Thursday, May 05, 2011

Gary Williams Retiring at Maryland

Williams had a great career. Now, of course, the speculation will run rampant as who will get this job, one of the best in college basketball. Before we get to the speculation, let's consider the top jobs in college b-ball:

North Carolina
Indiana (even post-Bob Knight, still a great job with a rich tradition)
UCLA (hard to argue with the dynasties, isn't it?).

Then, there is another tier, and it's hard to figure out all of the next, say, 14, but I'd offer the following:

Ohio State
Michigan State
Villanova (okay, I'd argue Penn, Temple and St. Joe's, too, but I'd lose)
Pittsburgh (at least for now)

and, okay, I do give up.

But I don't want to digress, so let's consider who Maryland might consider:

1. VCU's Shaka Smart (one of the two hottest coaches out there).
2. Butler's Brad Stevens (one of the two hottest coaches out there).
3. Gonzaga's Mark Few.
4. Richmond's Chris Mooney (if Smart and Stevens were tied at 1, Mooney is #3).
5. Arizona's Sean Miller (successful out west, might want bigger spotlight in the east).
6. Temple's Fran Dunphy (outstanding coach, successful in A-10).
7. Notre Dame's Mike Brey (can he really win it all in South Bend).
8. Michigan's John Bellein (successful everywhere; eastern roots).
9. Oregon State's Craig Robinson (long shot, but being the First Brother-in-Law has it's privileges).

I'll stop there. This is one of the plum jobs in all of college basketball. Expect a big-name hire.


Anonymous said...

The fact that Shaka Smart is considered one of the best young coaches in America just goes to show how overvalued a single "hot streak" in the NCAA tournament is.

I'm not saying that he's a poor coach by any means but VCU had a mediocre regular season, an uninspiring conference tournament and was a very controversial "last one off the bubble" at-large selection for the NCAA tournament. Let's give Smart credit, he took his Rams through a great five-game run to make the Final Four.

But in the age of the three-point shot, it is absolutely true that any hot-shooting team can win on a given night. Doing that twice is hard and three times is harder still. But a five-game run, no matter how excellent, does not mean a coach is "great." It means his team shot very well, maybe even played great, for five games. That's all.

Of all the names on your list, Smart is the one whom I most expect to recede back into obscurity.

SportsProf said...

There's a difference between "best" and "hot," and he's clearly hot -- look, he got his team to make a great run, and that says a lot about him. Time will tell whether he becomes an all-time great or just a guy who got his team hot at the right time and to a Final Four once. Still, based upon what happened in the past Final Four, he will get mentioned for many big-time openings. I happen to like him more than you do.

All that said, I should get some props for putting Sean Miller on my list (this without any prior glances at any other websites). He did well at Xavier and has done well early on at Arizona, so he could be a very good fit at Maryland.

Arlene said...

I saw that Brian Earl is staying at Princeton. Is there news on the other assistants and also anything about the incoming freshman class?

V-Yeah watches for wife said...

-Jacob&Co watches for herin America just goes to show how overvalued a single "hot streak" in the NCAA tournament is.