Bulldogs’ next coach probably ‘Dancing’

So you think just because you’re a Georgia fan you have no interest at all in the NCAA Basketball Tournament? Think again!

The fact is, this tournament has everything to do with the Bulldogs. It’s their stated goal to land an established, experienced coach who has had NCAA tournament success. What better place to find one than in the Big Dance?

There are several coaches scattered throughout the bracket who, whether they realize it or not, are on Georgia’s radar screen for its vacant men’s basketball job. And in a “Bowfinger” kind of way (obscure reference to an obscure Steve Martin movie) they’re being screened for that position. Georgia AD Damon Evans is going to be watching their games with the utmost interest and scrutiny. Same goes for Alabama’s Mal Moore and the ADs at Virginia and Arizona and wherever else there may be or may soon be a head coaching opening.

As for Georgia, there are at least eight opening-round games to which all Bulldogs should pay close attention. If things break just right, a couple of these guys could end up going head-to-head in subsequent rounds. Consider this your Bulldog Programing Guide for the tournament:

Clemson's Oliver Purnell. (AJC files)

Clemson's Oliver Purnell. (AJC files)

Oklahoma's Jeff Capel. (AJC files)

Oklahoma's Jeff Capel. (AJC files)

SOUTH REGIONAL — Here you can get a look at Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel (2 seed, 27-5), Clemson’s Oliver Purnell (7 seed, 23-8) and Butler’s Brad Stevens (9 seed, 26-5). Both Purnell and Capel are in Kansas City and, if the seedings hold true Thursday, they should meet in the second round on Saturday. Stevens, one of the youngest and brightest coaches in America, matches wits with LSU’s Trent Johnson in Greensboro, N.C. If he wins that battle he’ll get to take on Roy Williams’ top-seeded Tar Heels.

EAST REGIONAL — Cast your eyes up toward Philadelphia and you’re liable to get a glimpse of VCU’s Anthony Grant. His 11th-seeded Rams (24-9) draw sixth-seeded (and quite beatable) UCLA (6 seed, 25-8) on Thursday. Further down the bracket (and the coast) in Greensboro Minnesota’s Tubby Smith (10 seed, 22-10) will be doing battle with Texas. He’s not going to come to Georgia but every Bulldog I know still loves Tubby and likes to think he might.

MIDWEST REGIONAL — Though they’re in the same bracket they couldn’t be any farther apart geographically. Wake Forest’s Dino Gaudio (4 seed, 24-6) opens in Miami against Cleveland State (13 seed, 25-10) while Dayton’s Brian Gregory (11 seed, 26-7) gets West Virginia (6 seed, 23-11) in Minneapolis. All it would take is three wins each and they face off in the regional finals in Indianapolis.

WEST REGIONAL — Way up in Boise, Idaho, you’ll Missouri’s Mike Anderson (3 seed, 28-6), whose reputation has been growing with every passing season. His Tigers take on Cornell (14, 21-9).

And who knows? There may be other potential candidates that are either on the periphery of Georgia’s search or possibly just out of reach. Know that Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton (5 seed in East) probably wouldn’t mind hearing from the Bulldogs and that the Bulldogs probably would love to hear from the agent of somebody Pitt’s Jamie Dixon (1 seed East).

So there, doesn’t that make the field a little more compelling from a Bulldogs point of view?

Some links:

Another school has entered the competition for coaches. Virginia fired Dave Leitao. Already pundits are saying Capel and/or Grant could be targets. . . .

The Macon Telegraph’s David Hale breaks down Georgia’s spring football practice with a Top 10 list of players with the most to prove. . . .

Here’s a national rundown of spring football practice scenarios by CBSsports.com’s Dennis Dodd.

79 comments Add your comment

hop

March 17th, 2009
6:33 am

AS MORE TEAMS GET RID OF THEIR CURRENT COACHES, IT MAKES GEORGIA’S SITUATION THAT MUCH TOUGHER.

I AM

ValdostaMike

March 17th, 2009
7:56 am

We will get a good’ne

Jamie Dixon

March 17th, 2009
9:21 am

Huh? Really? Sorry, I won’t be calling.

