Coach Carousel: The Worst Coaching Hires of the 2012 Offseason
The coach carousel is nearly done for the 2012 offseason, as all of the 45 schools who went searching for a new head coach have found one except for Mississippi Valley State.
There have been a number of excellent hires, but some have been mind-boggling.
So, after looking at the best college basketball coaching hires of this offseason, here is a breakdown of a few of the most questionable hires.
Jim Ferry, Duquesne
Yes, LIU's basketball program was in shambles before Jim Ferry arrived.
And yes, he has won back-to-back NEC championships.
And yes, his team did stay close with No. 1 seed Michigan State for a half in a NCAA tournament game.
However, if you have watched his teams play enough, you will realize that his style of play might not lead to as many wins against levels of competition higher than the NEC.
Although Ferry's teams have had great offensive output, defense is essentially nonexistent in his game plan. This past year, the Blackbirds ranked No. 331 in scoring defense.
That style worked in the NEC, where a team like Bryant or Monmouth might have trouble scoring against any type of defense.
When Duquesne plays against the better teams of the A-10 next year—Xavier, St. Louis, Butler, etc.—Ferry's style will not hold up. This has shown to be true in his time with Long Island. The Blackbirds struggled against good competition, and Ferry's best non-conference win over the last two seasons was against Vermont.
Also, Ferry did take LIU to the NCAA tournament the past two years, but overall his record with the Blackbirds was just 150-149.
James Johnson, Virginia Tech
James Johnson was the top assistant at Virginia Tech when Seth Greenberg was the head coach, but is that really a good thing?
Greenberg was mediocre during his tenure with the Hokies, and the five years that Johnson spent on the staff were quite disappointing.
Virginia Tech was constantly knocking on the NCAA tournament's door, but it always ended up being one of the team's not invited to the Big Dance.
Continuity is good when a program has been successful, but in this case, Virginia Tech should have chosen to go in a different direction.
Keno Davis, Central Michigan
Keno Davis made his mark quickly on the college basketball scene during his first season as a head coach in 2007-08.
Davis, after taking over for his father Tom at Drake, took the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament with a 28-5 record.
Davis immediately bolted for Providence, where he ended up with a 46-50 record over three seasons.
Now, he is back at the mid-major level with Central Michigan.
But unlike at Drake, his previous mid-major job, Davis will have to do a lot more work with this team. At Drake, all of the main guys on the team were players he inherited from his father. At Central Michigan, he will need to get guys on his own.
The Chippewas lost three of their top four scorers from last season, one to graduation and two to transferring. Also, a couple of bench players will not be coming back.
Unlike at Drake, Davis will need to bring in some recruits that could take Central Michigan from the bottom of its conference towards the top.
But Davis has never really made his mark on the recruiting trail. Even with Big East ties at Providence, he only brought in one Top 100 recruit in his three seasons.
We'll see how this hire works out after a couple of years, but there are no overwhelming reasons for why Davis is the guy to turn Central Michigan into one of the better teams in the MAC.