Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Coaching candidates

Regardless of what Gene says in his press conference today, I think this search will be fairly quick. I think Gene knows who he wants to speak with and will move quickly to hire Al's replacement. Still, plenty of names will be bandied about. Here is my rundown.


Skinner's Coaching Tree

Given that style of play and recruiting are issues in Gene's mind, going to one of Skinner's former assistants might not provide the change Gene is looking for. On the flipside though, Gene has worked with all of these guys and knows what he is getting. Two years ago, one of these guys would have gotten the job. Now, I am not sure.


Bill Coen:
Head Coach, Northeastern
Pros: Long-time BC assistant. Knows how to recruit at the school. Runs the same offense as Al. Credited with recruiting many of the big names of the Skinner era. Would be relatively seamless. Would be willing to be the face of the program in ways Skinner wasn't.
Cons: Decent but not spectacular record at Northeastern. Too similar to Skinner.
Bottom Line: He would be my pick and he was the one I thought would get the job. Talking to others the past few days it seems like Gene wants more of a clean break from Skinner. He will have to wow in the interview and explain how things will be different with him in charge.

Ed Cooley:
Head Coach, Fairfield
Pros: Like Coen, Cooley was a long-time BC assistant. Knows how to recruit at the school and also runs the same offense as Al. He is much more passionate than the other assistants and might provide the emotional spark Gene is looking for.
Bottom Line: The same issues that face Coen, face Cooley -- he would be viewed as a Skinner clone. I like Ed and think he would do a good job. I don't think he will get the job though.

Tim O'Shea:
Head Coach, Bryant
Pros: Former Skinner assistant. Boston College grad. Well regarded within BC and in the basketball community. Established head coach. BC would be his dream job.
Cons: The disasterus rebuilding job at Bryant has probably killed any chance of O'Shea getting the job now.
Bottom Line: Timing is everything. If O'Shea had stayed in Ohio, he would be the front runner right now. There is no way Gene can hire him after what happened this season at Bryant.

Pat Duquette: Associate Head Coach
Pros: Well regarded. Was considered a rising talent. Working relationship with Gene. Would be a seamless transition.
Cons: No head coaching experience. No experience outside of working for Skinner. Too closely tied to Al.
Bottom Line: Pat would have benefited from a lower level head coaching job. He may get interviewed but he is not getting this job right now.

A Lister

People will want the following guys, but I don't see them coming to BC under any circumstance.


Bruce Pearl: Head Coach, Tennessee
Pros:
Boston College grad. Massachusetts native. Huge personality. Willing to be the face of the program and face of the school. Would sell BC high and low. Great results at every coaching stop.
Cons: Probably too much of a wild card for Leahy and Gene's taste.
Bottom Line: Bruce Pearl is not coming to BC. Tennessee could match any offer. His son is on the team there. He is king of Knoxville and can recruit whomever he wants.

Jamie Dixon: Head Coach, Pitt
Pros: Established coach. Good recruiter. Good developer of talent. Likable and willing to sell the program.
Cons: No ties to BC. No ties to the ACC.
Bottom Line: If Gene were smart he would play up Pitt's uncertain future with the pending Big Ten-Big East split. But Dixon has options. If he wants to leave Pitt, he can get another good job somewhere else.


The rising mid-major stars

This group seems to be where Gene is headed. I don't love the idea. Plenty of midmajor coaches have not transitioned to the next level. But, who knows, we may find the next super star.


Steve Donahue: Head Coach, Cornell
Pros: Mature, successful head coach. Has recruited at school with academic restrictions. Good teacher of basketball.
Cons: No ties to BC. No ties to the ACC. Has only coached in the Ivy League. Has never had to recruit elite players.
Bottom Line: I like Donahue, but we have no idea if or how he will make the transition to the next level. His mentor, Fran Dunphy, was able to do it, but going from Penn to Temple is very different than going from Cornell to BC.

