Cataloging the Tech hoops candidates

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.

Safe

Gregg Marshall: 7 NCAA tournament appearances, his conference win total has improved each of the past four years at Wichita State.

Undecided

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.

Risky

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.

Beyond Risky

Bruce Pearl: Is there any explanation needed?

How would you rate the candidates?

– Doug Roberson, AJC

100 comments Add your comment

The Bees Nees

March 23rd, 2011
12:16 pm

Everyone is saying it is Mooney, but I would feel better with Marshall. I think he has a more proven track record and I could only imagine what he could do with our recruits here in Atlanta.

m

March 23rd, 2011
12:18 pm

Sadly….first

Dollar Bill

March 23rd, 2011
12:18 pm

Marshall…. what is his deal?

Steve

March 23rd, 2011
12:19 pm

Any runors about Mooney to Tech?

GTGuy44

March 23rd, 2011
12:27 pm

Mark Price will be the coach. Every single ex player, college and pro, who have played with Mark believe he can do a great job.

GT97

March 23rd, 2011
12:28 pm

What recruits in Atlanta? Getting them to stay more than 1 year would be helpful. How about some pure shooters on the team for a chance instead of out of control speedy track athletes running around the court. This has been a long time coming. I have never like Hewitt’s style from day one, not even when we got drilled by UConn in San Antonio. I don’t care who they get, but it should be someone from the Greg Popovich coaching tree if possible.

Chuck Sheen

March 23rd, 2011
12:29 pm

Mooney is a done deal. Doug, get the AJC to give you an insider account or something. This is pathetic…

Doug Roberson

March 23rd, 2011
12:30 pm

Hey Chuck…..how do you know? I was told yesterday that nothing is close to done.

William Satterwhite

March 23rd, 2011
12:35 pm

Sounds about right to me, the only caveat I would add about Marshall is that all his NCAA appearances came in a very weak conference and he hasn’t made the Big Dance since moving up to the MVC. For that reason alone I would put him in the same category with Mooney in trending safe but maybe not necessarily there yet. Personally, I’d be happy with either one- there’s going to be a risk things don’t work out no matter what but Marshall and Mooney are about as “safe” as you can get.

Chuck Sheen

March 23rd, 2011
12:39 pm

Of course you were told that. If I had some news I’d like to keep secret until the appropriate time to let it out you think I’d tell the media? C’mon. Read between the lines…

Buzz

March 23rd, 2011
12:43 pm

Why is Brad Stevens not even mentioned??? Tech job is way better then Butler!!!

J W

March 23rd, 2011
12:45 pm

IMHO – who can believe anyone named “sheen” But, seriously, sorry about that Chuck. Without have additional insider knowledge, I’d agree with Mr. Roberson’s assessment. My leaders would be Marshall, Mooney, and Gregory. Sentimental and hopeful favorite is Price; with realistic favorite being Neal.

Doug Roberson

March 23rd, 2011
12:45 pm

Well, if that’s the criteria. I heard that Tech hired Charlie Sheen. It is being kept a secret until he’s done with his tour.

Doug Roberson

March 23rd, 2011
12:45 pm

Stevens isn’t mentioned because I don’t think he’s leaving.

Delbert D.

March 23rd, 2011
12:46 pm

Marshall has not taken Wichita St. to the NCAA tournament in 4 years there. Mooney and Grant seem to have the most attention, but Smart would be a good choice. Very intelligent, and coached under Billy Donavon and Oliver Purnell (at both Clemson and Dayton). His “havoc” defense is based on demoralizing the opponent. The NY Times has a good piece on the VCU-Purdue game.

GTGuy44

March 23rd, 2011
12:47 pm

Chuck I believe your word is not correct. I think Mark Price will be the next coach.

bigstack19

March 23rd, 2011
12:49 pm

Lets get Bruce Pearl! At least things would be fun for a few years before all the violations caught up with him again.

aztec

March 23rd, 2011
12:51 pm

how could NOODLES be risky, has been a great asst to steve alford for several year and his number 1 recruiter, he has made no bones about it that this is his school and his dream job, and i cant think of another player GT has had over the last several years that played with more school spirit.

bring back glory days

March 23rd, 2011
12:52 pm

By the nature of the job I think they are all risky unless you sway Coach K over (amazing to me how much success he has). It would be nice to know who DRad has interviewed so far but I know many candidates need to keep that confidential. I just hope after all this time that we don’t find out that Price or Neal weren’t even interviewed.

