MAC Basketball Offseason Discussion

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Steve_424

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I figured instead of continuing the MAC Tournament thread going, we could pile all MAC Basketball-related offseason discussion here.

Czvosec's last post there:

"Rumor is that the offer has been made... and people here are fully expecting him to take it. Simply don't have the money to compete."
 

Steve_424

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I think Groce will take the Illinois job. He's an excellent recruiter, and even if he doesn't win the Big Ten every year, he should be in the top 4-5 in the conference, which will get him an at-large bid every season. Oh yeah, he'll also be making a lot more money.

CBS Sports has a running list of coaching change analysis. Here are the blurbs for Ohio and Miami.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Out: Ernie Zeigler - The former UCLA assistant was fired after a six-year stint in which he was 75-111 overall and 11-21 this past season.
Potential candidates: Steve Schmidt (Mott CC), Ric Wesley (Grand Valley State)
What we think: We've been told the school doesn't have a ton of money, so look for Schmidt -- who has won a ton of games and a pair of national titles in the junior college ranks -- and Wesley, who has spent nearly a decade at D-2 Grand Valley State -- to get a look.

MIAMI-OHIO

Out: Charlie Coles - The 70-year-old retired after numerous health issues. Coles was 263-224 in 16 seasons at the helm, but the program had started to take a dip recently. The Redhawks were 9-21 this past season.
Potential candidates: Jermaine Henderson (Miami), James Whitford (Arizona), Pat Kelsey (formerly of Xavier and Wake Forest); Dane Fife (Michigan State), Jeff Boals (Ohio State), Dan Muller (Vanderbilt)
What we think: Henderson has been with Coles for nearly two decades as a player and coach, but we're told he likely won't be the guy. Whitford was on the staff at Miami for 11 years -- including for the 1999 Sweet 16 run. Fife could return to the head coaching ranks after a year at Michigan State and Boals and Muller are two rising assistants. This a quality list for thletic director Brad Bates.

And because it relates to Groce and OU:

ILLINOIS

Out: Bruce Weber - Spent nine years in Champaign and went 210-101, but the recent lack of success was his downfall. The Illini were 17-15 this season, 6-12 in Big Ten play and failed to get into the NCAA tournament for the second time in the last three years.
Potential candidates:John Groce (Ohio) Leonard Hamilton (Florida State), Reggie Theus (former New Mexico State coach), Anthony Grant (Alabama), Johnny Dawkins (Stanford)
What we think:VCU's ShakaSmart turned down athletic director Mike Thomas and so did Brad Stevens, so now it'll be interesting to see what Thomas has as Plan C. It looks like it'll be Ohio University's Groce, who led the Bobcats to the Sweet 16. Groce is also the guy who recruited Greg Oden and Mike Conley to Ohio State.
 

Steve_424

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Czvosec,

Taking emotion out of it, it's the right move for Groce to make to go to Illinois. What if he returns to Ohio, D.J. Cooper tears his ACL in November, and the Bobcats have a ho-hum season, or OU simply fails to reach the NCAA Tournament next year? He might not have another shot at a job like Illinois.

You seem to have some kind in "inside info" so I'm curious...have you heard any potential replacements?
 

Wes

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Yeah, tough for Groce, or any MAC coach, to pass up an opportunity like that. I think I read somewhere recently that Kent State has had 5 different head coaches over the last 13 years. And I don't recall most of them leaving for a job at a major institution like Illinois (although I think Stan Heath left after the Elite 8 run to go to Arkansas). Continued success at a mid-major level can sometimes lead to turnover like that. And I imagine head coaching turnover like that has to eventually have a negative impact on recruiting and overall performance. Tough to get recruits to commit to a program where the guy that recruited them may in all likelihood leave for greener pastures in two or three years. For OU's sake, I hope Groce sticks around and continues to build the program.

Although, Keith Dambrot has remained at Akron even though they have been successful for quite a number of years now. I can't imagine it is because he hasn't received any offers/interest from larger programs. He just must really enjoy coaching at Akron, I guess? Coaching stability like that has probably played a role in the improving recruiting classes and overall play of the UA team. All good things if you are a fan of MAC basketball.
 

Steve_424

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Yeah, tough for Groce, or any MAC coach, to pass up an opportunity like that. I think I read somewhere recently that Kent State has had 5 different head coaches over the last 13 years. And I don't recall most of them leaving for a job at a major institution like Illinois (although I think Stan Heath left after the Elite 8 run to go to Arkansas). Continued success at a mid-major level can sometimes lead to turnover like that. And I imagine head coaching turnover like that has to eventually have a negative impact on recruiting and overall performance. Tough to get recruits to commit to a program where the guy that recruited them may in all likelihood leave for greener pastures in two or three years. For OU's sake, I hope Groce sticks around and continues to build the program.

Although, Keith Dambrot has remained at Akron even though they have been successful for quite a number of years now. I can't imagine it is because he hasn't received any offers/interest from larger programs. He just must really enjoy coaching at Akron, I guess? Coaching stability like that has probably played a role in the improving recruiting classes and overall play of the UA team. All good things if you are a fan of MAC basketball.

