Basketball Coaching Staff / Coaching Carousel Thread

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#76
North Bethesda, Maryland
I know most think Roger Powell would be too big of a gamble, but he’s young, was in a NC game 14 years ago, is from Joliet, and he did play some pro ball. At the very least he would be passionate about Illinois and most likely relate better to the players. At this point, why not? That’s not just a rhetorical question, I’m interested in hearing reasons against it.
 
#77
Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
I know most think Roger Powell would be too big of a gamble, but he’s young, was in a NC game 14 years ago, is from Joliet, and he did play some pro ball. At the very least he would be passionate about Illinois and most likely relate better to the players. At this point, why not? That’s not just a rhetorical question, I’m interested in hearing reasons against it.
Well for one, we know nothing about his X's and O's ability, game prep, planning, motivational tactics, or player development abilities at a high major level. He's never had a high major HC job, and has no track record of success at a high major level as a head coach. I can't believe this has to be explained.
 
Likes: IlliniGman
#78
Likewise, Brad Underwood was hailed as the victory of the coaching carousel by most professional college basketball journalists. I was elated - I did not think Oklahoma State was in the universe of P5 schools we could conceivably steal a coach from. In addition to getting a guy who just piloted to OSU to the #1 offense in the country and burned his previous conference competition entirely to the ground, it was an affirmation that yes, Illinois Basketball is still a cut above (or at least should be, in the right hands).
Just because you can get a coach from another P5 program by hugely overpaying, it does not mean that he is a good hire and fit for your program. I have said it many times over the years, but in order for Illinois to return to prominence, as with any time in our history, you need to have very strong recruiting, build relationships with HS/AAU, and win the PR battle to get additional goodwill. Brad Underwood has not had this reputation. It is a necessary condition to have a very strong recruiter as a head coach and I talk to HS/AAU coaches all the time and you will never hear them talking about Underwood in recruiting. Never. Joe Henricksen mentioned the same thing in a radio interview when he was hired.

I think the Underwood hire was actually much more towards the Weber mold (long time assistant, got HC job late, some success at lower level SIU/SFA, and more importantly not known as a recruiter) than what Illinois needs. It did not work last time and it certainly does not seem that it will work this time. Josh Whitman took a gamble thinking that this type of hire may work this time, but it is obvious that we lost that gamble.

As for the future, as I said, John Whitman will be evaluated on his hires, but also how fast and efficiently he recovers from his mistakes. I do not think it means that his next hire will be in the same mold again.
 
#80
the Front Range
Well for one, we know nothing about his X's and O's ability, game prep, planning, motivational tactics, or player development abilities at a high major level. He's never had a high major job, and has no track record of success at a high major level as a head coach. I can't believe this has to be explained.
But he might be just fine at those things. I paid a little attention when he was at valpo but haven’t really followed him since. There will have to be some latitude given to a guy like this. Memphis is doing it with Penny Hardaway but it is specially tuned into the AAU circuit. But he was a gamble (and might still be). I do know that the Rev is a high character guy and that goes a long way in my book.
 
#83
Equal Opportunity Alcoholic
Portland, OR
It's mindblowing to me that after failing 3 times to replicate the magic of "pluck a mid major guy and hope he also becomes Bill Self" that anyone would want to go with someone with no meaningful experience running a P5 program, simply because he graduated from this University.

Illinois fans never cease to confuse me as to what they want out of the program. I truly think many just want grads in important positions because it's little more than "Ah I remember the good ole days" as they get older.
 
#84
North Bethesda, Maryland
Well for one, we know nothing about his X's and O's ability, game prep, planning, motivational tactics, or player development abilities at a high major level. He's never had a high major HC job, and has no track record of success at a high major level as a head coach. I can't believe this has to be explained.
Well, I guess because I asked for it to be explained. Also, just because we don’t know anything about some aspects doesn’t mean we can’t find out. I’m not suggesting it’s the answer; this forum is also a place for entertaining speculation. I appreciate the feedback, regardless of your suggestion I’m asking a puerile question.
 