Tommy Amaker: Head Coach, Harvard
Pros: Already in Boston. Knows the ACC. Aggressive recruiter.
Cons: Couldn't build a consistent winner at Michigan. Never did much at Seton Hall.
Bottom Line: I can't believe his name is being floated. How can you fire a guy like Al and replace him with Tommy Amaker? Amaker has accomplished very little and has gotten by on his Duke pedigree. He's had two shots at the big time and doesn't deserve a third. In my opinion he would be a disaster at BC.

Chris Mooney: Head Coach, Richmond
Pros: Young aggressive head coach. Considered a rising star. Has recruited with restriction at Air Force.
Cons: Although it is trending up, only one great season at Richmond. We would be exchanging the flex for the Princeton offense. No ties to BC.
Bottom Line: Mooney is intriguing in part because he is such a blank slate. He has the biggest upside but also could fall flat on his face.

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65 Comments:

At 10:36 AM, Blogger TBSBC03 said...

I can think of an A-lister who might find the idea of our high academic standards and presence in the ACC appealing. He also has the most wins in college basketball history.

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Sports Compound said...

Would a Skinner Tree Candidate want to come to BC after Skinner was shown the door?
Do you really think a BCS Conference Head Coach would ever leave their current position for BC?
Would Donahue be able to ride the Senior Class from Cornell into a top conference HC Job?

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger JLC said...

If he doesn't get hired at St. John's, why not Jim Baron from URI? He has really moved that program and, despite both coaching at URI, Baron doesn't have strong ties to Skinner.

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Does BC really have high academic standards for hoops? I think that is a myth. BC's basketball graduation rate (70%) is in the middle of the pack for all ACC teams and is not outstanding like the football graduation rate.

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger b said...

As for A-listers, there's really no way Pearl leaves such a cushy job with impressive, new facilities, even if his alma mater is calling (but they should reach out, regardless, of course), but I could see Dixon leaving with the impending Big East mess. I have no idea how he would do here though.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger TBSBC03 said...

"Asked about the reasons for the split, DeFilippo said "people weren't willing to go to the arena. There's a lot of reasons.'"

I think that's pretty telling, and also pretty much rules out all the Skinner tree guys.

 
At 11:01 AM, Blogger eagle1331 said...

TSBC where'd you get that quote from?

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Raj said...

Stay away from Amaker. The benefit of hiring Donohue, we could atleast beat harvard?

Which coach named would put people in the seats?
Bruce Pearl, Cooley, that's probably it. Dixon not very appealing from a casual fan perspective, but like what he's done at Pitt.

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger TBSBC03 said...

The ESPN piece has been updated with some quotes:

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/ncb/news/story?id=5039956

 
At 11:05 AM, Blogger Groundhog said...

Defense be damned, at last its time for high-octane, high-scoring offense in Chestnut Hill. Have we interviewed the coach of the Harlem Globetrotters yet?

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

I don't know if that quote it accurate, but that's why I think GDF is on much stronger ground with this decision than with Jags. With Jags, GDF, for better or worse, disrupted what had to that point been a very successful relationship. With Skinner, though he logged 13 strong seasons, it's undeniable the program was on a decline. And Skinner's temperment management style (staid, uninspired) confounds the issue.

To tell you the truth, I think GDF saw the writing on the wall, saw empty seats, and made the decision to move to a younger, more passionate coach. Can't fault GDF for holding a high standard for the program.

I'm just unsettled by the fact none of the coaching names really jump out to me as ideal (and practical) replacements.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Opinionater said...

NO, NO, and NO to "Skinner Tree Coaches", to T. Amaker, to Bruce Pearl!

YES, to Cornell's Steve Donahue or similar "on the way up" Coach who promises not to implement the flex offense, and who will hit the pavement and recruit, recruit, recruit!

