Thursday, April 5, 2007

Donovan Staying at Florida...

With Billy Donovan telling Kentucky "thanks, but no thanks," does this mean that Noah, Horford, and Green might also stay? Given Brewer's family situation, and the fact that many have him going as high as 3 in this June's NBA Draft, I think he will forgo his senior year. But the others, given that they are all the sons of former professional athletes, could very well stay.

What about Kentucky? Who is their next choice? Tom Crean? Travis Ford? Bill Self? If it's Bill Self, does that mean Stallings is back in play?

With openings at Kentucky and Arkansas, this could be a very interesting off-season in the SEC.

16 comments:

Stanimal said...

Told ya Bobby

Bobby O'Shea said...

You did indeed

Douglas James said...

Why would anyone want the Kentucky job? Anyone who KY will be interested in will be someone who is winning at a high level somewhere else with about a million % less drama. Supposedly the last 2 McDonals All-Americans who are undecided want to go somewhere together and are looking at who KY brings in to replace the Tubster.

Dr. MZ said...

I heard Matt Doherty's available...

Seamus O'Toole said...

They're talking about Rick Barnes - I'm not sure exactly what I think about this choice, but you gotta hand it to the guy, he's won everywhere he's been, and in most cases turned the program from bad to good. He can definitely recruit, too, although I'm not sure how great you have to be at that when the jersey says "Kentucky."

Seamus O'Toole said...

On another note, you gotta love this turn of events if you're an SEC fan (like me, for example). The quality of coaches hasn't been diluted by having the best conference coach leave for what has historically been the best basketball school in the conference.

Kentucky will get a great coach from somewhere, and Florida will continue to be good (until Donovan takes the Miami Heat job, but that's another story). It's good for the conference if Florida doesn't all of a sudden tank after this season.

Bobby O'Shea said...

While I agree with Seamus that it's a great time to be an SEC home, I think Rick Barnes is not the direction Kentucky should go in. Tubby won 1 national title at UK (with Pitino's players), made the tournament in each of his 10 years in Lexington, with a record of 263-83 (.760 winning percentage). Kentucky doesn't want wins, they want banners.

Enter Rick Barnes. Barnes is 216-86 in 9 seasons at Texas (.715) and made the NCAA tournament in all 9 years. The best finish a Barnes team has ever had in the NCAA tournament is one Elite Eight. Kentucky fans are not satisfied with winning and making the tournament.

I don't know who is out there, with the exception of Billy Donovan and Rick Pitino, who has the resume that will satisfy the Wildcat faithful. If I'm Kentucky, I think it's time to build the program for the future. I would give serious consideration to Travis Ford. He has won at Eastern Tennessee and UMass and is a Wildcat in the truest sense. Rick Barnes is a very good coach, but to me, is a band-aid solution for a team and fan-base that is looking for more. Perhaps its time to hand the reins over to a new generation of Wildcats.

chad said...

I heard Pat Riley was taking the UK job.

Doug - why would anyone want the Kentucky job? Money, power, prestige. UK will pay more than just about anyone to get who they want,the coach at UK is more powerful than the governor (if he brings home banners), and despite recent failures, the head coaching job at UK is historically one of the most prestigious jobs in sports.

Seamus O'Toole said...

One upside to Ford is UK probably wouldn't have to pay an outrageous sum for him (not that they aren't willing to).

Downside to Ford: skeletons. Scandal has been following this guy around. Rumors that came out of Campbelsville were not pretty. Lots of talk about paying players at EKU and UMass (none of which I am in a position to confirm or deny, sadly enough for our vast readership). He's also built winning seasons off of JuCos and transfers, a proven recipe for short-term success and nothing more. Just seems like there are a lot of unknowns with Ford that may come back to bite you in the rear, and that's the last thing a high-profile program like Kentucky needs.

The only other question I have is why do so many UK fans seem to want a former UK player and/or Pitino-style coach (like Ford)? Is it just nostalgia? What's the advantage of a Ford over a Gillispie, for example? If UK hired somebody like that and it didn't work out, isn't Ford the kind of coach you could get 5 or 6 years from now if he proves he's a clean operator who can do it over the long haul?

Seamus O'Toole said...

If it were my money, I'd go for Tom Izzo. This guy gets it done and players love him. He also isn't given nearly enough credit for making Tommy Amaker's recruiting task at Michigan a living hell. Izzo's my guy if I'm a Cat.

Bobby O'Shea said...

Izzo is a great call. One of the best coaches in all of college basketball, and doesn't get nearly the recognition he deserves.

Stanimal said...

Belein will thank his lucky stars if the Cats remove Izzo from Michigan State. Talk about making your new job that much easier.

Seamus O'Toole said...

Fun facts about Izzo:

-His 4 Final Four appearances in the past 8 years are more than any other team during that period.

-Since he became head coach, every player that he has recruited and who completed their full eligibility has gone to the Final Four.

-82% of his players who've completed their eligibility requirements have left MSU with a degree

At the end of the day, UK wants a national championship, and he's proven he can do it.

Seamus O'Toole said...

I forgot 4 national coach of the year awards

Douglas James said...

Not to mention Izzo was temporarily rumored to be Michigan State's next FOOTBALL coach if i remember correctly. What an animal (but not quite a "Stanimal")

Bobby O'Shea said...

If Bill Self and the Kansas AD don't get along (as has been widely reported), why not go after him? I personally think Self is a better coach than Rick Barnes (not really sure why) and might be more eager for an "out."

I have been told that the Tom Izzo suggestion is insane, and that UK fans will welcome JuCo players with open arms. Perhaps that is true on both counts, but I not convinced. Chad can correct me on this one, but I always, frankly, saw UK fans as kind of snobby about the types of players they wanted (wasn't a big complaint among wildcat fans the lack of high school All-Americans?). That coupled with the fact that the biggest job Ford has held is at UMass, makes me suspicious that despite being a "Pitino guy," the Wildcat faithful will be happy with Ford. Now, the only people talking about Ford right now is the blogosphere, so this is all conjecture. But for me, Self would be the right direction for Kentucky to go in.