#86
Here is the sad truth that even i a life long illini fan doesnt want to admit. Cuonzo was the right hire. He wanted to come here. He would have kept tilmon, probably brought Liddell and Okoro. I cant stand the man but that is sad truth and we passed him over. We said he couldnt X/O, well my friends talent wins and our coach aint out X/O anyone so its time to go. My hope at the time was Buzz but we let him go to VA Tech. Chris Collins would have been great in orange. Point being we need a postive good recruiting type of players coach. Not an angry, screaming, no scheme changing coach. Now looking ahead whitman has to be smart. Start working back channels and look for the home run hires like Rick Pitino. Keep Chin let Walker go and bring back a Dee Brown/Kenny Battle to be groomed under a Pitino type. We need guys that walk into a gym and everyone knows who they are and partnered with assistants that bleed orange and blue. We dont have time to establish an identity. Our new coach has to come in with one. See Rick Barnes at Tennessee. Its time for a home run hire who needs us as much as we need him. Say hello rick pitino
 
#87
Here is the sad truth that even i a life long illini fan doesnt want to admit. Cuonzo was the right hire. He wanted to come here. He would have kept tilmon, probably brought Liddell and Okoro. I cant stand the man but that is sad truth and we passed him over. We said he couldnt X/O, well my friends talent wins and our coach aint out X/O anyone so its time to go. My hope at the time was Buzz but we let him go to VA Tech. Chris Collins would have been great in orange. Point being we need a postive good recruiting type of players coach. Not an angry, screaming, no scheme changing coach. Now looking ahead whitman has to be smart. Start working back channels and look for the home run hires like Rick Pitino. Keep Chin let Walker go and bring back a Dee Brown/Kenny Battle to be groomed under a Pitino type. We need guys that walk into a gym and everyone knows who they are and partnered with assistants that bleed orange and blue. We dont have time to establish an identity. Our new coach has to come in with one. See Rick Barnes at Tennessee. Its time for a home run hire who needs us as much as we need him. Say hello rick pitino
For this dumpster fire to turn around, you are spot on my friend.
 
#88
Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
Here is the sad truth that even i a life long illini fan doesnt want to admit. Cuonzo was the right hire. He wanted to come here. He would have kept tilmon, probably brought Liddell and Okoro. I cant stand the man but that is sad truth and we passed him over. We said he couldnt X/O, well my friends talent wins and our coach aint out X/O anyone so its time to go. My hope at the time was Buzz but we let him go to VA Tech. Chris Collins would have been great in orange. Point being we need a postive good recruiting type of players coach. Not an angry, screaming, no scheme changing coach. Now looking ahead whitman has to be smart. Start working back channels and look for the home run hires like Rick Pitino. Keep Chin let Walker go and bring back a Dee Brown/Kenny Battle to be groomed under a Pitino type. We need guys that walk into a gym and everyone knows who they are and partnered with assistants that bleed orange and blue. We dont have time to establish an identity. Our new coach has to come in with one. See Rick Barnes at Tennessee. Its time for a home run hire who needs us as much as we need him. Say hello rick pitino
Hate to say I agree but I do, though not so sure still that Cuonzo was the right guy, and definitely not Pitino. Don't need that kind of stink on our program and don't think JW wants it either.
 
#90
Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
It's mindblowing to me that after failing 3 times to replicate the magic of "pluck a mid major guy and hope he also becomes Bill Self" that anyone would want to go with someone with no meaningful experience running a P5 program, simply because he graduated from this University.

Illinois fans never cease to confuse me as to what they want out of the program. I truly think many just want grads in important positions because it's little more than "Ah I remember the good ole days" as they get older.
Exactamundo.
 
#94
The Transfer Portal
Yessssss, love to be back at the point where “Here are all the people, I - someone who has exclusively watched Illinois basketball for 25 years - know of as coaching candidates.” will make for consistent message board fodder.

What page will “Hey, what’s Sean Harrington doing these days? Didn’t his dad coach HS basketball?” make an appearance? I’m going with page 9.
 