Eddie Sutton

March 17th, 2009
9:52 am

I’ve got unfinished business and swore off the booze.

yellowblood

March 17th, 2009
10:06 am

Enter your comments here

uga_b

March 17th, 2009
10:11 am

I really want to care about basketball…I really do.

DirtyDawg

March 17th, 2009
10:16 am

Does anybody else wonder about Mr. Swansey’s questioning the ‘lack of communication’ about his loss of the starting point guard position as his reason for leaving? Now, since it wasn’t mentioned in the article, I assume that lack of playing time rather than communication was Mr. Brewer’s problem, so let’s just talk Swansey. I don’t wish the young man any ill-will, and my guess is that he was just too embarrassed to hang around the program after it became obvious that he wasn’t going to be anything more than a sub going forward, but to blame it on a lack of communications when the head coach was being fired and the assistant had his hands full winning the only conference games of the season – beating Florida, Vandy and Kentucky. Son, if you think you can play someplace else, do so. Thank the program for giving you a chance and even claim that you didn’t wish to wait to see who the next head-coach would be (probably because the situation would only get worse)…that it was better just to move on.

Georgias A. Dog

March 17th, 2009
10:38 am

The positive: Might have a shot at Anderson, Stevens or Gregory. UGA has a great new practice facility and some young talent. The negative: Still a football school that gives lip service to wanting to be a big-time basketball program; despite the new practice digs, the lion’s share of resources ($$$) go to – and always will – football, not basketball; recruiting rep tough to live down regarding not getting top Atlanta and in-state talent.

You can forget about Purnell, Gaudio, Tubby, Grant, Dixon and Hamilton…and prolly Capel too! Grant? Grant? Grant makes MORE than Felton DID!! At a CAA school! He can stay at VCU and be king. He has full control. Can win his league every year. Go to the tournament. Stack his paper and be comfortable. And he’s still relatively young. He can chill until a GREAT job comes open with an offer of $3 mil or close to it. Capel wants to come back home, east. But with Virginia opening yesterday and with the huge success he had in that state while at VCU, plus the recruiting advantages being in the ACC…uh, no. And UVA has great new facilities too! Including a new arena. Stegman sucks plus its not new and people don’t come. At Virginia they pack the place whether it’s Duke or Carolina…or Ga Tech or Boston College. Its THE ACC!Purnell won’t happen for the same reason Wake Forest’s Gaudio and FSU’s Hamilton won’t. 1) ACC. 2)Progams have turned the corner (FSU, Clemson) OR are undergoing a resurgence (Wake) 3) Money. UGA would have to pay Hamilton and Purnell probably on par with the football coach AND THAT AINT GONNA HAPPEN! Football is king at Georgia and no basketball coach except Donovan, Pitino, or Cal (-ipari) could get that there! Certainly no black coach…well maybe Tubby. So that brings us to him. He already makes $2.5 million with a huge buyout. Plus he’s been there, done that (at UGA). Why leave Minnesota? He’s got it made. He’s in a league he can win every year. Has already shown he can recruit top kids to UM. There’s NO pressure…they’re happy if he’s just above .500!! Again, since the 90s he’s been one of the highest-paid coaches in college basketball. Forget about it! You’ll get one of his sons before you get him back. Pitt’s Dixon? Has better jobs pursuing him…albeit at basketball schools (Arizona). If he stays, Pitt will continue to be a powerhouse beast in the rugged Big East. He can’t lose. Only loses if takes UGA. Too much reclamation. Always gonna be a football school. (until they use the Florida model and make a commitment to basketball starting with the best hire possible).

So what does that leave them? What do they do? Go get Mike Anderson.

And fast!!! Everyone around the country has been impressed with him and the job he’s done. First at UAB and now at Missouri. In no time!

