Coaching Dominoes: Who could get potential job openings?

If Rick Barnes steps down at Texas, would Marquette's Buzz Williams make the jump to the Longhorns? (USATSI)
If Rick Barnes steps down at Texas, would Marquette's Buzz Williams make the jump to the Longhorns? (USATSI)

It’s time to take a hypothetical turn in our 2013-14 college basketball preview.

On Monday, Gary Parrish named the five coaches on the hot seat heading into the season – but now we’re taking it a step further. Parrish, Matt Norlander and myself took the five coaches from yesterday and added five more head coaches who are feeling pressure. With those 10 guys in mind, we decided to go through each job and figure out who could be a possible replacement if the job indeed opens up in the spring.

Yes, it’s hypothetical and based on “what ifs” – but that’s the point of a season preview.

Arizona State

Current coach: Herb Sendek

Replacement: Eric Musselman

Skinny: Sendek has been to the NCAA tournament just once in his seven seasons at Arizona State – but the Sun Devils are expected to compete for the bubble this year. If they make the tournament, he should be fine. If not, Sun Devils’ assistant coach Musselman – a former NBA head coach with two teams – would be the logical next choice.


Current coach: Tony Barbee

Replacement: Bruce Pearl

Skinny: This could be a make or break year for Barbee. He’s gone just 35-59 in three seasons at Auburn – and Pearl’s show-cause penalty from the NCAA ends soon. In Pearl’s 19 seasons as a college head coach, he never had a losing season – including six straight NCAA tournament appearances with Tennessee. He could jump at the opportunity.


Current coach: Brad Brownell

Replacement: Mike White

Skinny: Brownell was outstanding at UNC-Wilmington and Wright State, and led Clemson to an NCAA tournament in his first season with the Tigers. But he’s 29-31 in his last two seasons, and the ACC is only getting stronger. As for White, he won 27 games last season at Louisiana Tech and will get a high-major job in the spring if he wants.


Current coach: Mark Fox

Replacement: Ben Howland

Skinny: This one could be interesting. Fox reached the NCAA tournament back in 2011, but is now coming off back-to-back 15-17 campaigns with the Bulldogs. They’re not supposed to do much this season, either. Would Howland be a good fit in Athens? He recruited Georgia well while he was at UCLA and could be looking to get back in the mix.

Oregon State

Current coach: Craig Robinson

Replacement: Tommy Lloyd

Skinny: President Barack Obama’s brother-in-law could be gone before his second term in the White House is over. Robinson had had one winning season in his five years in Corvallis, and the Pac-12 is going to be even tougher this season. He needs to show improvement. Lloyd is a Gonzaga assistant who is the coach-in-waiting with the Bulldogs – but does he want to wait until Mark Few retires?


Current coach: Ben Braun

Replacement: Glynn Cyprien

Skinny: It’s been a struggle for most of Braun’s tenure at Rice. He went 19-16 in 2012, but hasn’t had more than 14 wins in any other season. Last year, the Owls went 5-26. Cyprien is well known in the coaching community, with assistant coaching stops at Memphis, Kentucky, Arkansas, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, UNLV and others. He’s now an assistant at Texas A&M and knows the state.


Current coach: Johnny Dawkins

Replacement: Brett Reed

Skinny: Despite two 20-plus win seasons with the Cardinal, Dawkins has not led Stanford to the NCAA tournament in his five seasons in Palo Alto. He’s got the pieces to make a run this year. If he doesn’t, who would be next in line? Reed’s name has been tossed around for a few vacancies lately, and being the head coach of while C.J. McCollum was at Lehigh could help his marketability. 


Current coach: Rick Barnes

Replacement: Buzz Williams

Skinny: This is the big one. Barnes missed the NCAA tournament last season, and hasn’t gotten past the Round of 32 since 2008. Moreover, he’s had some big misses on the recruiting trail – and this season doesn’t look so promising. If he does step down, Williams would be the first name to pop up. He has been to five straight NCAA tournaments with Marquette and is a native of Texas.

Wake Forest

Current coach: Jeff Bzdelik

Replacement: Jeff Capel

Skinny: Bzdelik has had six consecutive sub-.500 seasons, three with Colorado and three with Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have won a total of 34 games under him, and a run to the NCAA tournament could be the only thing that saves him. Capel, currently a Duke assistant, is from the state of North Carolina and has been a head coach at VCU and Oklahoma.

Washington State

Current coach: Ken Bone

Replacement: Randy Rahe

Skinny: No NCAA tournaments during his four seasons at Washington State is hurting Bone, and this year’s team isn’t expected to be a tournament-caliber team. Look for Rahe to get a strong look if the Cougars decide to go in a different direction. Rahe was a longtime assistant at various stops before being the head coach at Weber State since 2006. He’s been to the postseason five times, and won three Big Sky regular-season titles. Coaching Damian Lillard can’t hurt, either.

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