Sunday, March 18, 2007

Amaker Gone

Tommy and his wife are fine, classy people. I personally thank him for his hard work. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, and we've all watched in this type bewildering amazement long enough.

So we have finally made it past the Amaker era. The inevitable has happened, and I for one, am ecstatic that it happened this year rather than next. Much is being said about the rekindling of a powerhouse program. Mr. Martin says he wants to win. We'll have to see, we certainly need a coach, a practice facility and a remodeled Crisler, but we appear to be on the way. This step should not be underestimated by those who know absolutely nothing. Andy Katz had some of the early story and some coaching candidate guesses.

There have been many names bandied about. Here are some of the names, with the noted exception of Beilein of West Virginia and Calipari of Memphis. I give Beilein a good shot. But Calipari, why would he leave Memphis for Michigan where he will play second fiddle to football? Of course, were he interested, I'd love to see him offered the job. Instant credibility and image factor. The cash required to get him would also likely force a quicker hand for a practice facility and improvements to Crisler, obviously good things. The other names:

Tom Crean.
A good but likely overpaid coach who's name has been thrown out by the infamous Terry Foster (there alone stands good reason not to believe it). Of course there are rumours that Crean is being groomed for sparty successor, a rumour which is hard to believe as Izzo obviously isn't going anywhere soon. Nonetheless, the Izzo and Crean are buddies, and Crean is a Sparty, would he move over to the darkside even were Michigan interested?

Dana Altman
, is by all accounts a fine coach and will be given consideration by Michigan. However, can you really hire someone from Nebraska and hope to recruit Detroit, Flint, Saginaw immediately? Did I mention he's from Nebraska? You know what they do for excitement in Nebraska, don't you? Ground Tillage.

Lando Calrissian:

(a/k/a Reggie Theus).

Talk about star power. Instant recruiting credibility. Nothing like a movie star, nba player, billy dee williams look look-a-like to hit the recruiting trail. I personally don't view this as a likely scenario, but he should be given a look -- and certainly will be by someone. I can't see him staying at NMSU for long (although would seem a very logical successor at UNLV if you know who ends up in A2.)

Tony Bennett. Obviously there are ties to the midwest, where his dad Dick coached at Sconsin. The recruiting connections may or may not still be alive and well. A great defensive coach and a rising star in the coaching ranks. Were it up to me, he gets the first interview, and would seem a prime candidtate to convince Mr. Martin that The Best Is Yet To Come, now the deciders in Ann Arbor have fired Amaker -- apparently I'm not alone in this thought.

Thad Matta
(just kidding). Who would want to hire a guy that chews that anyway?

Lon Kruger. Were I the A.D. (which I'm not but probably should be) he'd be the second guy I'd bring in after Bennett to consider. A proven winner. Ties to the midwest recruiting from days at Illinois, and I consider a very good coach. My "most likely" hire for U-M, unless Terry Foster or Drew Sharp espouse his merit, in which case I'd then have to reconsider. The only problem with Lon is that he's starting to look a little like the infamous cheater from UNLV!

Chris Lowery. Bruce Weber and Matt Painter coached the Salukis before Lowery. Young, energetic and won't be at SIU for long. His teams play great D, and he does marvelous thing with these recruits, who couldn't do much with a ball before he coached 'em up. He should be on the very short list.

Bob Huggins. Ok. I haven't seen nor heard his name mentioned. It should be, though. This guy can coach and recruit. Sure he's only been at KSU for a year, but if he's willing to coach there, he should be willing to coach at U-M. There are some similarities between the schools. KSU is public. Michigan is public. Oh, and did you know KSU is a football school, now that is Crazy! So apparently Bob is willing to take a backseat to Lloyd and the gang, which is a prereq for the hoop job in A2.