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Georgia Basketball Coaching Search Thoughts

ATHENS - AUGUST 30:  University of Georgia athletic director Damon Evans (L) and school president Michael Adams put a new collar on UGA VII before the game against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Sanford Stadium on August 30, 2008 in Athens, Georgia.  This game is UGA VII's first game as the official school mascot.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Matthew BurnsAnalyst IMarch 28, 2009

1. Money talks- DE said money would not be a factor in bringing a coach to Athens. That means he is committed to bringing a coach in who (he believes) will lead the program to the next level.

2. Facilities are not a deal breaker- Yes, Stegeman is 40 some years old and only holds 10,000 people, but the place would be on fire if, for example, our "40 Minutes of Hell" was taking Kentucky to the woodshed on our way to the NCAA tournament.

Also, if anything, a coach can use the gym for leverage as the negotiate a contract. Why wouldn't a coach say, "I agree to the terms of the contract as long as the proposed renovations are completed by 2011" ?

3. We don't want a coach who will simply bring more in-state talent to Athens- To me, the definition of a "home-run hire" is a guy who makes Athens an attractive city for players nationwide.

Everyone knows that doesn't happen overnight, but Mark Richt would not have the success he has had without kids like Stafford, Moreno, Massaquoi, Owens, Weston, etc. (Sorry for the football reference but it is true).

Damon Evans knows this. Whether he is successful or not with the hire remains to be seen but I promise you he is looking for that program changing guy. The last thing he wants to do is settle for a Plan B.

4. Our program's prestige right now is not the limit- Just because we have yet to realize our potential as a basketball program does not mean we will not achieve elite status. Gonzaga, Arizona St., Virginia Tech, and Baylor are not historical basketball powers.

Yet, with Mark Few, Herb Sendek, Seth Greenberg, and Scott Drew all of these programs became "relevant" in the last few years. In basketball, a coach can make a significant difference in only a few years time.

I understand it is an extreme example but where was Baylor's basketball program a few years ago? Again, Evans realizes the importance of the right hire.

All of this being said, it doesn't matter that Kentucky is looking for a coach or that Anthony Grant would sell his soul to be in Gainesville rather than Tuscaloosa.

What matters is that UGA is committed to improving its  basketball program (or so say the powers that be).

We will see how serious Damon Evans was when he said "I'll say this: Our commitment and my commitment to build Georgia basketball is strong, and when I say strong, I'll add very strong onto that.

"We're going to go out and find the best possible person for this job. That may mean we commit more resources than we have in the past but we're not letting that hold us back from doing what we need to do to have a successful men's basketball program."
In five years, will top 100 recruits want to wear the "Mighty G"? Who knows?
I will say this, if we don't hire a man who sees that as a legitimate goal, Damon Evans did not do his job. 
Go Dawgs!

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