Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What I want in a BC Basketball Coach


There is no perfect choice for BC basketball. Whoever we hire is going to have a flaw or two or a serious gap in his resume that leaves us wondering if he can do the job. That doesn't stop me from day dreaming. I find myself thinking "what if BC had an unlimited budget?" and "what if every basketball coach in America wanted the job?". Of the current coaches, I think my best fit for BC would be Billy Donovan. Now I know Donovan's not taking the job, but let me explain why I would want him.

-- A proven coach, who is younger than 50. I would like BC's coach to be around for another 10 to 15 years. While Coach K and Boeheim are showing that you can still be great well into your 60s, they are the exception. But in any major sport, you are not going to find many coaches in their 40s who have as long and successful a track record as Donovan. And if a coach has won two national championships (like Donovan has at Florida), he is probably extremely selective when it comes to his next job.

-- A clean record. I am all for Bruce Pearl, but in an ideal world he wouldn't have a history with the NCAA. I don't think BC needs to be the Boy Scouts of college sports, but I also don't want to be at the forefront of the dirty coach debate. It is just an unnecessary distraction.

-- A great recruiter and great teacher. I don't really care who we recruit. I don't really care where they come from. What I do care about is that a coach is able to sell BC and find his type of players. And then once he has his players, he needs to create an environment where they improve every year.

-- Good game coach. What is so interesting about college basketball is how few coaches are great at managing wins and losses. So many games are won by talent, that a coach can get by without being a great game strategist. If anything I think game management has become Donahue's biggest issue. He's so focused on each possession that there is no flow to the game and sometimes his players cannot think for themselves.

-- A connection to Boston or a school like BC. It seems like this is too big an issue for many BC hires, but every college falls victim too it. You want someone who is "one of us" and wants to be there. While it can limit the candidate pool, I think it is still important. A coach is the face of the program and the school. He needs to understand the community he now represents and he needs to understand the pros and cons of the job.

While we can get parts of this list, we are not getting all of them. No one who has won multiple national titles is coming to BC. But that doesn't mean we can't get some of these things. But this is only what I want. Let me know in the comments section who and what you are looking for in our next basketball coach.

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24 Comments:

At 8:17 AM, Blogger 3xEagle said...

Richard Pitino would be a great candidate based on these citeria, but he would never take the BC job. Doubtful he would even talk to BC, however. He has a better job already.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger SaturdaysOnShea said...

The thing that kills me the most is when coaches start using excuses. We saw it with Spaz from the very beginning and now we see it with Donahue using the tough schedule and "if we only had Clifford" story lines.

The biggest thing I want in a coach is one who holds himself and his players accountable. This is why I find Daz so refreshing. It starts and ends with him.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Two Words: Tommy Amaker

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

I guess this must be silly season.

Donavan is not on BC's radar and BC is not on Donavan's radar.

Oh, yeah, his current salaray is $3,300,000 per year.

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger tpsreports said...

I hope BC takes a look at Tim O'Toole who is currently the head assistant at Stanford under Johnny Dawkins. He was HC at Fairfield U for about 8 years and had some success there (MAAC coach of the year). But he's a big program guy. Very close ties to Boeheim and Coach K and has worked for them both. In fact he was brought in to Syracuse last year when it looked like (heir apparent)Mike Hopkins might leave for USC until Enfield eventually got that job. Timmy is super high energy, defensive minded and the kids absolutely love him. Like Daz, it would be shot of adrenaline the program needs. BC ties too--His Dad is in the BC Hall of Fame--led the nation in assists one year.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger JDK said...

Always been a big Cooley fan. Not sure if he would leave Providence for BC (he's from Providence originally)

 
At 11:11 AM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

I like this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Howland

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Claver2010 said...

Doubt Cooley would leave for several reasons

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger JBQ said...

Interesting discussion. "A Man's reach should exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for". Dreams are what we make of them. Ever to Excel.

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

If you asked me before the season, I would say no chance Cooley would ever leave.

The administration really jerked him around this year with the status of the 2 freshman, by going over his head and not allowing them to play for something that was consensual and no police involvement was required (Brandon Austin has since left the program for Oregon). Once that wedge is driven between administration and staff, you have to think there is a possibility. With that being said, Im still not convinced he is a great X&O's coach, but its hard to tell as his very above average recruiting ability/classes have been injured or had other issues leaving PC very thin.

