Where Do We Go Now?

>> Wednesday

For the cruelest April Fools Joke ever presented to me, Tom Crean has taken the first plane to Indiana here, leaving Marquette in the always fun position of looking for a new head coach. Also, the manner in which he left, refusing to contact current players and incoming recruits, has thrown out nine years of good will Crean worked to establish. I can understand Crean deciding to take the gamble in turning Indiana around, but have the professionalism to be up front about it to your players.

Meanwhile, Marquette has plenty of positives to sell a prospective head coach: state of the art practice facilities in Al McGuire Center, strong compensation package for the right coach (Crean made 1.7 million per year, plus the Brinks truck Indiana just backed up at the Al for Crean's buyout), and the ability to compete in the best league in America with the Big East. Now, who should be the lucky candidate to help lead Marquette in the future.

Buzz Williams: He would likely keep everyone on the current together (except potentially James), and probably all of our recruits except Nick Williams (including top 2008 prospect Tyshawn Taylor and 2009 prospect Erik Williams). He can definitely recruit at the level we need, and at this point I would be willing to gamble that he can handle the other parts of job as bringing talent in would be by far most important aspect of the job.

Anthony Grant: Yes, I have been riding this guys jock for over a year now (and Jeremy Foley did a 100 yard dash to lure him in when it looked like Billy Donovan was leaving for Orlando Magic). He played a big role in luring Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah and Taurean Green to Florida, and has won big in his two seasons at VCU (52 wins, two Colonial conference titles, NCAA win over Duke). A dynamic young recruiter, I think Grant could do an excellent job selling Marquette and have us competing at the top of the Big East.

Mark Fox: A name that just recently popped in my mind, but has a very good track record at Nevada (three NCAA Tournaments appearances, three WAC titles) and has an outstanding recruiting signed at Nevada (McDonald's All-American Luke Babbitt, Scout top 100 player Mark McLaughlin, former Indiana wing Joey Shaw). Also, along with the more heralded Nick Fazekas and Ramon Sessions, Fox has developed a future NBA player in JaVale McGee and looks to be sly as a fox (not quite the math teacher look that he somewhat resembles) on the recruiting trail.

Sean Miller: I'm not sure if Miller leaves Xavier before the Pitt job opens up, but probably worth a call just in case. I am still a little hesitant to believe if he's as good as his track record (three NCAA appearances, an Elite 8 this season, two A-10 titles). Like Fox, Miller really proved himself in recruiting this past season by signing top 50 big man Kenny Frease and talented guards Mark Lyons and Brad Redford. He did benefit by inheriting a roster with Stanley Burrell and Josh Duncan (with Thad Matta doing most of heavy lifting in the Derrick Brown and B.J. Raymond recruitments), but it looks Miller would be capable of building a roster on his own and he would may be the safest pick of this group.

Now, candidates such as Mike Anderson from Missouri (love the up-tempo style, not a big fan of Mizzou's disciplinary problems), Brad Brownell from Wright State and Chris Lowery from Southern Illinois could also be solid candidates. However, the top four guys on my list would be an excellent framework to start and hopefully end from.


Vinnie 8:53 AM  

The solution is so simple and the timing so perfect, I this didn't dawn on me 'til now: Bring back Kevin O'Neill!

...April Foo-ools!!!! Hahaha... huh? Yesterday? Oh. My mistake. Carry on.

Vinnie 8:58 AM  

*...I can't believe this didn't dawn on me...

Paul 9:52 AM  

Righto. I like Anthony Grant in the longer term, but I like Buzz to help keep the Big 3 around for their senior year. Thus, I'm a little torn.

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