It is like unraveling a quilt. Tubby Smith pulled one strand free when he headed to Minnesota in a preemptive move on his part to avoid being fired next season. The other strand came loose when Michigan showed Tommy Amaker the door. The resulting moves, which are still ongoing, have been interesting.
Billy Donovan made the smartest move he could possibly make and stayed at Florida. And why would he leave? Donovan caps of a second straight national title at a school where he is now utterly fireproof unless he gets caught playing footsie with the academic support coordinator. Back-to-back national titles means he never has to worry about anything at Florida including the money. Unless he was looking for the challenge of restoring glory to one of the more storied programs in the country he had no business going to Kentucky so he shut the door probably because he met with his AD and laid out his terms so I expect a new contract to pop-up over the summer for Donovan.
So UK asked Rick Barnes if he was interested and Barnes actually did them a huge favor because if you have ever seen a Texas game on television you know Barnes cannot coach his way out of a wet paper bag. Barnes has the best player in the country and got blown out in the second round by USC. So that put Billy Gillespie on the clock and he wasted no time. It had to make your head spin to think how fast he dumped Texas A&M to take the UK job. Who can blame him? Aggie fans should not get their panties in a wad on this one. Texas A&M is a football school and in no way, shape, or form a destination job for basketball. The question is whether Gillespie can handle Lexington. It will be an intriguing situation to watch.
The other thread unraveling came when John Beiline left West Virginia for Michigan. Why on earth Beiline wanted to go to Ann Arbor is beyond me but I am pretty sure it was about the money. I think WVU is a better job than Michigan. That was not true 10-15 years ago but I happen to think it is true now. Then again Beiline and Amaker are the respective reason why that is the case so I imagine things will get better at Michigan if not exceedingly boring in the process. As for WVU they promptly went out and threw themselves at Bob Huggins showing that (1) they have little regard for graduating basketball players and (2) they must not be too worried about the thug image. Huggins on the other hand when given the golden opportunity to get the heck out of Manhattan, KS could not get on the charter plane fast enough. Never mind the fact he screwed Kansas State fans out their grandiose dreams they were about to get on more level playing field with Kansas. Never mind the fact he hosed his players and recruits some of who were highly rated and only went to K State for Huggins. Since they would have to sit a year if they were released from the letter of intent they are stuck in Manhattan while Huggins walked away. Also, I don’t know who Huggins has negotiating his contracts but every coach should hire him since Huggins only had a $100,000 buyout on his deal at K State and he managed to get WVU to agree to the same thing. How much are you, as a school, a glutton for a coaching change if you only have a $100,000 buyout?
And if all this was not odd enough, Dana Altman was introduced as head coach at Arkansas then went back to Creighton. What do you think is going on in Fayetteville that once Altman got to his office he decided to get out of as soon as possible? And ESPN is reporting that Wichita State’s Mark Turgeon has been offered the job at Texas A&M. Iowa and Arkansas remain vacant, K State promoted an assistant coach to make the high profile players happy which means K State will be toast in 2.5 years.
And on a local note Gail Goestonkors left Duke to be the head women’s basketball coach at Texas which really does not mean anything to me since I have pretty much sworn off women’s basketball after being traumatized by the women’s Final Four last weekend.