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Ry said...

in calculating graduation rates, players who transfer out are counted against the rate. so for hoop, where we have at least one kid transfer every year out of a smaller class, it doesn't surprise me that we are low.

BC is one of the few schools where the Admissions Director still has the final say on players being admitted. other schools just give the coach a rubber stamp. not saying they are rhodes scholars, but a coach can't just get all of his guys in no matter what...which is how we wound up with skinner in the first place

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger Matt said...

can we have a 'you must host a midnight madness to kick off the season' clause in the contract of whoever the new coach is?

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

In terms of evaluating candidates, capacity as a recuiter is by far the most valuable attribute in my mind for these potential coaches. In terms of ranking traits:

1. Recruiting Ability (passion, track record, ties to AAU coaches, etc.)
2. Style of Play (something more amenable to the casual fan, especially if GDF is serious about attendence)
3. Recent W/L success
4. Allegiance to School (personal ties, etc. for longevity of coaching stint)
5. Youth

Overrated traits: ties to Skinner (this is what we DONT want) and having coached/played at a BCS school previously (i.e. Amaker)

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Danny Boy said...

Who do I make the check out so that we can bring Bruce a wheelbarrow full of money?

Bill, why not look at some other mid-major coaches who are a bit more established than Richmond's? Why not look at the likes of Xavier or Butler's coaches? Hell, even the likes of St. Marys could work. They have all proven over multiple years that they can produce results from the mid major level.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

I agree. The names floated by major news sources seem very, provincial.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Eagles85 said...

Anyone have a line for the press conference? I have a feeling WEEI won't be broadcasting it.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

I am both very intrigued and extremely concerned about all this. I'm not excited at all about any of the names being floated, which has been my fear all along...if GDF screws this hire up, BC could easily end up in a tailspin like Virginia and turn into the conference doormat. BC, after all, is no stranger to the bottom, spending many years there under JOB and a few early years there under Skinner. Rather than make a knee jerk hire of the best available mid major, which is fraught with risk, I'd like to see them poach a top assistant from a big-time program, as the lack of HC experience would be offset by pedigree and the ACC schedule in my view. Such a hire would probably come with great recruiting. I don't follow who the great assistant coach recruiters are, but I'm sure UConn, Duke, UNC each has one...why not give Chris Collins or Wojo a shot? I wouldn't mind seeing the B-list recruits for Duke coming to BC instead. Or perhaps the McDonald's All-Americas who transfer out of Duke every year finding a friendly face at a conference rival. In my view, that would be a lot more interesting than seeing if a Steve Donahue can transition to a power conference and scholarship athletes.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger John said...

Good points, Harry. Let's go, Gene - we're counting on you.

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Goberry said...

Matt,

The no March Madness is a Fr. Leahy imposed rule. He was quoted a year after Skinner was hired (when it was allowed because BC only had 6 scholarship players and had tryouts) that students should be studying or in bed at midnight.
No reason to think he has softened his position since.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Wiggle said...

BC's AD has done a poor job in making head coach selections. Look to the ND game to see what a good head coach pick can do.

I expect the AD to continue to do a poor job. He wants to be the boss so any coach who has spark and independence has no chance. It's too bad but I expect he will go for someone who treats him with the most respect, like he did with the football coach.

I like BC football and basketball. The football is going down hill fast; I only hope the basketball does not follow.

As for Skinner, I never really thought he bought into BC. Don't take me wrong, he was a good coach but never felt strong ties to the school. It's a good change. Let's hope it is for the better and not change for change sakes.

Go BC!!!

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger TBSBC03 said...

I think a lot of your points are valid, Harry, but totally disagree on Collins or Wojo. Amaker showed at Michigan that sitting next to Coach K doesn't necessarily mean that there's some sort of coaching osmosis going on.

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Thanks Goberry, I always wondered about that.

Wiggles, what makes you say football is going downhill fast? I am excited about this season.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

right-o harry.