-His teams play an exciting brand of basketball.
-They win.
-There’s discipline in the program. No problems, scandals.
-He has national championship pedigree (built Nolan Richardson’s 94 natl chip team at Arkansas)
-He’s a class act
-Top recruiter
-Familiar with and proven winner in the SEC
-Many AD’s and presidents like him…a lot; search firms have him at the top of their list along with Grant
-He’s HOT and would create the kind of buzz UGA wants
-If Calipari leaves (yes that’s possible if Kentucky opens; even rumored for Arizona!!!) then you can believe Memphis would be interested in Anderson…PERFECT FIT!!!

WARNING: You better get him before Alabama does!

Bryan G.

March 17th, 2009
11:01 am

Am I in the minority when I say that I think the Felton chapter of UGA basketball was just as ugly as the previous chapter?

This one didn’t have cheating, but it had arrests, transfers, unhappy players, crappy basketball, etc.

Felton is probably the only coach that can make me say “Man, was what Harrick did really THAT bad?”

Bill

March 17th, 2009
11:16 am

Ga’s A Dog- I agree with you on Anderson. Mike would be my top pick. He would fit in great at UGA and turn program around. Someone we could respect to run a good winning program.

Mike Anderson

March 17th, 2009
11:16 am

Why would I make a lateral (at best) move to Athens?

Bill

March 17th, 2009
11:21 am

11:19 –$,$$$,$$$ and a damn great school that wants to win, finally.

Dr. Phil

March 17th, 2009
11:29 am

No coach with any character will be a puppet for a control freak like Adams.

jmcguffey

March 17th, 2009
12:11 pm

Please hire an afro american coach so terrance moore won’t be upset

Fort Worth Dawg

March 17th, 2009
12:19 pm

Can we hire one or more of Tubby’s sons? One was a UGA grad and a grad assistant at UK (or was it another son who was the grad assistant?).

Bill Gullion

March 17th, 2009
12:22 pm

Georgia is never going to have a good basketball program until the administration gets serious about the program and builds a new basketball arena. They’ve had some really great coaches in Hugh Durham, Tubby Smith, Jim Herrick but without a top notch facility to recruit with UGA will continue to struggle putting solid, long term winning teams together.

Wishful thinking much?

March 17th, 2009
12:26 pm

“Mike Anderson” was right. Why would he or any other coach at that level make a lateral/downward move to UGA when they are already having success at a better program? You may have some interest from the coaches you mentioned from Butler, VCU and Dayton, but I wouldn’t expect anyone else to take a step back.

Bryan G.

March 17th, 2009
12:37 pm

We gotta stop harping on this “new arena” business. I agree that Stegeman is not a great facility. HOWEVER, have you been to Duke? That place is a S#!t hole. They don’t have a problem with facilities.

Tale of Woe

March 17th, 2009
12:52 pm

None of these coaches make me want to go buy tickets.

Ryder

March 17th, 2009
1:00 pm

Tale of Woe

March 17th, 2009
12:52 pm

None of these coaches make me want to go buy tickets.

You must’ve been one of those losers who cried in his UGA pillow when Bobby Knight decided against coming to Athens.

UGA is going to have to spend the money to upgrade their facilities in order to get someone here. However, with it being a down year in the SEC, a new coach could come in here and change the balance of power quickly.

thom

March 17th, 2009
1:14 pm

ANYTHING TO FIX FELTON’S TRAIN WRECK!

Collegedude

March 17th, 2009
1:31 pm

Why would ANY of those coaches, from respectable basketball programs take a step down to UGA and coach here? I’m an UGA diehard, but even I can see that our basketball program is a step down for almost any head coach in Div 1 ranks. If we’re looking at those teams, with ANY serious interest, we are probably looking at the assistant coaching staff. Our best shot is to get a hot assistant from one of those schools & hope he can turn this around. We’ve tried the successful NCAA March Madness, coaches from other schools (both big & small) coming in here & neither worked well.

uga_b

March 17th, 2009
1:49 pm

I don’t want to sound mean, but honestly I am not sure I would want any of the starters on the worst team in the conference to return let alone the backups. If you got benched on this team, good luck playing somewhere else. Hopefully it works out for them and I understand not wanting to be a role player for a rebuilding team. We need some talent and then we need someone who can coach them. Not sure it can get much worse.

