Collage 3
The Dawg-gone Blog
Official Sponsor of "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate" Since 1981
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Ok, I'm not going to claim to have a damn clue as to what UGA is currently doing. If you think you're going to get that here because maybe I have "sources," then you're dead wrong. I don't have sources. I have information, but none of that is "insider" worthy. You should go read the stuff PWD's been writing in order to get an accurate picture.

However, I would like to weigh in a bit on everything and just see what could possibly come of the search. Currently the names I'm hearing include Sean Miller, Tubby Smith, Mike Anderson and Leonard Hamilton (more on Hamilton in a second). MY OWN PERSONAL DREAM LIST would include:

Jay Wright
Jamie Dixon
Sean Miller
Tubby Smith
Mike Anderson

And here's the problems with each:

Jay Wright -- Ideally, he's my top guy. I pretty much *heart* Jay Wright. However, his contract is absurd, specifically his buyout clause. I doubt anyone is able to touch this guy when 'Nova's offseason begins. Here's what I posted about Wright verbatim on The Dawgvent earlier today:

When I look at the coaches out there and the ones that I have on my huge wish list, I still consistently have one name at the top, and that's Jay Wright at Villanova.

Dont get me wrong, I'd be thrilled to have Anderson, Dixon, Miller, T. Smith and a whole host of other folks, but looking at Wright's numbers, they've been EXTREMELY impressive.

In 15 years as a head coach, he's had:

* 7 NCAA Tourney appearances (5 in a row)
* 1 Final Four (which is still yet to be concluded)
* 2 Sweet Sixteens
* 1 Elite Eight
* Hasn't missed the NCAA or NIT in the last 11 years

His team has been by far the most well-coached team I've seen in the tournament thus far. The "hook and ladder" inbound pass against Pitt was nothing less than superb attention to detail and coaching. He mixes great defense with great shooters and dribble-drivers. He has a specific scheme for both offense and defense, which is something we've lacked under the Felton tenure. For everything Harrick did, he had a specific offensive scheme that his teams ran and it worked well while it was here.

The main thing that works against us is that EVERYONE loves Jay Wright, including Villanova, who have made it increasingly tough to interview and buy him out. His contract is a MAJOR challenge, even for a school like us who has money to burn.

In the end, I think we end up with Anderson, but I'd crawl butt naked backwards over a bed of pine cones to make it happen.

Jamie Dixon -- I like the way his teams play and you can tell he recruits well. Pitt always has a good team, maybe even very good, but rarely in that league of "great." However, I think his style would transition well to the types of recruits Atlanta produces. I also highly doubt he bolts for anywhere when the offseason begins, but if he does, I think it'll be for a much higher profile program than ours.

Sean Miller -- This is a guy much like Jay Wright in that his teams are always well coached and he consistently wins at the NCAA Tourney. Xavier had a relatively good run for the past two years in the field of 64 and I also think his level of coaching and style would transition well to what we're trying to accomplish. He's not completely off our list yet, but I haven't heard his name as much as others. I'd be thrilled with this hire though.

Tubby Smith -- I'd be thrilled with this hire too. Tubby has great AAU ties, can recruit lights out, his teams win consistently, he's not that old (57) and has a personal vendetta in the SEC, specifically against Kentucky. I think he can recruit the kids we lose state-wide to other programs and keep them away from the Florida's, UT's and Mississippi State's of the conference. Tubby has said that he's "very happy" in Minnesota, but who knows if that's true or not. Until his name leaves the list officially, I'm not counting him out.

Mike Anderson -- As PWD stated, Anderson's style of "40 minutes of hell" would play well in Athens and should fire up the fan base. The way Mizzou (RAH!) handled Memphis with their up-tempo style was a thing of beauty, especially since Memphis plays the same type of style themselves. However, with Memphis' Coach Calipari seemingly leaving for UK, it's possible that Anderson would rather go to Memphis than Athens. Also, the Tigers (of Memphis) have the same kind of money to throw at Anderson to make him want to come. If you had Memphis in one hand and UGA in the other, with the same amount of money offered, what would you do? That's the $64,000 question with this guy. I still would like the hire, but I'm not sure we're going to nail this fish.

Now, let's talk a bit about Leonard Hamilton. I'm sure most of you have no idea who he is, because I didn't either when I read his name. For those who need to know, he's the current head coach of Florida State, and the Seminoles made quite an impressive run in the ACC and the ACC Tourney. However, they were bounced out by Wisconsin in the first round as a five seed.

The problem with Hamilton is that 1) he isn't proven as he only has two NCAA Tourney appearances under his belt as a head coach and 2) He's only slightly over .500 as a head coach overall. That's not all. Hiring Hamilton will be more of a whimper than a roar; more of a dud than a scud.

I've said it, PWD's said it, the message boards say it and even Damon Evans has said it. We need a coach that will fire up this fan base and breathe some life back into UGA hoops. The coach's name should do this alone, but it will take at least two years of winning to get the excitement back, as opposed to hiring a "name" and getting that immediately.

If we want to consider this search a failure, then we hire Hamilton. If we want to consider it a success, we need a name. Any one of those above would be ideal.

Also, before I let y'all go, I've heard Rick Pitino's name being thrown around some, but I think we have a 99.9% chance of NOT landing him. There's no reason for him to come here, he also makes an absurd amount of money at Louisville and there are more prestigious programs, namely Arizona, that will throw everything they have at him. However, if we do get that .1% and land him, you could consider the search an EPIC WIN for UGA and Damon Evans.

Stay tuned. This thing will be done sooner rather than later.

Until next time kids.

Be safe.

Labels: , , ,