GDF has an immense capacity to hurry this process and screw it up.

all the recruits for next year are signed, so there is no huge hurry.

Look at when GDF hurried after Jags, we got Spaz -- servicable, but not exciting.

Donahue -- 10 years at Cornell, one good year, not the greatest catch.

You're right, harry, you're right, let's get Coach K's right hand guy. or Roy Williams' top assistant. That sounds gooood

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

Disagree with every point Wiggle just made.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Jim said...

There's a key name left off your list Bill; he recently announced his candidacy via twitter.

JaredDudley619:
On a second note I will be putting my resume in for the @BostonCollege job lol..I know I want get it but I will be the first NBA player to

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Can't paint with that broad a brush, TBSB. Roy Williams sat next to Dean Smith. Tom Izzo sat next to Jud Heathcote. Billy Donovan sat next to Rick Pitino. More recently, Jamie Dixon sat next to Ben Howland, and Matt Painter sat next to Gene Keady. Amaker by the way did a pretty good job at Seton Hall before stumbling at Michigan - he had some unbelievable recruiting classes, which is in part how he got the job at UM.

There is value in learning a proven system, learning the recruiting trail for the caliber of athletes that thrive in that system and at that level, and gaining credibility. I would rather see BC go this route, because an A-Lister is not coming, and I think a coach coming out of the mid major ranks would probably fail or, if successful, jump to a bigger job as soon as one came along, a la Jags.

 
At 12:51 PM, Blogger TBSBC03 said...

I'm not saying don't go after any big-time assistant. I'm saying that the track record of former players/assistants for Coach K is as checkered as going the mid-major route. Brey's been solid but unremarkable, Amaker wildly inconsistent, Snyder and Bender were busts, Capel's promising and the jury's out on Dawkins. That sounds to be the same sort of range you'd get with any mid-major hire, or any hire for that matter.

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger JDK said...

From WEEI the press release from GDF before the conference:

“Coach Al Skinner and I met last Wednesday and agreed it would be mutually beneficial for us to part ways. In our meeting, we discussed our philosophical differences and our concern for the future of our basketball program.

“Coach Skinner then asked if we could delay the announcement so that he could pursue other opportunities. Out of respect for coach Skinner, Boston college agreed. Other institutions were made aware we would be parting ways from the beginning of the process.

“All of us at Boston College have great respect for coach Skinner. We are grateful for his achievements over the course of the past 13 years. We wish Al, Donna and their family nothing but the best.

“Our goal is to find a coach who shares our vision for Boston College basketball. We will begin a national search for a replacement immediately.”

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/this-just-in/218226/defilippo-explains-skinner-departure

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Erik said...

I want a transcript of this press conference.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Ry said...

the difference harry, is that of the guys you named only donovan wound up sitting next to the Big Guys because they played for them...and even then it was only for a year.

Collins and Wojo are only there because they played for K and have nothing better to do. If we hired a one of those schmucks i would turn in my superfan shirt. Why don't we throw Paulus in the mix too, just to make sure we have enough annoying little white dudes running around?

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

By the way, speaking of mid major coaches who have transitioned to power conferences, who have succeeded and who have failed? The recent failures that jump out at me are Todd Lickliter, Bobby Gonzalez, Tim Welsh, and Fran Franschilla. The only successes that come to mind are Jay Wright and Jeff Capel. This underscores my point...I think it is dangerous hiring mid majors, it's really a different animal. I think the assistants from big programs are the way to go (as they are in football). A lot less risk, and pretty much the same upside.

And TBSB, I thought of another assistant coach who took over a major program and did pretty well for himself - Tom Crean at Marquette (after serving as an assistant to Tom Izzo). Unbelievable recruiter, took a moribund and irrelevant Marquette team to a Final Four in just four seasons (with Dwayne Wade). The more I think about it, the more I think this is the way to go for a program like BC.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

These names are being floated by ATL and I am sure they were just a first glance. As we have seen in past hiring decisions, names that none of us would have thought about (Jags) will be on Gene's radar screen. Further, I have to think that he had a nice list prepared before he made the decision to fire Skinner.