Its sad because when I think about it, basketball has to be the worst performing varsity sport at UGA. Only other one I could think of on the women’s side might be volleyball.

crs

March 17th, 2009
1:50 pm

You must be joking to think UGA has a shot at Capel. The facilities are below average and the fans largely don’t care about basketball. Georgia needs to go hire a young guy like Charlton Young away from Tech. He’s a good recruiter, he played at Georgia Southern. I think he would be an excellent fit. UGA needs a young workaholic who can recruit and knows Georgia, Charlton fits all of the above.

StAugDawg

March 17th, 2009
2:10 pm

Bill Gullion, you are funny, funny guy!

I live 90 minutes from Gainesville and go see UGA b’ball games at the O’Connell Center every year. If you think that place is much better than Stegman, if not worse, you are crazy! It is a multi-purpose facility that also houses the swimming and diving teams and one of my co-workers competed in the O’Connell Center during his junior high days (late 70’s). Also, some of the seating in the lower level is pull-out wooden bleachers and the seating in the upper level isn’t all that great either.

Understand, my aim is not to knock the O’Connell Center, the atmosphere in that place during a game is typically quite nice. However, Billy Donovan seems to have done just fine with building a winning program in a building that wouldn’t be considered a taj mahal by any standards.

Cuz

March 17th, 2009
2:13 pm

How is Spring Football practice going?

UGA

March 17th, 2009
2:15 pm

Chip,

Why is there no mention of Villanova’s coach? I would much rather have a coach that currently coaches in the nations best basketball conference (Sorry ACC fans, but this year it is the “Best”). He has been able to have success in a smaller program (in relation to the UCONNs and Pitts) on and off the court. Why has he not been mentioned? I would think our athletic dept can afford to try and pry him away from Villanova.

yellowblood

March 17th, 2009
2:42 pm

TechGuy

March 17th, 2009
2:45 pm

I’d look at Cliff Warren at JU.

lawzoo

March 17th, 2009
2:52 pm

Dave Odom turned the Dawgs down last time but he is now ready to come to the Stegeman Autotorium.

Tale of Woe

March 17th, 2009
2:56 pm

Ryder –

You must’ve been one of those losers who cried in his UGA pillow when Bobby Knight decided against coming to Athens.

UGA is going to have to spend the money to upgrade their facilities in order to get someone here. However, with it being a down year in the SEC, a new coach could come in here and change the balance of power quickly

LMAO – Already calling me a loser and you don’t even know me…Well nostradamus, a well marketable coach will hopefully keep talent at the school and attract in-State talent to the program.

I could care less about Bobby Knight. I do want a coach who can coach and has proven something. I don’t want a one or two year success story. I want someone with a little bit more of a proven track record. All these coaches remind me of Felton.

So a$$, before you call me a loser get your freakin story straight.

HCS

March 17th, 2009
3:11 pm

Why not take the expectations of the experts on this blog and just drop basketball at UGA?

gdawginkalamazoo

March 17th, 2009
3:14 pm

A lot of naysayers about who will and who won’t be coming to UGA. A lot of factors for coaches to consider. Fact is that Evans is serious about getting the BB program going in the right direction, starting out with the cash being offered. Stop knocking The Historic Stegman Coliseum. Winning makes the program not the building (Ford Field anyone). Athens is a beautiful place. The SEC has been a competitive conference in BB and is getting stronger.

blufftondawg

March 17th, 2009
3:18 pm

Oklahoma and Missouri have no more right to quality basketball programs than UGA does. We can get a quality coach who needs to stay at least 5-7 yrs, minimum. To do so we need a quality coach in the right age range who will not bolt at the first opportunity. Gary Williams at Maryland might be that guy. He’s 63 yrs old and Maryland is tired of his mid range finishes in the ACC. He has Carolina, Duke and Wake to contend with. How much better can he do? Bring him to UGA and he can compete with and beat Pearl, Donovan and Darrin Horn. He won’t leave the UGA job either. And remember this, he won a national championship at Maryland.

