Tag Archives: Miami Hurricanes

Thursday’s Twithitters: Coaching Hires

Here’s our first edition of Twithitters. Here’s the quick idea- have a rundown of important games, power polls, rankings, etc. with a brief “Twitter” response. So short and sweet. Mayo and Luke disobeyed the rules of Twitter but we’ll let it slide this time.

First topic, three best/worst off-season coaching hires.

Top 3 Hires:

Arkansas finds the perfect guy.


  1. Mike Anderson, Arkansas – Proven coach who has won with “40 minutes of hell” at 2 different spots. Bringing fans back to the Nolan Richardson championship days. Perfect fit.
  2. Lon Kruger, Oklahoma – All 54 places he coached at he has won. Sooners fans will be pleasantly surprised to have winning basketball before spring football.
  3. Ed Cooley, Providence – Getting a local boy who turned around Fairfield ain’t bad. Stealing one of Jim Calhoun’s top recruiters will get the Friar faithful excited.


  1. Mike Anderson, Arkansas – This isn’t rocket science. Not only does Arkansas get a coach with a proven track record, but also a guy who has been there before as an assistant. This hire has rejuvenated an admittedly stagnant fan base as memories of former head coach Nolan Richardson begin to percolate with Anderson’s arrival.
  2. Jim Larranaga, Miami – Miami looked doomed to make a desperation hire after being rebuked by Tommy Amaker, who thought that Harvard was a better job than The U. Yes, Harvard. Instead, they get a guy who has been to a Final Four and has a proven track record. Harvard?
  3. Bill Gillispie, Texas Tech – The Red Raiders go from a guy who used his nepoticious (ok, I made that word up—see Bob Knight) connections to get his head coaching job to a guy who has earned everything that he’s achieved. Gillispie was never a good fit personality-wise at Kentucky. Tech feels much more like Texas A&M where Gillispie put his name on the map.


  1. Mike Anderson, Arkansas: A gift! In Anderson, Arkansas is getting a Nolan Richardson clone. He’s a solid recruiter and a master motivator, always getting the most out of his players. With a solid class on it’s way the former Mizzou man could bring the Razorbacks back to national prominence once more.
  2. Dave Rice, UNLV: A former player and Rebel at heart, Rice should return the Runnin Rebels style of the early 90’s and reenergize college ball in Vegas.  He did a terrific job at BYU and with some solid assistants -Stacey Augmon (Denver Nuggets)/Justin Houston (SDSU) – the Rebels should hit the ground running.
  3. Ed Cooley, Providence: After turning a seemingly non-existent Fairfield program into a conference champion two years running, Cooley has experience taking lemons and turning them into lemonade. Cooley is great on the recruiting trail and with a little luck could have the Friars back in the tourney in two years.

Bottom 3 Hires:

I guarantee I will make one NCAA tournament in the next seven years.


  1. Jim Larranaga, MiamiBecause “The U” didn’t hire Frank Martin. A terrific basketball coach who actually wants to coach at Miami. Not settle down and retire like Jimmy boy.
  2. Mark Gottfried, NC State – Debbie Yow made this coaching search into a pissing match between her and Gary Williams. She threw her new coach under the bus in the process.
  3. Frank Haith, Missouri – Strike out on Matt Painter. Panic. Hire Frank Haith. Couldn’t get a hold of Paul Hewitt or Sidney Lowe?


  1. Frank Haith, Missouri – Missouri fans lost a guy they loved in Mike Anderson. Then, they thought they were getting Matt Painter from Purdue. Instead, they get the next best thing. Well, if not the next best then at least close, right? Wait, what? WHAT was his record in the ACC while at Miami? 43-and-what? 43-and-69? Uh oh…
  2. Brian Gregory, Georgia Tech – Usually when an ACC school hires a coach from a smaller, mid-major type program, it’s a guy who has achieved great success there and the whole program is sad to see him go. If the guy’s previous fan base is breaking out into song upon his departure, you might have wanted to re-evaluate.
  3. Mark Gottfried, NC State – Gottfried did have moderate success during his run as the Alabama head coach, but just because he will be an upgrade over Sidney Lowe doesn’t make him a great hire. Here’s a guy who want after a Wake Forest recruit the day after Skip Prosser passed away and walked out on his team mid-season in ’09. Yeah, he’ll be able to recruit against Roy Williams and Coach K…
  1. Larry Krystkowiak, Utah: Rick Majerus why have you forsaken us? Just because a guy can win at Montana and Idaho doesn’t mean he can compete with UCLA, Arizona and the PAC-12 crop.  I’ll give it 4 years before Utah is looking for a new coach and Krystkowiak is back in the unemployment line.
  2. Frank Haith, Missouri: Really? I’m sure you’ll be receiving the complimentary fruit basket from Iowa State welcoming you to the Big 12 cellar any day now.
  3. Cuonzo Martin, Tennessee: Don’t dislike the coach as much as the situation. Martin did a great job at Missouri State but is entering a hostile situation in Knoxville. With an NCAA investigation pending, an already thin roster and possible penalties on the way this job would be a bad move for anyone.




