Basketball Coaching Staff / Coaching Carousel Thread

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Yep, agree with this. I mean, clearly Whitman personally wronged IdahoIllini at some point, but for everyone else’s benefit, recall it was springtime and we were picking up the pieces following a player abuse scandal. Being able to land a coach with 1) an impeccable reputation for professionalism 2) high visibility and name recognition in Chicago and St. Louis and 3) the ability to shed our albatross of never having an African American head coach in either revenue sport was a truly incredible feat considering it happened at a time when most schools are hiring basketball coaches. You can quibble with the results - and I have - but you can’t argue that in terms of the intangibles in play, Lovie Smith, at the time he was hired at Illinois, was a bet a good AD would make 9.5/10 times.
I still like the Lovie hire. I think that program is in a better place than it was when he was hired. Lovie and Whitman have made changes (rod smith hire), recruiting has been decent. So all in all I think the program is improving. If they manage to get the DC decision right the program could become attractive to other coaches and recruits.

I was completely wrong on the Underwood hire. At the time I thought t was great. I thought he could coach guys up even if he didn't recruit well. However, the regression this year really has we worried that the program is going the opposite direction. My main concern is that the program isn't attractive to other coaches.
 
In Conference:

Lovie=4-23
Brad=4-16
At least Lovie has his team trending in the right direction. Team increased their win total, some very high level recruits coming into the program, as well some monster transfers. He's fine in my book.

Underwood..... nothing positive has happened under his watch. Massive transfers as soon as he was hired, a terrible season, more transfers after year 1, awful early signing period and to date, on pace for the worst season in school history with again, a mass exodus in the near future.

He has parents ticked off via Twitter, he plays his own kid over his recruits, 5,000 people show up at the UC for a conference game and his recruiting shows absolutely no sign of improving.

The worst part is that after only 13 games, his players have quit on him.

There is literally not one part of the basketball program that makes this season or even next season interesting.

Should have been fired after yesterday and Walker should have been fired after whiffing on keeping Groce's recruits. Let Coleman take the job for the year. He certainly can't hurt recruiting and my assumption is that the players would appreciate the move.

That's my rant. Frustrated.
 
North Bethesda, Maryland
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
Good rant though...wish it could happen, it would be even more of a major league move than bringing in Lovie.
 
At least Lovie has his team trending in the right direction. Team increased their win total, some very high level recruits coming into the program, as well some monster transfers. He's fine in my book.

Underwood..... nothing positive has happened under his watch. Massive transfers as soon as he was hired, a terrible season, more transfers after year 1, awful early signing period and to date, on pace for the worst season in school history with again, a mass exodus in the near future.

He has parents ticked off via Twitter, he plays his own kid over his recruits, 5,000 people show up at the UC for a conference game and his recruiting shows absolutely no sign of improving.

The worst part is that after only 13 games, his players have quit on him.

There is literally not one part of the basketball program that makes this season or even next season interesting.

Should have been fired after yesterday and Walker should have been fired after whiffing on keeping Groce's recruits. Let Coleman take the job for the year. He certainly can't hurt recruiting and my assumption is that the players would appreciate the move.

That's my rant. Frustrated.
Subtle:

Less Subtle:
 
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

Matta could have had taken the Georgia opportunity, didn't like the fit although our buddy Crean did. Thad wanted the Illinois position when Weber got it, might he still?
 
Matta could have had taken the Georgia opportunity, didn't like the fit although our buddy Crean did. Thad wanted the Illinois position when Weber got it, might he still?
Matta lobbied for an interview which Guenther declined. Wanting someone more loyal after bungling Self. Pretty much started the chain of events that have led us to today.
 
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M tipping over
Pdx
I don't get the hate on Whitman, honestly. He took over a slew of programs in complete disarray, including two programs mistreating their players (football and women's b-ball). He fired all the coaches that were problems for the university and hired coaches that were a part of winning programs. They are not all going to pan out. And that should be okay - it's just really hard to swallow when they don't because we have been such a dumpster fire over the prior decade in nearly every imaginable way. I was happy with the Lovie hire, despite misgivings about lack of college experience. Mostly for two reasons: 1) we we're a joke of a program with an idiot at the helm and needed someone with some respectability (which I think Lovie brought), and 2) do you really think we could have done much better at the time? Also, BU was considered a good hire at the time. We can all Monday morning QB this one, but I believe even the writers called it an A- hire (I forget the article but that was his 'grade' not A+). Yeah I was nervous about not enough P5 "winningness", but it seemed right at the time. Given his actual track record, I think Whitman will do what is right when the time comes. He is just about the only one I do trust to make the right call at this point. He has to be a leader, not a micromanager. You have to give coaches enough slack to make it or break it and then you act.
 
Pitino is a huge name who was just as Louisville. Dont know what you mean by has not been around? He would create a buzz. Much needed. Keeping chin means maybe keeping Ayo, Tev, Janury. Plus getting adam miller who plays for mac. Chin has done his job. So who do you propose we hire? An up and comer? We are in a deep hole my friend.
 
Pitino is a huge name who was just as Louisville. Dont know what you mean by has not been around? He would create a buzz. Much needed. Keeping chin means maybe keeping Ayo, Tev, Janury. Plus getting adam miller who plays for mac. Chin has done his job. So who do you propose we hire? An up and comer? We are in a deep hole my friend.
Pitino would be like hiring Bobby Petrino or Mike Leach. Huge gamble but a proven big time coach at the college level.

We are at a point where that might be necessitated.
 
Pitino would be like hiring Bobby Petrino or Mike Leach. Huge gamble but a proven big time coach at the college level.

We are at a point where that might be necessitated.

I get it. We're desperate for a winner, and he's probably the surest thing there is. Make no mistake.....Pitino would get Illinois back to respectability in a hurry.

