10 NCAA Men's Basketball Programs That Will Need New Coaches
First let me state that I believe too often that college and pro sports teams get rid of their coaches too soon. They hire someone and expect immediate results. The reason these teams hired a new coach is because they weren't very good. It takes more than spraying some magic pixie dust to turn it around.
A perfect example is Rich Rodriguez. I believe Michigan should have given him one more year. He had to come to Michigan and implement an entire new system. So basically, he was starting from scratch. The first year, he won three games. The second year, he won five. And the third, he won seven. So logic would dictate that given one more year, he would have won nine games. But the fans couldn't wait.
That being said, sometimes it's obvious that more time just isn't going to make any difference. Phil Fulmer, for example, was given plenty of time. Time enough to see what his program would always be with him running it. Inconsistent.
Here are 10 schools who are facing that situation in men's basketball, or will lose a good coach to others who will be facing it.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
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Did anyone catch their game against Florida State last night? There were about 15 people in the stands.
This is a program that was in the NCAA Championship Game in 2004. Currently, they are 10-13 and 3-7 in the ACC. They have losses to Kennesaw State, Siena and Charlotte. By the looks of the "crowd" last night, the fans have given up.
North Carolina State Wolfpack
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NC State is in a tough spot. Right next to probably the two most powerful basketball programs in the nation. Certainly two of the top five.
Also, NC State fans have seen the promised land. They remember 1974 and 1983 NCAA Championship teams. So they think it can be done. What they need to think about is where Coach K was back then.
Regardless, Sidney Lowe has been given ample time to show the Pack are at least making strides. They aren't. This year, he brought in a great recruiting class, according to the "experts." It hasn't panned out.
They are 12-11 and 2-7 in the ACC. They have losses to Duke by 24 and UNC by 20. There are no embarrassing losses to small timers, but the problem is there are too many losses overall.
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Miami looked like a program with some promise a few years ago. Now they look like another struggling program. UM will be lucky to make the NIT this year. They are 15-9 and 4-6 in the ACC.
They are falling way behind FSU and Florida in the state and this year lost to UCF as well. Pretty soon they'll be losing recruits and games to FAU and FIU if this keeps up.
Oh sure, they have a winning record overall, but so did Randy Shannon. Got to be consistent, right, Donna?
South Florida Bulls
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Stan Heath has been at USF since 2007. I think we can safely assume he is not going to be able to compete in the Big East. There's no shame in that. The Big East is so good the Cleveland Cavaliers probably would be in the middle of the pack.
Last year, it looked like USF was headed in the right direction. This year has been a train wreck. 8-17 and 2-10 in the Big East. They've lost to Southern Miss, James Madison and particularly galling to Bulls fans, UCF and FAU.
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It pains me as a Gator fan to say this, but I think John Pelphrey's seat is getting warm in Arkansas. Arkansas fans are used to winning. They remember the Nolan Richardson days. They are one of the few fanbases in the SEC who care about basketball.
Coming into this season, his record at Arkansas was 51-47 and 18-30 in the SEC. This year, the Hogs are at 14-9 and 4-6. I doubt Hog fans will put up with this too much longer. Especially not while watching fellow former Gator assistant Anthony Grant turning Alabama around.
San Diego State Aztecs
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But wait, San Diego State is doing great. Why would they need a new coach?
Ask the football team.
Steve Fisher isn't getting any younger and his stock will likely never get this high again. If a "big time" school throws enough money at him...
He may want to make one more run at a national title in a big time conference.
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When Jimmer Fredette graduates to the NBA, BYU will sink back into obscurity. Will there be a better time for their coach to make a move?
The BYU job will likely be open.
George Mason Patriots
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Somebody has got to throw some money at this guy, right? Obviously this guy can coach. He's proving that George Mason was no flash-in-the-pan when he took them to the Final Four in 2006.
This year's team currently sits at 20-5 and 12-2 in the Colonial Athletic League. This is the same conference that Alabama snatched Anthony Grant from.
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OK. I think Tubby Smith got a raw deal at Kentucky. He had a heck of a record there. He should not have been run out of Lexington.
That being said, Minnesota hired him expecting those same kind of results. It hasn't happened. After four years, the Gophers are still middle of the pack in the Big Ten. This year's team looked very promising until conference play started. Now they sit at 5-7 in the Big Ten. They are tied with Michigan and Penn State. Ugh.
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Talk about a tough situation. Tom Crean was put in it. He took over a traditional powerhouse with a fanatical fan base when they were at rock bottom.
He's been at IU for three years now and his team is getting better. But this is Indiana. Is it getting better fast enough for this school?
The Hoosiers find themselves near the bottom of the Big Ten again this year at 3-9. They are 12-13 overall. I have to believe even the most patient IU fans thought they'd be a little further along than this by now.