Sylvia R. Williams

March 17th, 2009
3:19 pm

there is a young assistant Coach by the name of Dollar, his dad was a high school basketball Coach at Douglass High School. The younger Dollar is a very fine assistant Coach.

JEWELL ROLLEN

March 17th, 2009
3:30 pm

I’M WITH YOU DIRTY DOG ON SWANSEY (NO MR.). CAREER BACKUP AT BEST. DINO IS NOT LEAVING WAKE WITH THE TEAM HE HAS, AND WITH ARI STEWART COMING IN IN CASE AL-FAROUQ LEAVES FOR THE NBA. MY VOTE FOR A NEW COACH GOES TO DAVE LEITAO….QUALITY GUY FOR SURE.

BravesFan79

March 17th, 2009
3:35 pm

WTF would any bulldog want Charlton Young? If he was any good at coaching GT would be good like they were with their OLD experienced assistants…. u know the guys that dont look like they should be taking your order at KFC!

BravesFan79

March 17th, 2009
3:44 pm

How about WE take Cliff Warren…. and let Hewitt and his band of assistants he hired straight from the Kentucky Fried Chicken drivethru…………. go off to UGA where thell get talent, but wont be near smart enough to know how to use it!

Alum '00

March 17th, 2009
3:47 pm

Hire Jay Wright and bring instant credibility to the program. He’ll have the DAWGS tournament-bound in his second year.

rick

March 17th, 2009
3:52 pm

What about ex Tech asst Cliff Warren at Jacksonville University that will play Gators tomorrow in first round of NIT ? That will be first post season game for JU since 1987 .

Jeff

March 17th, 2009
3:57 pm

All these coaches are GOOD candidates…..there is SOMETHING that separates or “weeds out” what we NEED!! PULL the TRIGGER or pocket book and GET THE RIGHT coach for OUR program!!!

dawgfan1911

March 17th, 2009
4:08 pm

If you think any of those coaches with those established programs will leave to come to a school that has not committed to showing any interest in basketball, your crazy! Capel and Anderson will be crazy to leave their schools to come here. With the Alabama and Virginia jobs open, forget about VCU coach, he will take the UV job before the
Georgia job. You have to start looking at good coaches who play in whack conferences like Mark Few at Gonzaga. He is looking to get to the prime conference level.If the right offer is made, I think he would leave As an African American, I dont care what color the coach is as long as he is good.

PTC DAWG

March 17th, 2009
4:16 pm

Anyone who comes and posts “the fans don’t care” blah blah blah..is a big time IDIOT or just flat out uninformed.

In Damon I trust.

Go Jackets

March 17th, 2009
4:23 pm

Uh, the coaches of ACC schools like Wake Forest and Miami are not going to make a move to an SEC school like Georgia. To think that they would is nothing more than typical bulldog hubris.

yellowblood

March 17th, 2009
4:40 pm

hey guys…i’m killing those techie nerds on their blog. i posted another one about TICKLE PILES today. hahaha….go dawgs…

Pitbull

March 17th, 2009
4:50 pm

How about that guy who coaches at that college in Charleston?

I think he coached at GT years ago and had some success.

I believe his name is Cremmins.

Dan Rad

March 17th, 2009
4:52 pm

FOR SALE: One pre-owned BB coach. Good recruiter. Looks great. Needs some work. Will consider trades. No reasonable offer refused.

steve

March 17th, 2009
4:55 pm

John Thompson III! Didn’t make the tournament this year, but he is loaded for next. Can make big bucks at Georgia, get out of the shadow of his dad; and he recruits like a maniac. Knows how to keep players academically eligible (coached at Princeton) – get him, you’ll be glad you did.

buckheadbill

March 17th, 2009
4:58 pm

Why not Greg Marshall?

Deep South Sooner

March 17th, 2009
4:59 pm

I love the comments about Jeff Capel is “wanting to come back home, east”. Why would he want to come to UGA? UGA is home? Most definately a lower move to come back east?

Mike Anderson played BB at Tulsa, under Nolan Richardson, and was Richardson’s Asst.coach at Arkansas. Uhhh……he likes the midwest, and likes Mizzou.