Friday, March 17, 2006
Since Ole Miss is looking for a new basketball coach, consider the NCAA Tournament as a series of auditions in which UM AD Pete Boone gets to watch potential candidates. Doctor S handicaps the field and throws in his SWAGs:
1. Mike Anderson, UAB
The 46-year-old Birmingham native has led the Blazers to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. They play Kentucky on Friday night.
Pros: He used to coach at Arkansas and would welcome a chance to return to the SEC. He's a proven recruiter.
Cons: He can probably get a better job than the one at Ole Miss. Look for Missouri to come calling.
2. John Pelphrey, South Alabama
The 37-year-old Paintsville, Ky., native led the Jaguars to a 24-7 record. USA lost to Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Pros: He's a former Kentucky player and took the Jaguars to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. He's a former assistant for Florida coach Billy Donovan. He's the first coach Ole Miss has asked for permission to interview.
Cons: This year was the first time he's had a winning record in four seasons at USA.
3. Andy Kennedy, Cincinnati
The 37-year-old Louisville native led the Bearcats to a 19-12 record this season as their interim coach. They earned a No. 1 seed in the NIT.
Pros: Did a good job in a tough situation at Cincinnati. He's a proven recruiter. He's publicly expressed interest in working in Oxford.
Cons: He's probably going to get the Cincy job.
4. Mick Cronin, Murray State
He has led the Racers to a 24-6 record this season. They play North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Pros: He has led Murray to the NCAA Tournament twice in three seasons as coach. He proved himself as a recruiter as an assistant at Cincinnati and Louisville.
Cons: Bigger names than Ole Miss are interested in this guy, too.
5. Mike Davis, Indiana
The 45-year-old Fayette, Ala., native has led Indiana to a 19-11 record and a victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They play again on Saturday.
Pros: He's led Indiana to four NCAAs (including a Final Four appearance) and one NIT in six seasons as coach. He's a former Alabama player and assistant.
Cons: He announced earlier this season that he's resigning after the season is over. If Ole Miss wanted a coach who won early with another coach's players and struggled afterward, why did it get rid of Rod Barnes?
6. Darrin Horn, Western Kentucky
Led the Hilltoppers to a 23-8 record this season; they lost to South Carolina in the first round of the NIT.
Pros: He has led the Hilltoppers to three straight NIT berths. He was an assistant on Marquette's Final Four team.
Cons: He might have his eye on a bigger job than UM.
I have zero interest in sports, but this post deserves a bump because even I can tell you brought the skills this time, Doc. Nicely done. Cheers, TH
- Tom Head
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