CWP11

March 23rd, 2011
12:56 pm

I have to admit I like Mooney the most.
Between Price and Neal, I actually prefer Neal’s tenure under Alford and his game knowledge as a player. Mark is a great guy, but Craig had always been the spark and true floor general. His “110% motor” has followed him in how he coaches as well.

bring back glory days

March 23rd, 2011
1:06 pm

Remember when we were known as Point Guard U? Hewitt destroyed that era for the most part though Jack was good. Hewitt’s “team” concept was good but he lacked true points that made everyone else better. That’s what I’d like to see most out of future teams. It’s not so important who’s on the sidelines as long as he recruits talented players and gets the most out of them.

5150 UOAD

March 23rd, 2011
1:12 pm

Please no MARK PRICE. I would love to have him if he is good and I will eat crow. Mark Price has not coached or RUN any type of program.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 23rd, 2011
1:25 pm

I hope when the inevitable hammer falls and Mark Price is NOT hired as head coach, that all you guys who think he is the great hope (white or otherwise) for Tech do not abandon the program. There is NO WAY ON EARTH that Price will be given the job, unless every real coach in the country turns DRAD down.

juvenal

March 23rd, 2011
1:25 pm

instead of smoke, maybe charlie kisses the new coach on the mouth……bruce is also very funny…

Supersize that order, mutt

March 23rd, 2011
1:29 pm

Doug, if you are still reading this, last night while I was “forced” to sign in as “The Real Supersize….” because of the jerk who keeps stealing my name, you (or someone claiming to be you) posted a message that the name-copying problem would be addressed today. Was that indeed you who posted that comment, and, if so, have you been able to do anything about it yet?

Chuck Sheen

March 23rd, 2011
1:36 pm

I’ll be back to tell you I told you so #itoldyouso

Doug Roberson

March 23rd, 2011
1:36 pm

i didn’t do that.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 23rd, 2011
1:39 pm

Thanks, Doug, I didn’t think it was you since the post was not highlighted like it is now. That just goes to show you, though, that too many guys in here are using other guys’ names and posting crap. Isn’t there SOMETHING that can be done about that? Some kind of screening a name against the email address that we provide when we post?

Reality Check

March 23rd, 2011
1:45 pm

Doug, I have been reading several posts on this and MB’s sight that the Mooney thing is a done deal and they had worked the money out. Is there no NCAA rules about negotiating or hiring a coach that is still in the tournament or is this just an ethics issue? It is hard to believe a school with as much honor and integrity as GT would have an under the table deal in place at this point.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 23rd, 2011
1:46 pm

When I commented on the fact that “your” post wasn’t highlighted last night, the faker said it was because he was on remote from the game. I figured that was bogus too, since “remotes” have never resulted in non-highlighted posts from any of the AJC staff before. At any rate, now you know that your name also is being used by fake posters.

mdr

March 23rd, 2011
2:05 pm

The Anthony Grant thing is hilarious. He will never come. Tech is not a great job, and they can never outbid Bama.

Not a particularly appealing list...

March 23rd, 2011
2:06 pm

Nancy Lieberman..? She is a HOF’er, and she would demonstrate tech’s commitment to innovation through opportunity…

Just A Thought

March 23rd, 2011
2:09 pm

Shaka Smart seems like a great tournament coach (see last year’s CBI, this year’s CAA Tourney, and obviously, this year’s NCAA tourney). Isn’t that a good thing for a college basketball resume?

13-2

March 23rd, 2011
2:17 pm

That’s Shaka Smart’s career tournament record (both conference tourneys and post-season tourneys). Guys, that’s impressive!

Doug Roberson

March 23rd, 2011
2:18 pm

It is not a done deal. It may happen, but not yet.

13-2

March 23rd, 2011
2:19 pm

Now, I don’t think we should roll out the “Golden Contract” for the guy, but I definitely think an interview (if he wants one) is mandatory.