BTW, no thanks on Tim O'Toole, give me a break. Would have taken a Fairfield guy who was succesful (aka Cooley) but not one who got booted. I'm from Fairfield and this guy had no juice when he was here, at least Cooley made things interesting when he was at FU

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger Claver2010 said...

Cooley being a Providence guy, despite the issues he still has a decent amount of leeway in admissions that he probably wouldn't be afforded here, and I think his interpretation of the way the school treated Skinner would all be reasons he would say thanks but no thanks.

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Tommy Amaker is a complete joke. He's already failed at one high profile job. Great, he has had success in the Ivy league.....just like Donahue.

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Smitty said...

Mo Cassara. BC asst under Skin, got the screw job at Hofstra. 40 years old. Great prep school recruiter.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Claver - You note that Cooley at PC "has a decent amount of leeway in admissions that he probably wouldn't be afforded here"

Does BC Men's Hoops really have high standards for admissions?

In the Men's basketball Graduation Rate data, BC is in the middle of the ACC pack - comparable to Clemson and FSU. I know GSR is not the same as admission standards, but the GSR data suggest that BC hoops does not have noticeably higher academic standards for its basketball players that other no-standards schools.

What lack of leeway on admissions is present at BC for hoops? You seem to have some insight here.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger tpsreports said...

As much as I don't see Cooley wanting the BC job over PC I also don't see BC going back to Skinner well of Cooley, Coen or Cassara. Why not just re-hire Skinner?? And Cooley's tenure at Fairfield wasn't magical either. It's a tough place to recruit but he did a decent job. I like Amaker as a possibility though. Hard to knock his coaching ability when his Ivy league team has owned us as of late. Still the question remains--would he want the job or is he comfortable with where he is?

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

mod34b:

So long as John Mahoney is Director of Undergrad Admissions, there will be no leeway in recruiting basketball players. His lack of flexibility is legendary. Just ask the last coach who challenged him; i.e., JOB.

There are many who would say that Mr. Mahoney actually goes out of his way to make it harder to get hoops recruits in. I no he brooks no disagreement with his position, ever, by anyone.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

I also live in Fairfield and the idea of O'Toole as coach is laughable.

I don't think we have a chance w/ Cooley. Going forward it will be easier to win in the BE then the ACC, so for longevity sake he should stay put. Also why would he come to the place that screwed his mentor.

I would love to get Bruce Pearl, but I think he will get better offers.

I'm ok w/ Amaker, but he struggled in the Big 10 after showing promise @ SH. For those who are squeamish about Pearl, Tommy isn't squeaky clean either.

Truth is I'm not optimistic about this. Onahue and Gene have left us in a deep deep hole in a brutally difficult league. I think Bates will be hard pressed to get someone decent. It's been 3 years since my team has had a meaningful game to play in Feb. and it looks like that could be the case for a while longer. In the mean time I'm not getting any younger.

was reminded today of another example of Gene's complete ineptitude. wisconsin's first year coach interviewed w/ the Browns. Did Barry Alvarez have anything to say about, of course not, because he's a true pro who knows what he's doing.

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger hoya80 said...

XU's head coach or any progeny from that program.

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger DoubleEagle2013 said...

I don't know anything about Chris Mack but he checks a lot of the boxes ATL laid out.

 
At 8:44 PM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

Howard Eisley is doing some work for the Clippers. Hire him.

Done.

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

You know what I want in a BC basketball coach? A lot of Jerry York and little bit of Steve Addazio. I hope Brad Bates invites the two of them into his office to discuss the process. It may be just what we need in trying to find the right fit.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

I don't understand the Howard Eisley comments. Yes he was a good player for BC and had a long pro career but what do you know about his experience as a floor coach and his experience/track record as a recruiter or running a high level recruiting organization? What distinguishes him from other candidates having considerably more head coaching and recruiting experience?

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger C. Scanz said...

It rhymes with Spruce Earl.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger tpsreports said...

Forgive me if I trust Jim Boeheim's opinion of O'Toole a little more than two guys from the Fairfield area... I also think Pearl is very comfy at ESPN. The ACC is so damn tough that a household name is probably not going to jump at the BC job because chances are it will be a bumpy ride. A top tier assistant or an up and comer is probably where we'll land.

 

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