This is kind of a crass exercise, but absent news….
How would you rate the safeness vs. riskiness of all of the rumored candidates for the Georgia Tech men’s basketball job?
I’m going to list every single reasonable name I’ve come across that has been mentioned as Paul Hewitt’s replacement:
A safe candidate is one who who will consistently take the team to NCAA tournament, between a 5-10 seed, and finish at least in the middle of pack of the ACC in most years. Some years they may challenge and even a win a conference title, some years they may sink a bit, but the bottom never falls out. Think of a program like Wisconsin’s. Consistent winners.
A risky candidate is one who either takes a team deep into the tournament every so often, wins the conference every so often, but then goes through a dry spell. Honestly, it would be similar to the results Tech has experienced since the 2001.
Undecided candidates are those who simply don’t have the background to enable an analysis, but are intriguing.
I will base these upon the coach’s past results and presumed future. This only takes into account wins, losses and NCAA tournament appearances. It doesn’t take into account playing in the ACC and how that could positively or negatively affect performance.
For context, Hewitt led Siena to one NCAA tournament in three seasons before he was hired to coach the Yellow Jackets.
Gregg Marshall: 7 NCAA tournament appearances, his conference win total has improved each of the past four years at Wichita State.
Chris Mooney: His Richmond team is still going in the NCAA tournament. It’s his second consecutive trip to the event. Looking back, he was 0-for-5 in his first five years as a coach, but has been to the CBI (think 2 tourneys below the NCAA) twice before moving up the NCAAs. Two losing seasons in seven years, both occurred his first two years at Richmond. Since then, he has improved the win total every year. He’s trending toward safe, but I put him in undecided because of the first five years.
Anthony Grant: 2 NCAA tournament appearances in three seasons at VCU, none in two seasons at Alabama, though they did win the SEC West this season. There’s obvious potential. His team is still going in the NIT.
Shaka Smart: His VCU team is still going in the NCAA tournament. They were the CBI tournament champions last season, his first. Seems like there’s a lot of potential, but the resume as a head coach is short.
Jeff Capel: 3 NCAA tournament appearances in nine years as a coach. He’s been to the Elite Eight once.
Brian Gregory: His name is floated for many jobs, but a look at his resume shows two NCAA tournament appearances in eight seasons at Dayton and three winning records in the conference.
Doug Wojcik: He has the pedigree as an assistant at Notre Dame, North Carolina and Michigan State, but he’s yet to lead Tulsa to the NCAA tournament in six seasons. He’s reportedly interviewing for the job, though Tech is declining to comment.
Mark Price: A Georgia Tech legend, but he has no head-coaching experience. That’s not to say he can’t coach, but there’s no background upon which to judge.
Craig Neal: Same as Price, but Neal has been an assistant under Steve Alford for seven seasons.
Bruce Pearl: Is there any explanation needed?
How would you rate the candidates?
– Doug Roberson, AJC