He's received offers from bigger schools, but I see him retiring at Akron. He's grew up in Akron and graduated from Firestone High School before playing baseball at UA. His daughter attends UA and I wouldn't be shocked to see his son (currently in HS) end up here as well. I think he's happy here, his family is happy here, and the university is clearly committed to him. We're lucky to have him.
 

czvo

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Czvosec,

Taking emotion out of it, it's the right move for Groce to make to go to Illinois. What if he returns to Ohio, D.J. Cooper tears his ACL in November, and the Bobcats have a ho-hum season, or OU simply fails to reach the NCAA Tournament next year? He might not have another shot at a job like Illinois.

You seem to have some kind in "inside info" so I'm curious...have you heard any potential replacements?

Oh yeah, I know. He should go. Its like I said in the other thread, even with the whole team coming back, its still more likely for them to miss the tourney altogether than to make another run like this past year. So many things have to go right, that its damn near impossible. Just think about this past year. Buffalo had 3-4 chances to send the game to OT in the Mac semis. If they hit one, maybe OU loses that game. If Abreu does miss that FT and Akron sends it to OT on a tip, OU could have lost that game. If they don't have the good fortune of landing in the bracket they did (with a great matchup in Michigan, and a bad offensive team in USF in the next round), they don't make it to St. Louis. If Kendall Marshall plays, they probably get blown out. So much had to go right just to have a chance to beat UNC. Its amazing.

As for who would replace him... I can't say, I have heard they have a favored candidate. I don't know enough to start listing names though. Groce is expected to decide within the next 48 hours, I believe, so we'll have a clearer picture by then.
 

JMcCurry08

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I guess the rumors going around that John Groce is the next Illinois coach

Chicago Tribune
Sources: Ohio's Groce set to become new Illinois coach
 

I'mWithDan

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I wouldn't listen to anything the Chicago Tribune is saying right now.

They have proven to be completely clueless during this whole process.
 

Bob_The_Cat

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Groce took the Illinois job.

Disappointing as I thought he'd stay next year with everything we have returning, but in some ways it could be a blessing in disguise. If he stays next year he'd likely be gone after the season. That'd mean losing DJ, Offut, Baltic, Keely, and Groce in the same year. Groce leaving now means Ohio is a really appealing job for up-and-coming coaches. Sweet 16 team, conference tournament champs, returns entire roster, possibly preseason top 25, etc. Having a coach in place before all those guys graduate will help to establish some continuity. There are very few jobs, especially at the mid-major level, that can offer the chance at immediate success like Ohio. Sad to see Groce go, but it's the nature of the beast at mid-majors. When you have a coach that proves he can out-recruit his peers and win big games, you're eventually going to lose him to someone in a bigger conference offering bigger money.
 

Steve_424

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OU fans,

Just curious, who is on your short list?
 

Bob_The_Cat

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Definitely Boals as a candidate. Gary Trent has already volunteered himself as an assistant should Boals get hired (they played together at OU). Boals himself is known as a really good recruiter as he was able to talk Zeke into going to Akron. If they could manage to take Dustin Ford into staying as an associate head coach, a staff of Boals, Ford, and Trent would be pretty phenomenal. Boals makes sense for many reasons: played basketball at Ohio, young, from the Matta coaching tree, and familiar with the MAC.

Reggie Theus might get a call too. Beyond that, it's hard to say.

That being said, Schaus is going to do his due diligence. In terms of hiring basketball coaches, he's knocked his last year out of the park. While at Wichita State, he hired Mark Turgeon (current Maryland coach), replaced him with Gregg Marshall, and then hired John Groce in his first hire at Ohio. Without a doubt, this guy knows how to pick basketball coaches. I'm really excited to see where the program goes from here and I have full confidence that Schaus is going to find someone that can push the Ohio program to greater heights (sustained success).
 

Steve_424

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Definitely Boals as a candidate. Gary Trent has already volunteered himself as an assistant should Boals get hired (they played together at OU). Boals himself is known as a really good recruiter as he was able to talk Zeke into going to Akron. If they could manage to take Dustin Ford into staying as an associate head coach, a staff of Boals, Ford, and Trent would be pretty phenomenal. Boals makes sense for many reasons: played basketball at Ohio, young, from the Matta coaching tree, and familiar with the MAC.

Reggie Theus might get a call too. Beyond that, it's hard to say.

That being said, Schaus is going to do his due diligence. In terms of hiring basketball coaches, he's knocked his last year out of the park. While at Wichita State, he hired Mark Turgeon (current Maryland coach), replaced him with Gregg Marshall, and then hired John Groce in his first hire at Ohio. Without a doubt, this guy knows how to pick basketball coaches. I'm really excited to see where the program goes from here and I have full confidence that Schaus is going to find someone that can push the Ohio program to greater heights (sustained success).

Boals would be a fantastic hire for OU. He was more highly regarded than Shaka Smart at UA.


On a side note, have any of you Bobcat fans heard anything like this, or is this just an Akron blogger's wishful thinking?
 

NorthCoastBias

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>TCU coach Jim Christian will replace John Groce at Ohio University, sources told CBSSports -- <a href="http://t.co/By3fkj0h" title="http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/blog/eye-on-college-basketball/18228449/ohio-university-hires-tcu-coach-jim-christian">cbssports.com/collegebasketb…</a></p>&mdash; Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoodmanCBS/status/186604068842639360" data-datetime="2012-04-02T00:00:51+00:00">April 2, 2012</a></blockquote>
<script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Wow. I'm pretty surprised by this. Really thought Boals would be the guy. Christian does know the MAC though, obviously.
 

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