This is the absolute right decision for the program. Skinner should be applauded for bringing the team up from disaster but the bottom line is local alumni were not buying into the team and were not showing up for games. If you are in the ACC and can't fill a glorified high school arena, it is time for a change.

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

@TBSB and RY, I'm not saying hire Collins or Wojo, I'm just saying I like the blueprint over hiring a mid major coach. I just don't follow enough names of top assistants, but I think the criteria for me would be (1) from a successful program, (2) on the east coast, (3) mentored by a top coach and (4) possessing proven recruiting skills. I'm sure it would not be difficult to go through the Big East and ACC and identify 3 or 4 guys who fit that description, and have them in for intereviews. I'd start my search with them. Wouldn't you all like a Tom Crean at BC? I would.

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger TBSBC03 said...

Again, you're listing a bunch of guys who coached for other coaches. I have no problem with going after a big-time assistant. I would just steer more towards someone like Joe Dooley at KU or Mark Montgomery at MSU instead of the towel boys at Duke.

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger Ry said...

harry, i see your point, and i do agree....i;d like a guy like Crean i just get nervous when i start hearing Duke names.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Dan said...

I'm down for Dudley.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Fair enough, I don't know enough about the Dukies or any other assistants, but I'm sure GDF has the means to perform the requisite due diligence. However, I would try to stay within the ACC if possible, and stay on the East Coast. As a matter of fact, if I were GDF, I would reach out to the Marquette AD who hired Crean. Marquette before Crean was very similar to BC, a small Jesuit school with some ancient hoops history (NC in '77 I believe), but had done nothing for nearly 30 years. Good school, like BC, serious academic restictions, like BC. They went with a top assistant who knew the Midwest recruiting trail inside and out. Paid off huge for them, they are still a winner even though Crean moved on to Indiana.

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger cherry ghost said...

collins & wojo will not leave duke for BC.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

I am friends with a kid who played at Harvard for Amaker. He said he's a brilliant recruiter (told a story that his first job at Duke was "sign Grant Hill" so Amaker slept in a car outside Hill's house for 4 days and on the 5th day Grant's dad came outside and said "we'll sign with Coach K, please go home") but a horrid in-game coach. Said his coaching gaffes routinely cost them games. May be a biased review but take it for what its worth, seemed to be the case at Seton Hall and Michigan as well. I'm opposed to the Duke guys.

I also don't see the need for "Skinner" guys. Skinner is gone, we don't need anymore of that, thank you. No more FLEX, please for the love of God.

How much was Skinner getting paid? The Richmond coach is intriguing. Michigan State has been to two straight Final 4s, who is Izzo's top guy?

Butler has made 2 Sweet 16s and a Final 4 in the last 3 years. Skinner made 1 Sweet 16 in 10 years. How much would it take to get that Butler coach to BC?

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

A little bit of a non sequiter, but there is another aspect of this transition that is eerily similar to TOB's departure in my view. When TOB fled to NC State he left the football cupboard pretty full, with something like 17 returning starters. Whoever the new hoops coach is, he will similarly inherit 5 returning starters, plus another 4-5 rotation guys. Yes, these are the same guys who this season exhibited poor effort, low basketball IQ, etc., but maybe all that had something to do with the writing being on the wall, maybe these guys checked out mentally, knowing Skinner's days were numbered. It certainly looked that way to me at times. What I'm saying is that this could be a big opportunity for the right guy to step in and make an immediate conference impact, like Jags did with TOB's leftovers.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

@ Cherry Ghost, Collins and Wojo would leave Duke for Coastal Carolina if it meant a head job.

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

Chris Gasper at the Boston Globe has the usual Globe stance on anything BC-related: "know your place...".

