Hire learning: The good (and the bad) hoops hires
So far, 43 Division I men's basketball programs have or are in the process of changing coaches. That includes four from the state of Illinois — including Illinois State, which is in the process of replacing Tim Jankovich. Here are the 10 best changes — and five that left us shaking our heads.
THE GOOD ...
SMU: Larry Brown
The last time we heard anything about the Mustangs was when the school's football program was shut down. So even though Brown is old, disloyal and long removed from the college scene, his name recognition is huge.
Kansas State: Bruce Weber
Frank Martin — right or wrong — has a reputation for playing outside the rules. No one has ever made those accusations against Weber, a straight arrow who fits perfectly in the Kansas cornfields.
South Carolina: Frank Martin
Right or wrong, the SEC has a reputation of letting things get by. So Columbia is the perfect spot for the evil-eyed Martin, who somehow turned Kansas State into an NCAA regular.
Illinois: John Groce
A lot of fans wanted Shaka Smart. But in his short time in C-U, Groce has won over many doubters. Most important, the current players — and recruits — also are buying in.
Tulsa: Danny Manning
Not every Bill Self protege makes it big on his own (Norm Roberts, Billy Gillispie). But the former NBA star, NCAA champ and big-time recruit has the goods.
Nebraska: Tim Miles
Anyone who can produce winning basketball in Fort Collins can do it anywhere — even Lincoln. A stud recruiter, he has a spiffy new arena on the way to pitch.
Florida International: Richard Pitino
If he gets Dad's sloppy recruiting seconds, he'll do just fine. Plus, his move to Florida allowed former Rantoul star Kareem Richardson to get a great job with the Cardinals.
Colorado State: Larry Eustachy
Having resurrected his reputation at Southern Miss, the one-time poster boy for Coaches Gone Wild should keep the Rams on a roll.
UAB: Jerod Haase
If the former Kansas star takes the Blazers to the NCAA tournament a few times, he'll become a candidate to replace Self in Lawrence.
Rhode Island: Dan Hurley
Hot-shot recruiter with a popular last name, Bobby's older brother should get the Rams back in the NCAA tournament soon (they last played in '99).
... AND THE BAD
Central Michigan: Keno Davis
A better fit on BTN
Charleston: Doug Wojcik
Cougars wanted Bruce Weber
Ohio: Jim Christian
Should have offered Groce more
SIU: Barry Hinson
Why not hire Dick Versace?
TCU: Trent Johnson
It's a football school