Monday, March 26, 2007

Labels and more on the Hawkeye bball coach search

Taking a cue from Haley, I'm going to be doing some updating on my blog, retro-fitting it with labels and everything! This is a work in progress, so be patient. Hopefully I'll get everything worked out, so that anyone can look through older posts easier, like if you want to look up past music recommendations, just click on that label. Or if you want to know about food I've eaten or want to eat, just click on the food label! Neato!

It's also come to my attention that some people have found this place by Googling some of the Iowa basketball head coaching candidates, or something related to the Hawkeyes (someone found it by searching for "Huluska engaged," which I thought was cool.) While I like that a lot, I hope everyone realizes I'm just some dude with a blog, I don't have any real inside information. Anything I hear and pass on is just speculation. With that in mind, I'll go into a little bit more about my list of candidates, coaches that I hope the Iowa Hawkeyes are considering.

  • Bruce Pearl, Tennessee (still my first choice, but I'm not sure how likely he is to leave his current position. I've heard everything from his agent contacted Iowa's Athletic Director Gary Barta to Pearl telling his AD that he has no desire to leave. I don't really know what to believe right now, if anything, from what I've heard.)
  • Billy Gillispie, Texas A&M (I would consider him 1B to Pearl's 1A. I like this guy a lot, but I've heard he's a top candidate for the Arkansas head coach opening. So we'll see on him)
  • Tony Bennett, Washington State (He's really starting to grow on me, but I don't know if he would leave WSU [I refuse to call them Wazzou] after only one season. But he seems to be a hell of a recruiter, he's familiar with the Big 10 [under his father, Dick, he was a recruiter/assistant at Wisconsin]. He would be a great hire, in my book)
  • Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois (worked under Bruce Weber and Matt Painter, so he knows their styles, and could translate well into the Big Ten. Not sure if he'd want to leave his alma mater, but a plus for Iowa is that SIU probably wouldn't be able to match an offer, and have better facilities. Strikes on Lowery could be his age, at only 34 he's pretty young, and he only has a few seasons of head coaching experience.)
  • Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt (I like his style, he took Illinois State to the NCAA tourney, and has improved Vandy by an impressive amount. Seems like a good character guy from what I've heard, and should be able to recruit well)
Stan Heath is another interesting name now, he was just fired from Arkansas after a 20-win season, and even made the NCAA tournament. The knock on him seems to be he didn't live up to expectations, though, which sounds similar to another coach that used to be around these parts... We'll see if he figures into the Hawkeyes; plans.

Right now, I'm lukewarm on Dana Altman. He's not a flashy name, won't have the impact of a "Tubby Smith to Minneapolis" deal, but he does a decent job at Creighton. I don't know if that's due to the competition, or if he is a good coach. If he is hired here, it would take some time for me to come around to the decision. But, I'd give him a chance, if he can win me over, then great!

Another name I've heard tossed around is Rick Majerus. He knows his basketball, and apparently has family in the area, so he has been rumored to be drawn to the vacancy. The main concern here is health issues. He had taken the USC job initially, only to later back out because of his health.

So far Gary Barta and co have been silent, only speculation and hearsay is circulating. Some think that an announcement will be made on Friday, to make some news during the Final Four weekend. It seems like the most opportune time to make a splash and get people talking about Iowa basketball. Until then, though, we'll just keep up with the rumors, and make our own lists, and hope that we get the right guy for the job.

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