all other factors. He has not yet selected a major.

-- Doc

I'm a big believer in the likelihood of significant playing time because no real player wants to sit the bench. That's why the first thing I'd do is consider the make-up of a program's roster and try to help my son understand how he might fit in. Let's say my son is a point guard and the school already has a junior point guard who is a two-year starter and solid and not a candidate to leave early, and that the school has also already committed a point guard my son has played against many times and, frankly, proved to be not quite as gifted. In that case, my advice is to look elsewhere because the most important thing is to play, and these circumstances should make it difficult to get on the court.

Beyond that, I'm looking at education because, let's be honest, unless my son is a consensus top 10 prospect the odds of him making the NBA are slim. So I want to know if Stanford is interested. Or Duke. Or Vanderbilt. Degrees from those schools are worth a lot of money, and if my son could succeed in the classroom there he'd either make a seven-figure salary in the NBA or a six-figure salary in the business world. Those aren't bad options. So we'd look at that, too. But if you're question revolves around strictly basketball then I would tell you that the obvious answers are North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, you know, places where the fan bases are so large and passionate that my son would be a star in the region regardless of whether he was really a star at all. There's a thing at some schools called Scholarship for Life which basically means if you represent the school well and don't show yourself to be an idiot there's always a big booster in charge of a company willing to hire you at an inflated salary for a job you may or may not be exactly qualified to have because he likes the idea of just being able to show off a famous former player.

I like the idea of Scholarship for Life.

So we'd have to look at that.

But again, my main advice is to go where playing time is available.

Because again, players want to play and they're usually unhappy when they're not .

Posted on: April 26, 2008 4:06 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2008 4:28 pm

All the major jobs are filled (thank goodness)


Johnny Dawkins filled the final major job Saturday when he agreed to be the next coach at Stanford.

So the annual coaching carousel has now stopped.

Unless an NBA team plucks a college coach.

Which is why I'd like to take this moment to plead with all college coaches -- Tom Izzo, specifically -- to just stay put. I know the NBA might want some of you -- Tom Izzo, specifically -- and that it could be a great opportunity. But you'd make my life much simpler by rejecting any overtures, and at this point I'm mostly concerned with my life and the simplicity of it.

Anyway, in all there were nine BCS-affiliated jobs filled.

Indiana was probably the biggest.

Oregon State was definitely the smallest.

By my count, there are seven lower-level Division I jobs that still need to be filled, three of which -- Alcorn State, Grambling and Mississippi Valley State -- are in the SWAC.  And yes, Grambling State is still accepting applications, if you're interested.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 24, 2008 7:23 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2008 3:20 pm

Attn. Larry Brown: GSU is accepting applications

Proof that Larry Brown is serious about getting back into coaching came via Thursday's abrupt resignation from the Sixers.

He's been the executive vice president in Philadelphia since January 2007, case you didn't know.

And now he's unemployed, though I can't imagine he'll be that way long.

The hottest speculation has Brown as a serious candidate at Stanford, but I'm told that's probably not a likely destination. Was Stanford interested? Of course. But taking a Pac-10 job at a school with strict academic standards wouldn't play to Brown's strengths. So I'd be surprised if that's the route he takes given how there are probably some NBA franchises maneuvering to hire him.

If college is what Brown desires, though, perhaps Grambling State would be suitable.

GSU is one of the few Division I schools still looking for a coach.

And the application process seems simple enough.

I mean, all the details about how to apply are right there on the school's official web site, and were you even aware that Division I schools solicited applications on their web sites? Yeah, me neither. It seems kind of odd. But it might be time for Stanford to give it a try because, you know, practice opens in less than six months.

Posted on: April 15, 2008 1:42 pm

And then there were two ...

Providence's hiring of Keno Davis means there are now just two BCS-affiliated jobs open.

1. Oklahoma State

2. Stanford

Put another way, the coaching carousel is nearing a stop, and the two schools' athletic directors -- OSU's Mike Holder and Stanford's Bob Bowlsby -- are under a tremendous amount of pressure to make a great hire, though for completely different reasons.

Holder has to make a nice hire because he opted to remove Sean Sutton, a controversial move given how it came after just two seasons and alienated the school from the Sutton family. It's one thing to do that to get Bill Self, quite another to do it just to do it. Meantime, Bowlsby is in a tougher spot. By any measuring stick he completely misjudged his situation with Trent Johnson, let the coach's contract dwindle to one year  and -- for lack of a better phrase -- pissed off Johnson to the point where he felt obligated to accept an offer from LSU. How that happens to a man who just made three NCAA tournaments in four years, I'll never know. But it happened to Johnson, and if Bowlsby can't find a suitable replacement he'll be forever ridiculed for running off a good coach and failing to find another.

Either way, college basketball is getting close to calming down.

That's my favorite part.

With any luck, everything will be done by the  end of the week, if not sooner.
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