Monday, March 24, 2014

Reminders about the coaching search

As Brad Bates travels across the country for his face-to-face meetings with coaching candidates, the familiar worry has set in among BC fans and the familiar BC bashing from the media has begun. This is a reminder: don't worry about any of it.

BC is a good job

Plenty of good coaches want the BC job. The media can say whatever they want, but power is clearly consolidating in college sports. Midmajors don't win NCAA Tournaments. Schools without football don't win NCAA championships anymore. For a coach with real championship ambitions, BC is a step up. Some programs like Marquette may have traditionally spent more than us, but that doesn't mean we aren't able to spend on the right coach. BC competed for the ACC under Skinner. A good, ambitious coach knows we can do it again.

BC comes off as cheap in many of these discussions but it usually is not in context. Could we pay a Buzz Williams or a Ben Howland more than $2 million a year? Sure and we might if we get a coach we want that can demand that sort of money. But should a coach we hire from a midmajor automatically get $2 million? No way. Not if you are running a good business. I don't think we are going to lose any coaches to money this time around.

Bates is clearly methodical, but I don't think it is costing us the right candidate. Bruce Pearl was never coming to BC, so his early decision with Auburn was not a factor in the BC search. Masiello might bolt for USF, but a job hopping Pitino protoge was not getting the BC job for just that reason. Marquette doesn't have an AD or President and just lost their coach on Friday. To think they are going to have their new guy in place tomorrow is just not realistic. BC will know our new coach soon enough.

No gossip
Once Bates starts meeting with candidates, agents will start leaking names. Until then, no one knows anything because Bates doesn't talk.


G.A. said...

The declarative statements are a bit ridiculous: "Midmajors don't win championships" - did they ever? Is there an example of a mid-major going to back to back finals in any decade besides the last one (Butler)? Only football schools win championships? This is silly. The New Big East crapped out in the tournament, but Nova and Georgetown have gone to final fours in the past decade.

The only thing that's apparent is how useless "mid major" is as a label, and the notion that BC is in some ethereal realm because it's a "high major." What a joke! Is Houston suddenly a high major? Is Creighton now a high major? Or Butler? What rarefied air has Seton Hall been breathing since PJ left, that makes programs like Wichita St. or New Mexico wish they could get a whiff?

What matters are programs and winning traditions. Creighton gets 20K to all of their games, BC sells out a dinky arena 2x/year. Having a great football program doesn't make Alabama a good job. Being in the SEC doesn't guarantee much for Mississippi St.

The BC job isn't better than the Creighton job, or the Xavier job, or the Gonzaga job. It's just a fact. Yes, there are advantages, like being in the ACC, but that's just one factor.

Wichita St. made a Final Four last year and was a 1 seed this year. Okay, they lost, but they have two legit NBA players on their team. They were a top 10 team in the 80s when they had multiple lottery picks come through. If Greg Marshall disappears, it will be easier for Wichita St. to stay elite than it will for a place like Depaul to become relevant again.

Depaul used to be awesome. So did USF for that matter. For whatever reasons, the institutions stopped doing the things that would have made continued success possible. Some cash in their chips, and others just hire morons, either as president, or AD or as coach.

BC made Sweet 16s in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. They made huge splashes in each decade on the hardwood. The 2010s are a different story, and if they don't make the right hire, BC will become like Seton Hall or Depaul, and accept sucking as the norm.

Don said...

Did Bates write this article for you ATL? Wow talk about being stuck in the BC bubble. BC is behind MANY mid-major jobs. Sorry but coaches look at things like facilities and BC's are awful

Hoib said...

I think you guys are being a little too tough on ATL. In spite of the very professional product he puts out, he's first and foremost a BC fan and so suffers from that bias, like I certainly do.

Here's something I stumbled across to do w/ the Wake search. If you read it you'll recognize the angst. It's almost as if you could just substitute BC wherever Wake is written and the story would have the exact same feel.

GP11 said...

BC being in the ACC is a huge advantage. Look at NC State getting into the tournament over SMU, which I believe 3 of 165 prognosticators picked. A solid team will get the benefit of the doubt over a good team from any conference outside the big 5 or 6.
The Smith/Dudley/Rice years aren't so far gone that recruits won't remember, but I do agree this hire is critical. Another wasted 4 years could leave BC as perennial cellar dwellers until the stars align.
Facilities are a chicken or the egg matter. Do you wait to upgrade until you know you will be competitive or do you upgrade to ensure you have the chance to be competitive? As fans it's an easy answer, but more difficult if you're the administration.
If Bates can't get Howland, he needs to make a Daz-esque hire who will immediately energize the program and grab the casual fans interest. This roster may not be as talented as we saw through our rose colored glasses but look at this years tournament: when you are able to field a team of 21-22 year olds, you have a built-in advantage over less physically mature if more talented opponents. This roster can win next year and help build the bridge to the new coaches recruits, I just hope Mr. Bates can get the right guy.

ccw said...

Hopelessly pollyana view of BC. I mean, what color is the sky in ATL's world? Some pretty maroon and gold?

This job is pretty mediocre. The idea that we'd get a Howland or Buzz Williams to sniff the job and allow us to cough up $2M+ is unfortunately, a pipe dream.

I don't think we can afford Cooley and I'm not sure we'd pay enough to get Ammaker.

Get ready to be underwhelmed by this hire.

CT said...

