Thought the identity of Georgia Tech's next basketball coach remains unclear, the odds seem to be good that he will be coaching in the upcoming NIT Championship; the names both Valparaiso's Bryce Drew and George Washington's Mike Lonergan have been gaining some serious momentum as the coaching search continues. Because there has been so much more speculation about Drew than Lonergan, I'll go ahead and provide some background information on the Colonials head man before moving down to Indiana. As the head coach of George Washington since back in 2011, Lonergan owns a career 96-70 mark, including 44-39 within the Atlantic 10. That is hardly inspiring, but it is a bit easier to stomach if you exclude his first two seasons, presumably rebuilding years. Without those, his teams are a much more respectable 73-32, including an NCAA berth and a pair of NIT selections. He may not be the most attractive candidate at this point, but he does have a nice track record in one of the better mid-major conferences.
In other coaching search news, here's a great article from Kelly Quinlan which systematically seeks and destroys your dream candidates, leaving you with none other than the aforementioned Bryce Drew. I wish I had a problem with that simply because conflict is fun to write about, but Bryce Drew is just an unequivocally excellent candidate. In five seasons with the Crusaders, he owns a 124-48 record overall and a 65-19 mark within the Horizon League. Additionally, Drew has led Valparaiso to a pair of NCAA Tournaments, two more NITs, and a CBI berth for good measure. It's true that his established recruiting turf is way up in Chicago, but I'm past the point of caring where we get good players as long as we get good players in the first place. In all honesty, Quinlan is probably right about the job being Drew's to lose at this point. That would explain the apparent lack of action as far as interviews are concerned as his Crusaders continue a deep NIT run; I'd expect him to be zeroed in on shortly after the tournament's conclusion.
Let's go for the trifecta of potential coaches by looking at NC Central head coach LeVelle Moton, a nice under-the-radar candidate for Mike Bobinski to take a look at. Like the previous two candidates, Moton has spent five years with his current team, leading it to a 127-94 overall record since the 2011 season. Though he's seemingly the least likely of the candidates that I've mentioned so far, due diligence would certainly be worth MBob's time. You never know where the next great coach could come from, and I certainly wouldn't rule anyone out of the conversation at this point. If nothing else, Moton would be a cheaper alternative and a potentially low-risk, high-reward shot for Tech.
Hey, remember when I remarked on the ACC's phenomenal postseason run during yesterday's post? I'll step out of the way and let conference employee George Lane put that in context for you right quick.
Most NCAA Tourney wins, two-year stretch:— George Lane (@GMLane) March 30, 2016
35 - ACC (15-16)
28 - Big Ten (99-00)
28 - Big East (08-09)
27 - ACC (90-91)
27 - Big 12 (02-03)
Yeah, 35 wins is an decent achievement over a two-year stretch. This conference is just something else.
Have a great Thursday!