College Basketball Coaches Who Need a Deep Tourney Run to Save Their Jobs
Most college basketball teams measure success by wins and losses throughout a season. Other teams have only succeeded if they win their conference. The most prestigious programs in the nation expect nothing less than a Final Four every season.
Fans are able to give teams a couple of chances to rebuild and reload their roster for the next tournament run.
For these four teams, however, this year is their last chance at the dance.
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Ben Howland is still recovering from the Reeves Nelson fiasco, which caused an unheard of number of talented recruits to transfer.
Howland has been left with a less than stellar rosters over the past few seasons, but this season is much different.
UCLA now boasts two of the top five recruits in the nation in Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson. The Bruins also have a top-rated center in Tony Parker.
Howland has no more excuses. He has expunged any and all traces of negativity in his locker room. This is a new team with new goals.
If Howland does not make it to at least the Sweet 16 this season, he will likely be looking for a new place to coach next year.
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Fans and analysts alike questioned whether, then 31-year-old, Josh Pastner was qualified to take over the coaching responsibilities at Memphis.
Oh, and the coach he was succeeding was just John Calipari.
Pastner, a brilliant recruiter, has had a reasonable record at the helm of the Tigers. Pastner’s record of 75-29 is respectable, but Pastner has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game as a head coach.
Last season, they were upset by Saint Louis, and the season before that, they lost to Arizona.
In 2009-2010, Memphis did not even make the tournament.
Pastner has had quality teams; as you can draw from his wins throughout the regular season.
If Pastner wants to prove doubters wrong and keep his job, he needs to win a couple games in March this season.
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Poor Andy Kennedy has the unfortunate position of having the most wins of any Mississippi coach in a six-year span. This is only unfortunate because he has yet to take the Rebels to the NCAA Tournament.
Kennedy is certainly on the hot seat.
Ole Miss fans will not accept any more excuses.
Mississippi returns four starters from last season.
Murphy Holloway, who averaged 11.2 points per game last season, is the type of big man that can lead you to wins with his rebounding ability.
With a talented roster and immense pressure to win, Kennedy would do well to not only take his team to March Madness, he should hope to win at least two games.
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If Sean Miller does not make a deep run in the tournament this season, he will likely not be fired.
It would, however, start the whispers, and his job would be much less safe.
Miller is incredibly attached to Arizona. He recently went as far as purchasing the university a weight room.
That being said, he is still a coach at a top program and that comes with certain responsibilities.
Miller has done a phenomenal job in bringing in talented recruits and transfers.
This season, Miller boasts the top center recruit in Kaleb Tarczewski and talented guard Mark Lyons.
If Miller does not do well in the PAC-12 and in the tournament with this team, he will have a hard time justifying it to Arizona’s fans because this team is simply built to win.