Now that the tumultuous season has come to an end...it's time to focus on who will be the new coach for INDIANA BASKETBALL, which is easily one of the most storied programs in history along with Kansas, UCLA, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Duke.
Here are my top candidates....
Rick Barnes - Texas -Pros - Has led Texas to the Sweet 16 or beyond in 5 of the last 7 years. In ten years at Texas he has finished worse than 3rd in the conference only once. Has won over 72% of games. Recruits well in a football first school. No NCAA problems.
Cons - Age (53) makes him a good solution for a decade or so...just like Sampson.
Bruce Pearl - Tennessee -Pros -2nd fastest coach to 300 wins in NCAA history. Won DII title with Southern Indiana. Made Tennessee men's basketball relevant. Reached Sweet Sixteen with UW-Milwaukee in 2005. High energy mentality. 48 years old.
Cons - Not quite as squeaky clean.
Tony Bennett -Washington State - Pros -Played in the NBA. Midwest roots. Defense and motion oriented teams. Turned Washington State into a winner and was 2007 AP Coach of the Year. Is only 38 years old. High character guy and if I remember correctly from my old Sports Spectrum Magazines, is a professing Christian.
Cons - Only 2 years of head coaching experience.
Sean Miller - Xavier - Pros -Midwest ties. Is only 39 years old. Winning at Xavier (midwest school) with Indiana players. Current team is in the Sweet 16.
Cons -In 4th year of coaching.
Jamie Dixon - Pittsburgh - Pros - Is only 42 years old. Strong defensive minded coach.
Cons - Very little NCAA tournament success. No midwest ties. Only 5 years of head coaching.
Rick Pitino - Louisville - Pros - Won National Championship with Kentucky. Well liked. Consistent winner and recruiter. Has won 73% of games.
Cons - Age (55). Has floated around a lot when a new intriguing job came along.
Jay Wright - Villanova -Pros - Only 46 years old. Clean program and consistent winner. Consistent finalist in GQ's best dressed coaches (okay, this doesn't really matter). Turned Hofstra and 'Nova into NCAA regulars when they were previously doormats in their leagues.
Cons - Decent NCAA tourney success, but not huge.
Obviously, Bobby Knight didn't have much head coaching experience when IU hired him back in the day. Knight coached at Army (Coach K was one of his players) and was hired by IU at age 31, I think.
If for some reason IU doesn't land one of these...here are others to consider
Scott Drew - Baylor - Turned program around after murder of one player by another and NCAA restriciton.
John Calipari - Memphis - Amazing Recruiter.
Tom Izzo - Michigan State
Tom Crean - Marquette.
Brad Brownell - Wright State.
I think the ship has sailed on Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Thad Matta (Ohio State).
Coaches to NOT CONSIDER...
-Steve Alford - New Mexico
-Kevin Stallings - Vanderbilt