Jack Daniels Terrier

March 23rd, 2011
2:24 pm

Mooney is a safe hire, every bit as much as Marshall, and I would be happy with both. Anthony Grant, as popular as he may be, really is still risky in my mind. Shaka Smart at VCU has already outperformed him and is much younger with impeccable references and referrals. Undoubtedly, Mooney is squarely in the SAFE range according to your criteria.

You can get bent out of shape but it's true...

March 23rd, 2011
2:31 pm

Grant is a good basketball coach who gets disproportionate praise because he is a minority, not unlike Hewitt. I am not saying he is not qualified and even better than many of the others on the list, but every honest, objective observer knows the score. When Tech hired Hewitt, he was not only a hot young prospect, he was the hottest young MINORITY prospect. That obviously fed into Tech’s decision to hire him (with some vague, hypocritically racist notion that he could recruit black student athletes better than a white coach). The real irony was that once he was hired his teams proved to be the least diverse teams Tech has fielded since integration. I know everyone bristles at the mere mention of race, but it is plain to see for anyone who wants to really look. I would be happy with a black or white (or hispanic) coach at Tech, but I want a good one either way, and I don’t want him to be hired JUST BECAUSE he is black, white, brown, or some other color.

Jack Daniels Terrier

March 23rd, 2011
2:45 pm

13-2, I like Smart, but two years at VCU is not enough experience to justify a major conference team hiring him yet. And didn’t he follow Grant there? Whose players are he winning with, and what’s in store the next several years for VCU and Smart? I am sincere, I would like to know. Will his “havoc” style play work in the ACC for a whole season? IF we are going to go young and take a chance, I say take Smart, but I think we want more experience. I want Mooney or Marshall.

collegeballfan

March 23rd, 2011
3:10 pm

Why is everyone saying Brad Stevens would not leave Butler? Are you guys able to read minds?

Tech needs to make Stevens say NO. He is the best candidate out there and Tech is the best basketball job out there at present.

Word is that Stevens is a gym rat and basketball junkie. Word is that money would be important, but not the deciding factor.

Tech is in the ACC. Top basketball conference, 3 members in the Sweet 16 this year, in a down year for the conference. Recruiting base few can equal. New arena under construction. And Tech has made 2 appearances in Final Four since 1990, 3rd most in ACC for the period.

And finally, getting to lock horns with Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and Gary Williams annually. It don’t get no better than this.

Make Brad Stevens the best money offer you can and see what happens.

MALONE

March 23rd, 2011
3:10 pm

If Price is the new HC, why not go ahead and announce it?

Tim

March 23rd, 2011
3:11 pm

You can win a spot on Clyde Drexler’s basketball clinic: http://j.mp/DrexlerClinic

just facts

March 23rd, 2011
3:17 pm

I really wish it would be Price but I don’t think he has a chance.
DRad is already sitting around on his hands while other teams are hiring. didn’t arkansas just hire the ex-missouri coach today? wasn’t he initially on the GT “list”?

Supersize that order, mutt

March 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

If other schools are already hiring and DRAD has not made an announcement yet, then that just confirms that he has his eyes on somebody still in the tournament.

ACC Fan

March 23rd, 2011
3:37 pm

I have read both Marshall’s and Mooney’s bios on their present college websites and from this only, Mooney looks to be the much better candidate and fit for Tech.

just facts

March 23rd, 2011
3:39 pm

I hop you are right supersize, I just don’t have a whole lot of confidence in DRad.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 23rd, 2011
3:41 pm

just facts, not sure why you don’t. I think he wants a “proven” winner and one that is currently on top of his game. Of course, there really is no such thing as a “proven” winner, and one day a coach can be on top of his game, and the next day on the bottom. But ya takes yo chances.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 23rd, 2011
3:42 pm

just fact, regardless of what you think of DRAD, he is better qualified to be making the decision than President Petersen, who the rumor-mill says really wants Price. I love Price, but he is NOT the man for the job.

GTBob

March 23rd, 2011
3:45 pm

Why is everyone saying Brad Stevens would not leave Butler? Are you guys able to read minds?

Because he has been offered much better jobs then Butler before and turned them down. I see no reason why we can’t give him a call but no one really expects that as a reasonable option.

GT45

March 23rd, 2011
3:46 pm