Where you shop depends on how much you have to spend.
Got 10 bucks to spend on a pair of shoes? Avoid Nichols Hills. Try the Old Paris flea market.
Got $1,000 to spend on a car? Don't bother with Eskridge Lexus. I'll cut you a deal on my '91 Nissan truck.
Got $1 million a year to spend on a basketball coach? Forget Buzz Williams. Head to the mid-major rack.
But indications are OU won't skimp on this hire. OU people in position of influence have told me the Sooners are ready to pony up. Ready to pay as much as $2 million a year to get their man. And it's looking more and more like that man is Buzz, who some say is ready to return to his Southwestern roots even though he has his Marquette Golden Eagles in the Sweet 16.
Williams reportedly is making $1.5 million at Marquette. How much is OU willing to spend? Without going past $1.5 million, and maybe well past, there's no reason to shoot for a big-name, high-profile, proven winner. You won't get him.
Dozens of college coaches make more than $1 million. The big names make more than $2 million. Six Big 12 coaches make at least $1.5 million; that's six out of nine, since Colorado (Tad Boyle $590,000) and Nebraska (Doc Sadler $850,000) are leaving the league and the Oklahoma job is open.
OU does not want to be, and should not be, on the bottom end of Big 12 hoop salaries.
I know, $2 million annually is crazy money. You can't make it work financially no matter what kind of magic pencil you use.
Yes, that kind of money clearly is the market price for a winning coach, but no basketball coach, not even the Bill Self/Rick Pitino/Coach K crowd, is worth that kind of money. This isn't football.
But the Sooners already were paying in the fast lane. Capel was making anywhere from $1.55 million to $1.71 million annually, depending on how you interpret the contract, and OU had to pay him off with a $2.5 million buyout. So OU already was committed to reckless basketball spending.
If you're going to pay big bucks, might as well pay big bucks to a proven winner.
This is an important hire for Joe Castiglione, who hired and fired Capel. Joe C. can't miss on this one. OU basketball is coming off its worst two-year span in 44 years and interest is in free fall.
Buzz Williams would stem that fall. No way of knowing how Buzz would do, but his record at Marquette indicates he would be a solid choice.
Is OU willing to pay the going rate? If the answer is yes, and it appears that the answer most definitely is yes, Buzz Williams could be Norman-bound.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
The salaries for the nation's 10 highest-paid coaches and the Big 12's coaches, based on a variety of reports:
1. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke, $4.1M
2. John Calipari, Kentucky, $4M
2. Rick Pitino, Louisville, $4M
4. Bill Self, Kansas, $3.6M
5. Tom Izzo, Michigan State, $3.4M
6. Billy Donovan, Florida, $3.3M
7. Thad Matta, Ohio State, $2.5M
8. Sean Miller, Arizona, $2.3M
9. Rick Barnes, Texas, $2.2M
10. Roy Williams, North Carolina, $2M
10. Ben Howland, UCLA, $2M
1. Bill Self, Kansas, $3.6M
2. Rick Barnes, Texas, $2.2M
3. Mike Anderson, Missouri, $2M
4. Travis Ford, Oklahoma State, $1.8M
5. Frank Martin, Kansas State, $1.5M
6. Mark Turgeon, Texas A&M, $1.5M
7. Scott Drew, Baylor, $900,000
8. Doc Sadler, Nebraska, $850,000
9. Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State, $800,000
10. Tad Boyle, Colorado, $590,000
* The salary for Billy Gillispie, hired this week at Texas Tech, has not been announced.