IU's next coach....

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Hugh McAwesome
So who will be IU's next coach? Will they botch it like they did when they hired Sampson even though he was on probation? Will they try to hire a Knight disciple (such as letting Dakich become the head coach and remove the interim label?)

If they are smart (and judging by this whole mess, I don't think they are) they just have to drive about two hours Southeast towards Cincinnati and offer the job to Sean Miller at Xavier. Fantastic coach, young, proven winner, and XU has produced some great coaches, like Prosser and Thad Matta.

Knowing IU, they will try to lure someone away from a job that they have no chance of landing (like a Thad Matta, or John Calipari) and it will show everyone that IU is not what it once was or what its alums think it still is. They need to think outside the box on this one, and start completely fresh. Get away from Knight, the Big Ten and a big name. If they go with Miller, the future will be bright, even if the alums don't think its sexy enough.....

Personally, I think they will botch it and we will all get to enjoy the next few years as they decrease further and further into obscurity....


The Wade Level
I personaly think the whole mess at that other Indiana University is very entertaining! I'm tired of the IU fans saying the university shouldn not pay for what Sampson did, that is total crap. IU knew he was a cheater when they hired him and they didn't care, now they will pay the price. Now the word is some of thier players including DJ White might boycot games and not play. If that happens they should be kicked off the team in my opinion. I understand they want to "support" thier coach butthey are getting a free ride for college, shut up and play.

I agree Sean Miller is an amazing coach and would probably be thier best hire. No way Matta leaves tOSU for the headaches and I honestly don't think Calipari would leave Miemphis for the job either. Why should he? He is one of the nations top recruiters at Memphis and doesn't have to worry about playing a Big 10 schedule. I think IU's next coach will be Dakich. It would be a smart move since he already has connections with thier current players and thier recruits.


The Wade Level
So where will IU turn? Here are five quality candidates, in order of preference and reality, whom the Hoosiers should consider:

• Tony Bennett, Washington State. He's been a fabulous winner at a place where it's not very easy to win. The Cougars were 11-17 in the final season under Tony's dad, Dick, and the upgrade has been emphatic and immediate. Washington State went 26-8 last season and is now 19-5, having spent the entire season in the Top 25.

There's more to recommend Bennett: He's got Midwestern roots, having grown up playing his college ball in Wisconsin; his sister, Kathi, once coached the Indiana women's basketball team; and his preferred style of play fits the Big Ten. Not only that, his dad is tight with Knight. It would undoubtedly make Indiana fans feel better to have someone who comes with The General's stamp of approval.

And this is the year for Bennett to move. His top two scorers are seniors and he has five seniors on the roster.

• Sean Miller, Xavier. The school has been a proven springboard for coaches to prime-time leagues, from Pete Gillen to Skip Prosser to Thad Matta. Miller is the next in that long line of winners. His Musketeers have won 20 games for the third straight season, and Miller has never had a losing record (overall or in league play) in four years as a head coach.

This season has been Xavier's best since David West and Romain Sato were in uniform. The Musketeers look like a legit Sweet 16 team and a dark horse Final Four candidate. If that happens, Miller's name will be red hot on the job market.

• Brad Brownell, Wright State. Under-the-radar candidate is an Indiana native who grew up admiring Knight and played high school ball with Calbert Cheaney in Evansville. He'd understand IU better than anyone else on this list.

But what really recommends him for the job is his record.

Last season, his first at Wright State, the Raiders compiled their first 20-win season since 1992-93, winning the regular-season and conference tournament titles over the more highly touted Butler Bulldogs. This season, they're on the verge of doing it again, sitting at 18-6 and second to Butler in the Horizon League. In the four years prior to Brownell's arrival, Wright State was 50-61.

Prior to Wright State, Brownell compiled a 61-22 record in Colonial Athletic Association play while at North Carolina-Wilmington, twice winning the CAA Coach of the Year.

• Mark Few, Gonzaga. His credentials are established. He's won big and won consistently in Spokane, and he has recruited incredibly well at a West Coast Conference school.

The question is whether he'd leave Gonzaga for Indiana. Most folks believe Few had a chance to leave two years ago, when the Hoosiers hired Sampson, but backed away. Would he say no a second time? Might be worth it to IU to find out.

• Thad Matta, Ohio State. Would he leave one really good job for another in the same league? Maybe not. But the main reason nobody thought Matta would leave the Buckeyes two years ago was Greg Oden, and he's not around anymore.

Matta is a phenomenal recruiter with a Final Four on his r?sum? and strong ties in the state of Indiana. He also has a track record of moving around, albeit for jobs that made plenty of sense (Butler to Xavier to Ohio State in short order). Maybe working at a basketball-first school would make sense to a guy toiling in the shadow of king football in Columbus.

(Backup list: Lon Kruger, UNLV; Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt; Scott Drew, Baylor; Keno Davis, Drake; Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois.)


Hugh McAwesome
I find it hard to believe that they would hire Dakich, just because of what he could not do at Bowling Green. He couldn't win and I don't think the Alumni will think that his hire is BIG enough for the program.....


The Nicks Level
I'd look for Kevin Stallings. I was shocked that Greenspan didn't hire him last time, though now I'm almost convinced that Greenspan was told to hire Sampson. Remember, Greenspan hired Stallings at Illinois State, where he took the Redbirds to the Sweet Sixteen before leaving for Vandy...


Actually, Stallings led them to the second round before getting trounced by Arizona who had Bibby and all those great Wildcat players. Your right though I believe Stallings would be a good hire for Indiana. Its not easy to win in the SEC East especially with Vandy but he recruited extremely well.