Big name alumni hires are all the rage in college basketball at the moment. Will they work? Chimp has no idea. Over the last few years we’ve seen: Penny to Memphis, Ewing to Georgetown, Mullin to St.John’s, and now the big one, Juwan Howard to Michigan. What if every ACC basketball head coaching job opened up tomorrow and each search mimicked Michigan’s? Who would your school hire? Here are my choices:
1) UNC – This is an easy choice: Michael Jordan. Problem is he wouldn’t take the job. Too much work and he makes money faster than the federal reserve prints it. Back up plan, Eric Montross? Vince Carter? I’d go with Vince but I’ll defer to my teammate Charlie M. to make the right hire.
2) Duke– Christian Laettner. Arguably the most hated college player ever. This would be a riot and probably cause a few riots . Can you imagine the crowds on the road in the ACC. Shit would be flying from the rafters and it would be fabulous. Knowing Laettner, he would be a player/coach and of course name himself a starter.
3) Notre Dame– Bill Laimbeer. One of the the most hated and certainly one of the dirtiest players in NBA history. Hell, he even fought his own teammates in Detroit. He also coached in the WNBA, winning three titles. I know, that doesn’t mean shit. I’m going for entertainment here as much as substance. To go from Mike Brey who is a great dude, to a scumbag like Laimbeer would be hilarious. Notre Dame fans would love this, football from September through March.
4) UVA– Ralph Sampson. As far as steep drop offs go this one would probably be similar to a swan dive off the Empire State building. Beilein to Howard is bad, this would be worse. Ralph does have a bit of college coaching experience as an assistant for Lefty Driesell at James Madison and a short stint as an assistant with the Suns in the NBA. Seeing a 7-4 dude on the sidelines would be interesting though. Is there any doubt he’s taking a swing at Laimbeer? Nope.
5) Florida State– Sam Cassell. Former first round pick who scored over 15,000 points in the NBA. He is currently an assistant coach with the L.A. Clippers so he has the same type of resume as Juwan Howard. He was entertaining as hell as a player and is a fiery competitor. This would be my favorite hire and I actually think it would work. Advice for Sam, keep CY and hire Bobby Sura.
6) Syracuse– 5 years from now I would say Carmelo Anthony would be my choice. Right now- Derrick Coleman. Coleman played 15 seasons in the NBA with career averages of 16.5 ppg 9.3 rpg, he even improved as a free throw shooter, ending his career at 76.9%. He has no coaching experience but in today’s world, who cares. Not sure he would work all that hard, but he could keep McNamara and Autry on staff to do all the work.
7) Virginia Tech– Dell Curry just edges out Bimbo Coles. Dell was an outstanding 3 point shooter and had a heck of an NBA career. This is a moot point as the Hokies could’ve gone this route after Buzz left. Instead they made a great hire in Mike Young.
8) Wake Forest– Tim Duncan. Obvious choice here. Wake would be the most fundamentally sound team in the country. The bank shot would become popular again and they would certainly win more games. I wonder if Duncan would ever yell at the refs?
9) Miami– Rick Barry. Not a lot of choices here. Barry was named one of the top 50 NBA players of all time in 1996. He led the NCAA, ABA, and NCAA in scoring in individual seasons and is the only player ever to do that. Hiring a 75 year old might be an issue, but he’s probably in better shape than Larranaga.
10) Boston College– Michael Adams. I loved watching this little dude play. He played 10 seasons in the NBA, making 949 shot-putt 3’s. He was an assistant coach in the NBA and later an assistant at Maryland. Played for Gary Williams at BC so the pedigree is there.
11) Clemson– Merl Code. Kidding of course. My choice is Horace Grant. This was a tough one. Elden Campbell and Dale Davis came to mind. Also, Sharone Wright was a really high draft pick but none of them have the name recognition or the rings that Horace Grant has. Grant played 17 seasons in the NBA and won 4 NBA titles, not bad. Even though he has no coaching experience he played for Phil Jackson. He had to have learned something. Clemson fans, football season is less than 100 days away.
12) Louisville– Kenny Payne. This is probably the most realistic possibility of all the choices. Payne is an assistant for Calipari at hated rival Kentucky and his name continues to pop up for numerous openings around the country. I think he is certainly more prepared for a big time job than Juwan Howard.
13) Pitt– Brandin Knight. I know everyone’s first thought is Sean Miller but he is lucky to still be employed at Arizona. I think Pitt would hire Jerome Lane before they would hire Miller. Brandin Knight checks all the boxes. Former great player, played professionally, and was a former assistant at Pitt.
14) Ga.Tech– John Salley. There will be a rebuttal and quite possibly a skull thumping from Coach Hunter for this extremely poor choice by the Chimp. The list of Ga.Tech basketball greats is long and incredibly impressive. Listing them all would take too long. I picked Salley for the comedic value. He’s a funny guy who had a nice NBA career winning 4 NBA titles. Over/Under on his tenure at Tech 1.5 years.
15) N.C State– Before revealing my choice for the Wolfpack i must compliment them for being trailblazers. They actually hired a former great who had NBA coaching experience, Sidney Lowe. Unfortunately for both Lowe and NC St. fans this did not go well. Current choice- Cozell McQueen. 1) Great name. 2) Guy had 25 rebounds in the 1983 final four. 3) 10 year pro career. My teammate and good pal BK is gonna blast me for this one.
Thanks for reading. Positive feedback is welcomed.
I hate Duke.