Let me propose a scenario for the readers: Your a once proud national college hoops powerhouse that is currently in decline. You managed to make it to the Sweet 16 in 2009, but it's clear you need stability within your program. Interim head coach, Russ Pennell, apparently just isn't your guy. (I'm okay with that, this is your program Mr. Athletic Director you've earned that right) After getting embarrassed by Rick Pitino and Louisville in the round of sixteen, you make it known your officially looking to fill your head coaching vacancy.
Your the University of Arizona Wildcats. A plethora of coaches are on the move this off season, rumours surrounding everyone from Rick Pitino to Tom Izzo, and where do the Wildcats arrive at? A 55-year old former NBA coach turned Trojan head coach, Tim Floyd. Really? Tim Floyd is 85-50 in four years at Southern California, good not great. He's been to three straight NCAA Tournaments, one Sweet 16 appearance, good not great. His monster recruiting success was current NBA star, O.J. Mayo. The same O.J. Mayo who was under investigation from the NCAA for receiving both money and other perks from an agent runner, that somehow Tim Floyd knew "nothing" about. This is what Arizona could come up with? Your search didn't get outside of your own conference? The Pac-10, with a less than average performance in the tourney this year, is the conference that you found your coach in? Tim Floyd, not exactly a squeaky clean image. How did that work out when Indiana hired Kelvin Sampson? Some success, but not exactly a squeaky clean image? You hired a coach who has an above average talent pool to choose from at Southern California and barely reaches the Sweet 16?
I'm going to demonstrate how easy hiring a good quality coach for Arizona should have been:
Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon - You don't think a job like Arizona could have lured Dixon away from Pittsburgh? He's got to recruit against Rick Pitino and Jim Calhoun among other Big East coaches. His regular season schedule in that conference is a virtual gauntlet of powerhouses. Dixon led his '09 tournament team to a #1 seed and came inches away from the Final Four. Here's a guy who grew up in California, went to school in Texas, and rumour is he would love to be back on the west coast. He's one of only nine coaches in NCAA Division I history to win over 100 games during the first four seasons of a coaching career, that's right from Pitt's own website. Jamie Dixon is in the midst of a six year streak where is Panthers have won 20+ games each year. Which part of his resume doesn't compare to Tim Floyd's? I'll do you one better, how is Floyd's resume even in the same category as Jamie Dixon's?
Xavier's Sean Miller. I don't know how Miller doesn't get more job offers? He coaches in the Atlantic-10 conference, not the best conference, but they do great in the tournament. In five seasons at Xavier, Sean Miller has a record second to none. He's won 120 games and lost only 46 in his tenure at Xavier. The Musketeers have been to the NCAA tournament each of the last four seasons, including back-2-back seasons in the Sweet 16 and one season in the Elite Eight. This coach doesn't schedule softies either, in '08 they beat an 8th ranked Indiana team by 15, in the tournament that year they dropped Georgia, Purdue, and West Virginia. This past season, Xavier was a #4 seed in March by beating Memphis, Cincinnati, and Virginia Tech out of conference. The largest feather in the cap of Sean Miller, since his first season as Xavier head coach, the school currently sits second on the list of schools with the best records in the month of march, trailing only current National Champion, Kansas. Tim floyd did what again? Avoided a major recruiting scandal?
Either one of these two guys should have been the major rumour, I'm not saying they were never inquired on but if they weren't that is a travesty. Again, Kentucky goes after a big dog in John Calipari. Indiana finally gets it right with Tome Crean, and who does Arizona go after? Tim Floyd. That is why the Pac-10 is the Pac-10 and the SEC, Big 10, and Big East, all experience WAY more success in this tournament. DEAL WITH IT.
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