Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: Everyone always talks about teams whose coach is on the hot seat, but we tend to hear less about teams who have hired new coaches. So looking around the NCAA, which new coaches were the best hires and have the potential to have the most success?
I think the best hire was the biggest, i.e., Indiana's luring of Tom Crean from Marquette.
Of course, he has almost no chance of having success this season (given the makeup of the IU roster), which might eliminate him from your question. But in the long run I don't think there's any doubt that Crean will return the Hoosiers to a place where competing for Big Ten championships and Final Fours can be expected, and for that reason his hiring should be viewed in a positive light.
Five other hires I believe will be proven good in time are:
1. John Groce to Ohio
2. Bill Bayno to Loyola Marymount
3. Derek Kellogg to UMass
4. Craig Robinson to Oregon State
5. Mike Montgomery to California
As for coaches set-up to win immediately, that's obviously Buzz Williams at Marquette and Trent Johnson at LSU. Both inherited nice rosters from their predecessors and should make the NCAA tournament in their first seasons on the job considering LSU is the smart pick to win the SEC West and Marquette is a consensus preseason top 20 team.