#95
At this point i would take the stink to return to prominence. Pitino would bring buzz. We have zero buzz. We do all the little things wrong to create buzz. It blows me away some of the decisons from uniforms to seating charts in the new design of our court. Nothing but wrong decisions over and over. Our identitiy was the chief and our home court. Its dead now. We need a prominent coach more than ever. If he gets us sanctions in 5 years so be it. Michigan is fine after chris weber. I could go on and on. Bring me a name. Thad Matta for 2 years. Pitino for 2. I dont care. But a buzz peterson type hire that brings a buzz (no pun intented). No more under the radar hires. Say what u want about lovie but he brough buzz and football is headed back. We need a name
 
#96
Start working back channels and look for the home run hires like Rick Pitino. Keep Chin let Walker go and bring back a Dee Brown/Kenny Battle to be groomed under a Pitino type. We need guys that walk into a gym and everyone knows who they are and partnered with assistants that bleed orange and blue. We dont have time to establish an identity. Our new coach has to come in with one. See Rick Barnes at Tennessee. Its time for a home run hire who needs us as much as we need him. Say hello rick pitino
Speaking of Pitino, he had mentioned that he was done with coaching, yet he recently changed his tune and now has explicitly said that he wants to come back to NBA or college. He is back in coaching, last week he made his debut in Euroleague as the head coach of Panathinaikos one of the best Euroleague teams that had been struggling and fired their coach. In his first game, he led his team in an upset victory over CSKA Moscow, one of the favorites to win Euroleague this year. He is under contract until the end of this season, but he will get multiple multi-million offers this off-season, including Euroleague.
 
#97
Step 1- Bring in pitino. Keep Chin. Hire a combo from: roger powell, dee brown, kenny battle, sean harrington and groom them to take over when pitino retires. Instant indentity.
Step 2- make sure our new unifroms arent garbage. Clean old school like syracuse if possible. Wear orange 80% of the time to create identity
3-Put the band where the empty seats are at state farm. Get rid of the huge gap from court to tunnell that is filled with empty space and empty seats. Looks horrible, kills enviroment. Or change camera view. Need to focus on little things like this. Cant say it enough. Chief was our identity. Sucks he is gone so we need a face for coach, with good looking orange uniforms and a great game day experience (see indiana). Whitman is the right man. We just need more attention to details. We have the tradition. Rant over
 
#98
North Bethesda, Maryland
Well for one, we know nothing about his X's and O's ability, game prep, planning, motivational tactics, or player development abilities at a high major level. He's never had a high major HC job, and has no track record of success at a high major level as a head coach. I can't believe this has to be explained.
Well, I guess because I asked for it to be explained. Also, just because we don’t know anything about some of that, doesn’t mean we can’t find out. I’m not suggesting it’s the answer, this forum is also a place for entertaining speculation. I appreciate the feedback, regardless of your feeling that I’m asking a puerile question.
 
Re: the Underwood hire...

Some seem to think that he’s not a fit for the program because he’s not a great recruiter, and that Cuonzo, while maybe not ideal, was a better fit for what the UofI job requires.

If I recall correctly, someone was kind enough to put together a chart that shows that we have pretty vastly under-performed relative to our recruiting the last 10 or so years. Pre Underwood, we were pretty consistently pulling in top 5 classes in the BIG, but our winning percentages never corresponded to our recruiting successes.

Take Beilin or Ryan as examples; both have of course landed their fair share of 4 and 5 star talent, but their bread and butter is their program/system. I for one was tired of getting Burked and Stauskased and LeVerted and Happed while we had the superior roster “on paper.”

Cuonzo Track record indicates it would have been more of the same. Do I think Smith Tilmon and Pickett stick around if we hire Cuonzo? Sure. Not sure he would have been enough to keep Liddell or Okoro from OSU or Oregon but definitely would have improved our chances. And we are probably a tournament team last year and this year which sounds great.

But Underwood seemed like a better hire at the time. More of a chance to build a lasting program and, hard to say this now, I actually believe a higher ceiling.

Unfortunately nothing has gone right. We’ve got an ace recruiting staff who have brought plenty of talented players to campus, but for whatever reason (could be Underwood, could be facilities, could be different with each player) we haven’t been able to land them. For whatever reason, players haven’t been able to execute his offensive system with any consistency and defensively, I think we’ve got a large enough sample size to show his philosophy doesn’t work at the HM level (started 0-6 at OSU before he adjusted). We’ve had second half leads in 7 of our 9 losses. I think the pressure just tires guys out and it’s about as simple as that.

There is still time to turn it around but we are very close to a vote of no confidence from the players. And playing your walk on son ahead of scholarship players is a horrible look when you’re 4-9. I don’t think it’s too early to start working back channels and if the right candidate presents himself, making a move. With basketball it seems like coaches turn things around quickly or they don’t. Unfortunately seems to be the latter in this case.
 
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