Past record is no indication of future success: Skinner had the program on a slow downward slide, end of story. Pretty weak arguement by Glasper if you ask me.

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Erik said...

This Gasper article and the comments from the general public infuriate me. I know I need to not let it do that.

I think most of us agree with all the positives for Al, but then the stupid Big East comments start flying (the same people who'd tell us the Big East is better and we'd win less), the people who would have made fun of Skinner's attitude & win-loss record now use Skinner as a tool to dig at BC. It's just an endless web of idiocy.

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Gasper is a BU guy. 'nuff said. and he is a dope. He's a guy who needs to write something to justify his pay check, so he took the obvious route and tapped into some regional BC animosity. Just a dumb, dumb, stupid article.

There is UConn grad writing similar crap about Skinner termination at Bleacher Report.

Having gone to BC so many years ago, I still do not get the level of animosity toward BC that I find in New England That animosity is much more irksome that the indifference the rest of the county displays toward BC.

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Galvin said...

I agree that there seems to always be extra bit of hatred for BC from the general public, particularly New Englanders. I remember when I was attending the Beanpot in 2002 or 2003 there were several shirts for sale: 1) "BU Sucks", 2) "Harvard Sucks", 3) "Northeastern Sucks" and 4) "I Hate Boston College". It pissed me off then and it still pisses me off now. I also get unwarranted hostilities from work colleagues who went to Rutgers and UConn (Big East loathing). Bah, I hate them all. Let's go get Chris Mooney.

 
At 5:56 PM, Blogger Jimbo Slice said...

BRUCE PEARL PHONE-A-THON
http://eagleoutsider.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4284

 
At 6:05 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

Beyond the fact Gasper is a BU guy just reiterating the same old anti-BC credo, what bothers me with his thesis is that it is simply incorrect. What got Skinner fired was not his performance of the past 10 years, it was the performance of the least three, and how the downward trend of the past three years projects forward.

If it appeared as if we'd be in the tournament 7 of the next 10 years like we were the past decade, Skinner would still be coach. But the Skinner of 2001 is not the Skinner of 2010, and I think that is the point GDF made with the coaching move, and is a point lost on Gasper.

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger Ry said...

would you have said in 2000 that it looked like we were going to the tourney for 7 of the next 10?

my biggest fear here is that we are taking for granted the consistency that Al gave us over the course of his tenure. you can't find that kind of consistency at a school in our competitive tier. what skinner was able to do was find a way to consistently compete with the kinds of players he was able to get at BC. yeah, he didn't really reach for guys often enough for some peoples liking, i get that. and yeah, he was a frustrating in-game coach. but at the end of the day, his track record is going to be tough to beat.

we are deluding ourselves as BC fans if we think that there is really something to sell about BC to top-flight recruits. the best thing we have to offer is the competition of the acc. we don't have the facilities, we don't have the fan-base, we don't have the weather that other schools have. coaching may be a factor carrying more weight than at other places for kids picking their destination.

i hope my fears are unfounded...i hope we get a guy who can reenergize the program and can win consistently. we need the basketball equivalent of a jags guy more than a spaz guy at this point. and the way this whole thing went, again, i have no confidence in GDF's ability to not fuck the situation up. as much as i felt that Al deserved another season after all he had done, i am ok with the decision to fire him in order to change direction. but now with the conflicting reports about last wednesday's meeting, it seems as though GDF may have gotten heavy-handed again. the firing looks reactionary and short-sighted. there is no dynamic, rising-star type of guy who is really going to get fans worked up. if we were going to cut the guy loose with three years left, i would hope that we have a good sense of who the next in line is going to be....and that remains to be seen i guess.

