Thursday, March 22, 2007

Breaking News:


ESPN Radio is reporting that Tubby Smith is leaving Kentucky for the University of Minnesota. What do you think? With openings now at Kentucky and Iowa with the departure of Iowa, is it possible Kevin Stallings' days in Nashville are numbered?

9 comments:

Douglas James said...

To let Stallings leave would be a huge mistake. While stuff he does pisses me off I don't see us getting a better coach. He is a good recruiter and though we don't win consistently we have been to the post season consistently. Vandy sports profile is at an all time high and I think it is being proven in several sports that you can win/ recruit at vandy. Will Kentucky go after Donovan? Would he be crazy enough to go?

Bobby O'Shea said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Kentucky doesn't make a big push for Billy Gillespie of A&M or Tom Creen from Marquette. Those are two guys who have proven they can coach and would be the "big name" that Wildcat fans are looking for. A great option of UK would be John Beilein of West Virginia, but I don't know if he is a big enough name for the Wildcat faithful.

I don't see UK making a push for Stallings, but I wouldn't be shocked if Iowa didn't try and woo him. Whether or not Vanderbilt should let Stallings go is something I have struggled with as of late. I think there are better coaches out there, and that Coach Stallings is not as responsible for this teams success as the teams leaders (just like in 2004 with Freije) as some might think. Is he a great recruiter? Yes, but his in-game coaching, to me, leaves much to be desired.

I don't think Vanderbilt's "star" takes a hit if Stallings departs, so long as Vanderbilt ponies up and gets a quality coach to replace him. This is all very, very premature, but it's certainly something to think about.

Chad said...

Ralph Nader will be elected President before Kentucky offers the position to Kevin Stallings.

Stanimal said...

I've gotta go with D.J. on this one. If we let Stallings go now, it would be a huge mistake.

Stallings makes bonehead decisions in-game, I think that is pretty true. I think that our recruiting would take more of a hit than you might think if we lose him. I'm really quite impressed, not with his ability to draw big time recruits (only two, Drake and Jermaine Beal), but his ability to identify talent. Foster and Byars went from being rivals 3-stars to NCAA standouts. When you've only got a few all-americans out there and they are going to Duke and North Carolina, you have to be able to identify those players with a lot of potential who don't get as much publicity.

Stallings stumbled for two years between sweet 16 appearances because two guys who played well young (Mario Poor and Julian Terrible) failed to improve and in fact digressed. But the other talents he's gotten, and I'm not just talking about Foster and the transfers Byars and Neltner, but also Alex Gordon and Dan Cage. They've been key cogs in this incredible season, very underrated players.

In short, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Stallings has done a good job this year, and I say that we should do what we can to keep him.

Douglas James said...

Also I would like to point out that we have signed the #9 Point gaurd in the country for next year as well as a big man (FINALLY!!!) from Australia (Next Andrew Bogut?) so next year is looking good. I think Nelter will better understand his position next year. Shan will hopefully take control like Freije and Derrick before him and (I can't believe i'm saying this) but Red running the point i think we can be real solid next year.

Fitz said...

Honestly, I don't know that it's really up to Vandy at this point. If Iowa wants Stallings, and he wants to go there (Big 10 guy, I guess), I don't know if we can stop him. We can probably match an Iowa offer, but I'm not sure I see us out-bidding them, and it's really up to him at that point.
So, the question becomes...

Iowa or Vanderbilt?

At this point I don't see a big difference between the programs. Very similar, in fact. With us coming off of a Sweet 16 (or further), maybe that would push us over the top in his mind. Is Iowa really a step up?

I don't know if he's the best coach for us or not, but I do know that I would hate to see Bell or Ogilvy decommit if he left, which is possible.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Stallings the second highest paid person at Vandy after Chancellor Gee? I could see him more at Iowa than Kentucky, if he leaves at all.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Stallings is not going to Kentucky. But Andy Katz on ESPN Radio this morning said Kevin is on a short list at Michigan.

I think Stanimal's point Stallings ability not only to recruit talent, but to locate it, is something not to be discounted, and honestly, something I never thought of.

Also, if I am not mistaken, Stallings is the third highest paid official at Vanderbilt. The first being the Vice Chancellor in charge of managing to endowment and the second being Chancellor Gee. If we were professional at all, we would look that up...

Seamus O'Toole said...

Stallings is a good recruiter. If he was a better "relationships" guy he could be a "great" recruiter.

I'm not putting my hat in on one side or the other yet (ah, the beauty of the ivory tower), but let's not get too crazy - remember that the same guy who recruited Shan and George also recruited Ted and Alan; remember that the guy who has taken our team (not single-handedly, but not a chance without him) to where we are this year essentially fell into Stallings' lap - Byars was not "recruited" to transfer from UVA (Neltner slightly less of a "look what I found" than Byars, but still an unexpected gift)...

I give him a lot of credit for things like stealing Beal (4-star) away from the Big XII and getting Foster over LSU and Georgetown, but not ready to crown Coach Kevin king of the shmooze just yet.