Saturday, March 06, 2010

Who Should the next coach be?

Reports out of Eugene are that Ernie Kent has been fired as head basketball at the University of Oregon. The next question is who will be the next coach. I have divide my list into three groups. Tier I are the coaches that probably would never come to Oregon, but unless you make the call you'll never. Tier II are the more realistic candidates, but you'll have to shell out some money to get . Tier III are the coaches that you go after if you fail to land a coach from the top two tiers.

Tier I

Jamie Dixon- Pitt
One of 9 coaches to reach 100 wins in his first 4 years. He was the 2009 National coach of the year. Since taking over Pitt in 2003 they have have gone to the NCAA tournament every year. This guy can flat out coach. He is west coast guy so there is a slim chance he may listen to what Oregon has to offer.

Jay Wright-Villanova
Since Taking over Villanova in 2001 the Wildcats have advanced to the post season every year. Under Wright the Wildcats have advanced to two sweet 16's, an elite 8 and a final 4. After last season he had a career record of 300-175 as a coach. Probably won't leave Villanova, but who knows, maybe he wants a new challenge.

Tier II
Mark Few-Gonzaga
Few has been the trendy pick of Duck fans for years. He has the led the Bulldogs to 10 straight NCAA tournaments and they have won the WCC 9 straight years. Word on the street is that Few was offered the job last year, but Oregon wouldn't meet his price demands. While I do have some concerns about Few I think he still a significant upgrade over Ernie Kent.

Mark Turgeon-Texas A&M
Turgeon is a former assistant at Oregon under Jerry Green. Many people including myself feel that he should have got the job instead of Ernie Kent. Turgeon turned around Witchita State leading them to five straight winning seasons including a sweet 16 appearance in 2006. He has taken the Aggies to the NCAA second round each of his first two years and they appear certain to return this year.

Steve Alford- New Mexico
Alford currently has New Mexico ranked number eight in the country. New Mexico will the third program that Alford has taken to the Big dance. While I think there are better candidates out there I think Alford is at least worth a look.

Scott Drew- Baylor
His overall record may not be the most impressive, but when you consider the mess that he inherited (See Baylor Basketball Scandal) he has done one of most remarkable coaching jobs in the country over the past seven years.

Tier III

Randy Bennett- Saint Mary's
Bennett has built a nice little program at Saint Mary's. He has led them to two NCAA appearances and an NIT birth in a conference dominated by Gonzaga. If any they can't get any of the above candidates then Bennett is worth a look.

Ben Jacobson- Northern Iowa
Currently the panthers are 27-4 and were ranked in the top 25 much of this season. Has had a winning record each of his previous three years and led the Panthers to the tournament last year. I have a feeling that Jacobson will be moving up in the next couple years

Steve Lavin- Former UCLA Coach
Currently an ESPN broadcaster Lavin hasn't coached since 2003. In seven years at UCLA the Bruins went to NCAA tournaments and advance to the Sweet 16 four times and the elite 8 once.

Terry Porter- Former Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns coach
While not overly successful as an NBA coach Porter could be worth a look. He's got a great basketball mind and the former Portland Trail Blazer is beloved in the state of Oregon.