Now who for OSU?
Now that Bill Self has rejected OSU, where do the Cowboys turn? I say Mike Holder starts going down the list, and the top of that list will be impressive. OSU will not aim low. Will not try to find a hidden diamond, unless it comes to that. Here’s what the list might look like:
1. John Calipari: Memphis is a great job that pays him big, but OSU can counter with a better conference and even more money. Memphis in Conference USA is the equivalent of UNLV in the Big West in 1987-92, and while you can soar under such an environment, you also can stumble with no league support.
2. Tubby Smith: Would cost a bundle to get away from Minnesota, and Tubby in some ways would return the Eddie Sutton style of administration to OSU — assistants recruit, head coach coaches — but he’s a big name who has been a big winner and is nothing but class, going back to his Tulsa days.
3. Jaime Dixon: The Pitt coach is young, solid and sharp. Getting him away from Pittsburgh would be difficult; Pitt and OSU are comparable jobs, and Pitt is in a better situation right now. Would probably cost a ton.
4. Tony Bennett: He just announced he was staying at Washington State, but OSU is a better job — much better. I don’t know what buttons need to be pushed, but most people have buttons.
5. Chris Lowery: Southern Illinois is becoming the Miami-Ohio of college basketball; a cradle of coaches. Bruce Weber left and took Illinois to the NCAA finals; Matt Painter left and has Purdue riding high. And of course, Jack Hartman made his name at SIU before going to Kansas State.
6. Anthony Grant: Virginia Commonwealth would declare holy war on the state of Oklahoma. In 1985, Tulsa U. hired away VCU’s J.D. Barnett. In 2006, OU hired away VCU’s Jeff Capel. If OSU were to hire away VCU’s Grant…
7. Sean Miller: Would be a great hire, but two down sides. You’d have to pay Miller like he was coming from a power, not mid-major Xavier, and the speculation is that he would return to Pitt, his alma mater, when that job opens. Of course, if Dixon won’t leave Pitt, that wouldn’t be a problem.
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