But, for as long as he coached this school, I'd sit out as a fan. I want to win, but not like that. And I'm 99% sure Whitman would feel the same way.
 
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
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
 
Likes: VAIllini35
My take. Thought Underwood was a great hire and could coach basketball (unlike Groce). Started getting worried towards end of last year and felt like he was elevating Frazier "status" too quickly for a smallish freshman guard (love what Frazier has done btw but he is/was not a player that can carry an entire team). Went to Big Ten tournament in NY and came away very disappointed in BU. He was acting embarrassed by his team's play (HIS team, coaches by HIM). It did not surprise me that we had players leave.

I felt Groce was way too soft and we needed more "fire" but BU's delivery is not working. Not having any of BU's assistants has turned out to be a major problem.
 
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King Kofi
Urbana, IL
Recruiting is the life blood of any succesful program. The question is will Whitman be willing to pull the plug after this season because it's obvious to everyone that Underwood is in over his head...
 
I don’t buy bad luck. Lovie was an NFL guy who had no relevant college!recruiting experience and had been fired at his last two NFL stops. He was on nobody else’s college coaching radar. It was a huge gamble and at the moment it looks doubtful to succeed. I’d say on its face it was risky at best so luck doesn’t really play.

Underwood had one mediocre year at a high major school. His record at SFA was impressive though doesn’t necessarily translate to P5 coaching (see Bollant, Matt).

Neither of those were homerun, A+ hires as they carried a lot of risks. Most college hires do especially at a school like UI who isn’t exactly attractive to candidates. But, all that said, Whitman certainly doesn’t get a pass for bad or dumb luck. No more than Thomas did. He has to wear those decisions and own them.
Lets not put Thomas and Whitman in the same boat. Thomas was a carpetbagger who ticked people off immediately in the way he handled the coaching terminations. Whitman is personable, has raised a lot of money, and is a true Illini. So far, it is obvious to all that his two major coaching hires have failed. Football takes time to turnaround but we need to see major defensive improvement to think it might work. Basketball will be self evident based on year end transfers and spring recruiting. However, the buyout precludes a change until 5/1/2020. Whitman will have to begin hitting the back channels next year if it goes the way it looks like it might. I think we should support Josh until we see how the next couple years plays out. I am in the camp that he made two good hires, given our very poor position in the college athletic world. They have not worked out. We really don't know what his other options were. Armchair message board quarterbacks want to fire someone quickly. I was guilty of that after 63 to zero. However, we have to weigh what is best going forward and its not clear to me that canning eveyone is the correct approach.
 
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King Kofi
Urbana, IL
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
I was with you all the way to the word Pitino and than I glanced down at the rest of your post and saw more Pitino, some poker tables, and a whole lot of strippers and just stopped reading... 😎
 
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Lets not put Thomas and Whitman in the same boat. Thomas was a carpetbagger who ticked people off immediately in the way he handled the coaching terminations. Whitman is personable, has raised a lot of money, and is a true Illini. So far, it is obvious to all that his two major coaching hires have failed. Football takes time to turnaround but we need to see major defensive improvement to think it might work. Basketball will be self evident based on year end transfers and spring recruiting. However, the buyout precludes a change until 5/1/2020. Whitman will have to begin hitting the back channels next year if it goes the way it looks like it might. I think we should support Josh until we see how the next couple years plays out. I am in the camp that he made two good hires, given our very poor position in the college athletic world. They have not worked out. We really don't know what his other options were. Armchair message board quarterbacks want to fire someone quickly. I was guilty of that after 63 to zero. However, we have to weigh what is best going forward and its not clear to me that canning eveyone is the correct approach.
To be fair, Thomas was a two time AD of the year prior to IL. He was behind the eight ball from the moment he was hired, because he was brought in to hatchet the current coaches (as was Whitman though he was supported financially for his hires and Thomas wasn’t) and because he was frozen out by the boosters loyal to Guenther. I find the latter despicable because it undermined the entire athletic department and was super petty. His fundraising would have looked a lot different if he had that support. And he still did enough to get SFC done. Regardless though, his hires were terrible and he was terminated for it.

I agree I need to cut Whitman some slack. I was really disappointed in the hire (no D1 AD experience, a product of the Guenther tree) but maybe football will turn (no small task for any AD at Illinois) and he can remedy basketball. I’m hoping for the best but expecting far less.
 
Short of Underwood himself resigning (isn't happening) he's not going anywhere after this season, or the next for that matter. So long as Whitman is our A.D. BU will get plenty of time to try and build a successful program (see Lovie.)

With that said, I would be very surprised if a serious recruiter with AAU/HS ties like Chin isn't added to the staff at the end of season.
 
Pitino is out of our reach financially. Including bonus, Pitino had the 4th largest contract in basketball including the NBA. Only Popovich, Rivers, and Thibodeau had larger contracts. He is on contract until the end of season in Euroleague and doing very well, but he has said he wants back in the NBA or college. Given BU's buyout ($12.4M) and required contract to hire Pitino, you are talking about a $20+ million investment just in year 1. Considering that the entire Ubben renovation is $30M, that is definitely out of reach. If Pitino elects to come back to coaching in college, the most likely destination will be UCLA.
 
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Short of Underwood himself resigning (isn't happening) he's not going anywhere after this season, or the next for that matter. So long as Whitman is our A.D. BU will get plenty of time to try and build a successful program (see Lovie.)
At a certain point if Whitman isn't willing to clean up his own mess, someone else will have to.

I don't subscribe to the idea that Whitman is some irrationally loyal romantic. I think a $12 million dollar buyout is a $12 million dollar buyout. Both of our coaches are coaching for their jobs next school year, it would seem to me.
 
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