 
At 7:13 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

@ RY...why does the coach need to "sell" top-flight recruits. as far as i know, skinner never did that. he succeeded with under-the-radar guys like smith, dudley, bell, etc. i find it hard to call a firing that's been in the making for 3 years "short-sighted." we were horrid this year, and sub-par the 2 before that. skinner seemed slow to make adjustments in the early 00s, by the end it was like waiting for paint to dry. there were seemingly no adjustments, no foresight, a boring system to watch, and no inbounds plays.

butler has made 2 sweet 16s and a final 4 in the last 3 yrs. they haven't "sold" any big-time recruits to do that. college basketball, more so than football in my opinion, is all about the coach and the system. i'm not exactly sold that Gene D will make the right move, but i think a move needed to be made and i don't fault him for trying and getting rid of skinner.

we'll see if the new coach brings the same consistency to BC that skinner did the 00s, and obviously skinner did a tremendous job in turning this program around. that being said, a good coach with a system that works can get you into the tournament 7 out of 10 years. true, skinner did that, but clearly his teams were falling off. this team mentally checked out a long, long time ago.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

I agree Ry, and I also agree with a lot of what Gasper says. The BC job is not a great job to begin with, and BC folks are a little delusional about that. ACC membership is basically the only selling point, and that is getting more and more marginalized by the perception (reality?) that GDF is a micromanaging, big ego a-hole, with an itchy trigger finger on successful coaches unable to turn the moribund BC fanbase into the second coming of the Camreron Crazies.

While it is exciting to get some new blood in here and get away from the infernally boring flex, it is a bad day for the BC big picture in my view. I think any decent coach will pause before coming here to work under GDF, which means we will probably end up with a lesser coach. Or GDF will F up the hire like he did with Jags, a capetbagger who had "Midwest" and "NFL" practically written all over his forehead, yet charmed GDF into thinking he would be a BC guy for life (or at least his 5 year contract).

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

Wow, I have not seen this much passion and interest in BC basketball in years!

Brighter days are coming!

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger Harry Collins said...

Still think Bruce Pearl is a little bit of a pipe dream for BC, but it's comforting to know that Tennessee blogsites are discussing it with a little concern...

http://tnhunting.com/cumberlands/2010/03/pearl-to-bc-speculation-revs-up/

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger CT said...

Everybody's huffing and puffing. Truth of the matter is, we have no idea YET whether this is a bad day for the program or not. So much nostalgia for an every-other-year NCAA tourney coach as if that's the ceiling. Yes, it could be worse. But it can also be much better. Many mid-major coaches were assistants to top-flight coaches so I'm not convinced there's an argument to be made in favor of one or the other. And Jags at least had coached at BC before, so I always understood GDF's frustration about the timing, coming as it did right after TOB's wandering eyes.

The ACC is a huge selling point. The weather doesn't matter. Not in bball. More importantly, it's money and opportunity. As I've said before, college bball is about the head coach. Calipari can have the SAT answers in his pocket and take the test himself for the next phenom, get caught, have two vacated Final Four teams on his resume and still have the top position at the most prestigious college bball school in the country. He's also the best recruiter to never coach a free throw in his life. But there's a happy medium in there and I don't think it'll be difficult to find.

The foundation has been laid and the potential is there--at least BC in bball circles still has some cache with the NCAA trips. There's little pressure and alot of upside--he'd be competing against one Sweet 16 in 13 yrs. What energized us about Jags? It was the attitude "hey, they have to play US." This is very do-able and I think the next guy would be well served by an assertive (public) attitude.

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger Dan said...

You know who the happiest person in the BC community is today?

Frank Spaziani

No knock on Al, but between hockey's recent success and the Skinner story, he has been able to get through 2 weeks of spring practice with barely a peep and so far (knock on wood) no football controversies. With the Frozen Four and the coaching search, he should be able to quietly work on the team in the weeks leading up to the Spring Game.

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Nebby A said...

