Saturday, March 07, 2020
Can Tommy Lloyd build the Gonzaga model at BC?
I don't know if BC will fire Jim Christian. I think they should, but the point of these coaching profiles is "where does BC go from here?" and "who is the right guy for the program?" Part 3: Tommy Lloyd.
BC Basketball doesn't have an identity. Or at least doesn't have a positive identity. Meanwhile there is a Jesuit school on the other side of the country in Gonzaga that has gone from cute mid-major to a perennial power with a very disciplined and specific model. It is heavy on analytics and heavy on international recruiting. And the lead guy on international recruiting is Tommy Lloyd.
We all know BC's challenges with elite recruits. Our facilities are inferior. Our admissions office can be meddlesome. It doesn't appear like we are buying the top talent like most of the traditional powers are (per FBI recordings). That leaves BC to keep trying to find the under the radar guys. Gonzaga also has unconventional recruiting in that their focus is primarily international players. They are doing this by finding them early, developing relationships and then making them better once they get to Spokane. BC has had a handful of international players with limited success, but there is no reason why this wouldn't work in Boston or in the ACC. (There is also the added bonus of most of these internationals are students who the BC admissions office will approve.)
Few is quick to credit Lloyd for the talent. It is also assumed that Lloyd will take over if and when Few decides to retire. But how long will Lloyd wait? As Mike Hopkins showed at Syracuse, even the most loyal and patient assistants still want their shot.
I think Lloyd could quickly upgrade the talent at BC. But like Eisley, the huge unknown is can he actually coach. He has interviewed for other jobs, so we know he will listen. But those other opportunities were all west coast. Would he be willing to take a risk across the country in the toughest basketball conference?
Lloyd has a lot of similarities to Jeff Hafley in that he's done everything you would want but be a head coach. I don't know think he will be the first call, but I do think Jarmond understands the Gonzaga model and knows it is an option for BC.