This thing was humming along all quiet like until about midnight last night.
Georgia Tech, burdened by having to pay Paul Hewitt seven million dollars over the next few years from the dumbest contract in the history of college basketball, hired Dayton's Brian Gregory last week. Gregory is hardly a splash hire. In fact Gregory is more likely going to be mediocre for 3-4 years at which point the Yellow Jackets will dump him and go after someone when they are in a better financial position to do so. At any rate, I have to think Gregory is an upgrade over Hewitt as far as coaching goes. The question is whether Gregory can recruit.
The NC State coaching search was being run with unprecedented secrecy which is nothing short of a miracle in West Raleigh. From what smart people can gather, NCSU has both inquired about coaches and had coaches inquire about the job but nothing substantive has occurred. Alleged top target Sean Miller of Arizona took his name out of consideration two weeks ago via his father. Texas' Rick Barnes may or may not have been approached but had no interest. There were also a flurry of rumors that Florida's Billy Donovan was taking the job. One rumor had him in Raleigh one day last week until ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep tweeted that Donovan was at the beach in Florida with his family. Twitter giveth, twitter taketh away. At this point it seems the Wolfpack are waiting on an answer from VCU's Shaka Smart though there were more Rick Barnes rumors over the weekend. Of course it was widely thought NCSU would have to compete with Missouri for Smart until....
Missouri AD Mike Alden, fresh off being Beamered by Purdue's Matt Painter, stabbed the panic button with disturbing glee and hired.....Miami's Frank Haith?
No seriously. I'm not joking, stop laughing.
Since Charlie Sheen and his insane ramblings were woven into the cultural tapestry we refer to "winning" a lot. Miami and the ACC are clearly winning here while Missouri is going to end up like most other schools who make a panic button hire(see: Doherty, Matt; Lowe, Sidney) and flounder the next five years before correcting the mistake. Not that anyone thinks Miami is going to (1) be able to pay a good coach anything and (2) give a crap about basketball in general. However, should the Hurricanes snag a top assistant or pull off the coup of getting Frank Martin to leave Kansas St(which was actually being discussed last night on Twitter) it will result in a net gain for the ACC in terms of quality coaching. I know, when you are talking about Hewitt and Haith, the bar isn't particularly high.
So where does that leave NC State? The only one left standing among the major schools with the resources and desire to build a solid basketball program. That means NCSU can wait on Shaka Smart to tell them his answer and then hire Gregg Marshall from Wichita St. If neither one of those happens and there is no major surprise hire of one of the big names previously thought to be off the board, I am not sure where Debbie Yow will turn. There is support in the media from the likes of The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy for Cincinnati's Mick Cronin but that has been dismissed by Wolfpack fans because Cronin seems to similar to Herb Sendek.
UPDATE: Shaka Smart is staying at VCU.