Gasper is a clown...can't believe this guy gets paid to write complete trash...this is the same guy that wrote a whole article a few weeks ago debating whether getting the Big Three and bringing banner #17 to Boston was better than drafting Kevin Durant. Dumb debate in the first place, but also completely flawed since the Celtics never had a shot at Durant since he was drafted before the C's picked. Really Gasper was just trying to throw Ainge under the bus after a bad C's loss and after Durant dropped another 40pts. Hope the Globe realizes what a moron this guy is soon.

Now that my Gasper rant is out of the way...I have to say that I am surprisingly happy with Skinner's departure. I have always been a Skinner supporter, but after this season it was clear that a change was needed. Gene made the tough call now let's hope he can follow it up with a good hire.

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger CT said...

Actual quotes from the AP story on the "mutual parting of ways:"

"Al Skinner is out as the Boston College basketball coach, ending a 13-year tenure in which he led the Eagles to more wins than anyone else in school history — many of them in front of lackluster home crowds who never embraced the program."

"He said he was looking for a more exciting style of play than the banging, Big East style that Skinner favored and that DeFilippo blamed for half-empty arenas that were as much a hallmark of BC basketball as Doug Flutie playing drums in the pep band."

"Attendance has declined for four straight years at the 8,606-seat Conte Forum, and though Skinner would play lunchtime pickup games on campus he was not otherwise "engaged in the BC community" or a person the school could build a marketing campaign around."

"BC reached the NCAA tournament seven times in the next nine years despite an uncomfortable move to the ACC that was made with football in mind."

The truth hurts.

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Ry said...

Skinner was obviously not into the PR angle of his job...but let's not act like BC has this tremendous rainmaking publicity machine just waiting to plug an eager coach into it.

I submit that students would be more likely to attend if we had a more charismatic coach and style of play. However, I think they would also show up more if they had any idea there is a game going on in the first place. BC Sports Marketing has always done an abysmal job of generating turnout for anything but the most high profile games. Pointing to that repeatedly, as that a-hole GDF did during the presser, as one of the primary reasons for axing Al is ridiculous. As if the jackoff has no other means of getting people to show besides having a coach who jumps around on the sidelines like Yosemite Sam shooting his sixers into the ground.

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

as a bc grad who now goes to duke, i really want to see what wojo can do as a head coach. he's young, firey, and has spent about 15 years with coach k. i talked to lance thomas about him and he said that every player loves the guy.

i don't know why the bc head job wouldn't be appealing to a top assistant. powerhouse programs aren't going to hand the reigns over to a guy with no experience. bc is in the acc, in an untapped recruiting hotbed, and in a city that would be great to live in.

as for all of this debate concerning the recent success of duke assistants to take head jobs, why is everyone saying that capel is a success story (yes, i know this cuts against wojo)? He had one good year. WITH BLAKE GRIFFIN! This year, he had a team with multiple mcdonald's all americans, a guy who people thought would be in the mix for player of the year before the season started, and he guided ou to a 13-18 (4-12 in conference) record including 9 straight losses to end the year.

 
At 11:21 PM, Blogger eaglephile said...

I would love to see Wojo. What's wrong with having a coach who built his reputation by being tough-nosed, smart basketball player who was underestimated and overperformed throughout the years? Especially when that coach is someone who recruits for a school like Duke has connections to recruiting pipelines.

Honestly I don't think that Wojo would accept an offer from Gene.

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Even Bob Ryan came out on PTI today and wholeheartedly agreed with the decision to fire Skinner. His basic argument was that his style was successful 10 years ago but not today and will never be going forward. Coen brought in virtually all his recruits over the years and now that he's gone, BC is on a rapid decline. Further, he said that Al's inflexibility and refusals to make any adjustments in his coaching style made it easy to let him go. If you have Ryan (who, even though he is a BC grad, slams BC and many of their personnel decisions), you must have done something right.

 
At 1:18 AM, Blogger Eagle in Somerville said...

What about Steve Alford?

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Steve Alford would be a good candidate. He brought New Mexico back from the heap in only a few years. Now they are the best in the MWC.

 

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