This job is only mediocre if the admin people decide that it is. Do we have graduation reqs? Admissions? We have let in some guys who would surprise the believers in BC exceptionalism. This program has only a self-imposed ceiling. Next yr is a gimme yr., the real test is the three yrs beyond. Someone who recognizes talent would be a start. We are so accustomed to the Skinner way, the diamond in the rough, but I think we have more to offer. Daz has a harder job based on recruiting profiles and geography. The new guy has to sell passion. Even if he fakes it.

Unknown said...
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jswheights08 said...

We got Donahue because BC wanted someone who coached "an exciting brand of basketball" and would show excitement and passion for the program.

These were the knocks on Skinner - the flex as a boring style and his refusal to promote the program.

Given the lack of ACC talent on the current roster, I look back on the "diamonds in the rough" claim about Skinner and find that misleading. His staff had the ability to recognize high level talent and develop players once they got to BC. I really don't care if the next coach is demonstrative on the sidelines or a promoter. We need better players and better player development!

TheFive said...

The whining about BC on here is ridiculous.

BC doesn't need to be the best job in the country. It needs to offer the best terms of any other school interested in the same coach.

BC is in the premier college basketball conference in the country. Most importantly to coaching candidates, it is a school where good coaches win (e.g., anybody who is worth his salt will look at Skinner and say if Skinner could win on the Heights, I can too). It is in a major city and success will be lauded in the East Coast media. The job does not involve BS booster dinners. And, if you are the type of coach who cares about the education of your players --- i.e., the type of coach that we want here --- BC gives those players a platform to succeed.

It's not the best job in the country. It doesn't need to be. It needs to be one of the best jobs available, and it is. BC needs to be willing to pay. If it does, the job is far more attractive than a place like Virginia Tech. If not, then it doesn't deserve to compete at this level anyway. It's pretty simple.

G.A. said...

I agree that the right coach can succeed here. There are advantages. But the ACC is not the premier basketball conference by anything other than reputation. Sure, we get Louisville next year, but the ACC has been killed by formerly decent programs plunging into the depths of suck (G-Tech, Wake, V-Tech, BC).

The ACC has exactly one team left in the Sweet 16. It was ranked 5th this year by computers.

BC should have hired Calhoun when it had the chance in the late 80s. We would have multiple Final Fours and perhaps a national championship. BC thought it was smart with Donahue, but that hire put us up against the gun. We quickly turn into what Nebraska has been if we crap out in this search.

I respectfully disagree with GP11. Dayton made it in over SMU as well. Boise St. made the play-in game last year. Fans consistently overrate conference affiliation in terms of the bubble. Power conference teams usually get more teams in b/c they have a higher SOS. SMU's non-conference SOS was rated 300th. And it's conference had too much dead weight.

I don't know how many players will transfer, but they need a big who can protect the rim and rebound if they want to change the results meaningfully. Next year is huge for recruiting: at least six open scholarships, and one very good recruit in the bag in Jeremy Miller (if he stays). 60% of the 2015 class will be off the board by Labor Day. The new coach needs to hit the recruiting pavement hard, and immediately, or this team doesn't dance until 2018 at the earliest.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

BC is an excellent job primarily because its in the ACC. BC can close most attractiveness gaps with money. If I was a coach I'd be looking at these items in order:
- Money
- Chemistry with Bates
- Ability to attract great talent to play for me at that school.

The last item ties in heavily to conference, basketball pedigree and, to a lesser extent, things like admissions requirements, facilities, campus, location, school rep. etc. Its in this area where any weakness has to be evened out with money or Bates' charisma as a potential boss compared to the other AD's. A coach would be crazy to choose Marquette (when it doesn't have an AD) compared to Wake or BC. Bottom line - while you can argue whether we are better than other jobs - the BC job is a big time coaching position coveted by many coaches. We should not get carried away but we definitely have the right to be very selective.

Bottyeagle said...

Look at the list of most watched games on ESPN this year. The ACC was in, I believe, around 8 of the top 10. It is the premier basketball conference because it has the biggest names, much like the SEC for football. Does not mean that it will perform the best each year, but it is the premier brand. That will continue, especially with Louisville joining, and that certainly helps BC in some way.

tpsreports said...

Certainly being in the ACC is a positive but it can be a double edged sword too. A hot coaching prospect might see the BC job as a career ender given they will be up against Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Lousiville every year. Look at the advice Pitino gave Masiello on taking the USF job:

"I said, 'Steven, in the Big East, I thought (USF) was an average to marginal job at best,' " Pitino said. " 'At the conference they're in right now (American Athletic), I think it's a great job.'

"When you're going against Syracuse and Louisville and Pittsburgh and Villanova and all those schools that have better facilities and better tradition, then it's not necessarily a great job. But now, I think it's a great job. They're very, very committed.

"They built a practice facility, nice renovations (to the Sun Dome). It's a great school."

I'm still confident that whoever Bates hires will be an upgrade. Fully intact, this group could learn to play some defense and win 15-20 games next year and help recruiting efforts but the biggest "name" coach i see us being able to snag at this point is Amaker and even that may be a stretch.

JERZeagle said...

mike rhoades VCU. someone let bbates know.

Clifford said...

Herald is reporting Walter Mccarty as a candidate and I think he would be perfect.

Has been an assistant in both the college and NBA ranks, including coaching under Jim O'Brien, Rick Pitino, and Brad Steven.

A young guys with a lot of energy who wants to rebuild the program and has a connection to the city rather than looking for his next job.

He also is a recent NBA player so he would have a lot of cache with recruits. He'd be like a more experienced version of Kevin Ollie at UConn. I would love to see this happen.