Filed under Coaching Carousel, General

Jim Larranaga to Miami

It’s official.

Former George Mason Head Basketball Coach, Jim Larranaga, is headed to The U.

This is fairly surprising on multiple levels. First of all, I think conventional wisdom around college basketball was that Larranaga was very comfortable at George Mason and really had no intention of leaving. After leading the Patriots to the Final Four in 2006, he was one of the most sought after coaches in the country–much like Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart were this year. He rebuffed offers from multiple major conference schools, including Providence, his alma mater. All of those offers presumably would have paid him more money than he was making at GMU even after getting a substantial raise. Now, five years later, he’s ready to move on.

The other surprising part here is that Miami is where Larranaga is choosing to jump. This is a basketball program that will always be in the shadow of the football team and hasn’t had much of a history of success. They couldn’t keep their previous coach, Frank Haith, in town despite his very, very mediocre  mildly successful run as their head man. They couldn’t entice Tommy Amaker away from Harvard. Now, they are getting a very well respected coach in Jim Larranaga who has gotten his mid-major program to the tournament consistently and has taken them deep. How much must they be paying this guy???

This move kind of reminds me of the Kendrick Perkins trade this season in the NBA. Apparently when Perk was traded to the Thunder, a host of other franchises were upset that they didn’t even know he was available and admitted that they would have given up more to get him. How must some of these other programs who have been in a coaching search this offseason feel? The ADs at NC State, Georgia Tech, Missouri, and Tennessee must have spit out their coffee this morning reading this.

“What!?! Larranaga was available? And we’re stuck with Mike Gottfried? Wait, hold on. That can’t be right. Is that a typo? Seriously, the room is spinning right now. Miami? Is the NCAA investigating this? If I get fired because of this I will NOT be happy.”

Things just got a little more interesting in the ACC for the next few years. Many people–myself included–assumed that Miami was doomed for a desperation hire after leaving the position vacant for this long. Well, if that was the case, this is just about the best desperation hire I’ve seen in quite some time.

Quick reactions from fellow ACC competitors: here, here, and here.

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Filed under Coaching Carousel

Rising and Falling

It’s that time of year. Things are slowing down a bit in college basketball news, as we wait to hear the official word from kids on whether they are NBA-bound or returning to school. Most coach-less programs are getting guys hired, and soon, things will start to take shape for the 2011-2012 season. So let’s take a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling in the ACC at this point.

Stock Rising

North Carolina

Is this a surprise to anyone? How many teams in the last five years can say that their three best players, regardless of age, who were surefire first-round picks are going to be returning to school? Roy Williams’ group is already an odds-on favorite to win it all next year, and it’s easy to see why. UNC’s last two championship teams have each had a “big three.” In ’05 it was Felton, McCants, and May. In ’09 it was Hansbrough, Lawson, and Ellington. Could Harrison Barnes, John Henson, and Tyler Zeller be the next big three to win it all for the Dean Domers? Don’t forget about Kendall Marshall, either. Wow, stacked…

Duke Incoming Freshmen Guards

With Kyrie Irving’s departure to the NBA after just one, abbreviated year under Coach K, get ready to hear Austin Rivers’ and Quinn Cook’s name quite a bit. Rivers is the headliner, as he is rated the number one recruit in his class by many recruiting services, but Cook is also going to play a big role in Duke’s backcourt next year  as the floor general and distributor. Duke’s team will be young next year but they won’t be lacking talent.

New Coaches

When you are replacing the likes of Sidney Lowe and Paul Hewitt, you really have nowhere to go but up. Brian Gregory proved himself at Dayton and now has the duty of basically starting at ground-zero with Georgia Tech–similar situation with new NC State coach Mike Gottfried. If there was ever a time to be a new head coach in the ACC, this would be it.

Stock Falling

Miami Basketball

Things are not good at The U when Harvard’s head coach says “no thanks” to the opportunity to leave the Ivy League and join the ACC ranks. Miami is one of six programs nationally to have a vacant head coaching position right now, and they are by far the most high-profile of that group. Say good night to any last-second recruiting opportunities, Canes’ fans, this is going to be an interesting rebuilding process.

Seth Greenberg

Look for Mr. Greenberg to be firmly entrenched on the proverbial “hot seat” for the entirety of this coming season. Make it four years in a row that the Hokies have been left out of the NCAA Tournament, and Seth Greenberg’s reactions are just becoming running jokes nation-wide. At some point, he’ll realize that you have to play someone out-of-conference to bolster that tournament resume. But, hey, everyone learns at their own pace I guess. Minus his two best players from last year’s squad, Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen, this could be another long year for ol’ Seth.

ACC National Perception

This just stings to admit, but at this point it is hard to ignore: the ACC is not the ACC right now. Sure, UNC and Duke remain strong, but when the conference is at its peak is when the middle of the pack is strong, and that is just not the case right now. There is potential, but a lot will depend on whether or not guys from these 3-7 teams return to school–i.e. Jordan Williams, Reggie Jackson, Chris Singleton. Two out of those three are likely to go, and the ACC is going to need some unproven players to step up in order to have its image restored.

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