Dr. Bo’s Indiana basketball coaching candidates Hot Sheet, Vol. 1 | Sports
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Some people say Indiana needs an Indiana guy to lift its basketball program from the malaise that has surrounded Hoosier basketball for nearly two decades.
I say they are wrong.
I say Indiana needs a coach the Big Ten and college basketball will respect and often fear.
A guy who has proven that he can win and that Indiana will compensate with a package that the market demands.
A coach who will signal that Indiana means business about returning to the top of the Big Ten. Not a coach who’ll have to learn on the job.
I said it before, but people refuse to listen, so I’ll say it again: Bob Knight was an Ohio State guy before he arrived in Bloomington in 1971.
Mike Krzyzewski was a West Point guy. John Calipari was a Clarion State guy. John Wooden was a Purdue guy.
Knight became an Indiana guy by going to two Final Fours and winning parts of four Big Ten titles in his first five seasons.
Ditto for Coach K, Coach Cal, the Wizard of Westwood and many others.
That guiding principle, along with information I collected from sources I trust, resulted in this project: Doctor Bo’s Indiana Coaching Hot Sheet, Volume 1:
- Chris Beard, Texas Tech
- Why It Works: Winner. Came within an overtime of winning the 2019 national title. In Lubbock, Texas. His teams have ranked in the top 25 nationally in defensive efficiency four straight seasons. The offense has been top 50 in the same period. At Texas Tech. In the Big 12. Credits Knight for some of his success. Has the personality to command the room. Already has 2 wins over Purdue. Has the fear factor.
- Why It Doesn’t: The man makes $4.8 million in a state with no income tax, along with a buyout of more than $2 million. He’s the Lord of Lubbock, master of a program that he constructed. No pressure to leave. Strong family ties in Texas. There are no connections to Indiana or the Midwest other than the 10 years Beard invested as an assistant coach to both Bob and Pat Knight at Texas Tech.
- Dr. Bo Percentage: 31%
- John Beilein, former Michigan coach
- Why It Works: Another winner. Two national championship games at Michigan, which was a mess when he took over from Tommy Amaker. Major success at West Virginia, which was irrelevant when Beilein arrived. Track record of developing and winning with players who were not top-75 recruits — and getting them to the NBA. His fear factor comes from his ability to out-coach you not because of the force of his personality.
- Why It Doesn’t: Turned 68 in early February. Needed six seasons to get the Wolverines beyond the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Failed to survive a single NBA season in Cleveland, losing the locker room with strange practice demands and by referring to his players as a “bunch of thugs.” Although Beilein insisted that he meant to use the word “slugs” instead of “thugs,” his NBA career was essentially over.
- Dr. Bo Percentage: 25%
- Calbert Cheaney, Pacers assistant, former IU all-American
- Why It Works: One of the most popular players in IU history as well as the Big Ten’s leading scorer. Has experience working with players in college and the NBA. Thoughtful and excellent communicator. Relates well to players. Would follow the model established by Juwan Howard at Michigan and Patrick Ewing at Georgetown. Has support of several former IU players.
- Why It Doesn’t: Not only does he lack head coaching experience, Cheaney has never been a No. 1 assistant. Turned down an opportunity to upgrade from an operations guy to assistant coach at IU under Tom Crean. Lacks the name recognition of Howard and Ewing. Would require a staff with strong, veteran college experience. No fear factor.
- Dr. Bo Percentage: 13%
- Scott Drew, Baylor
- Why It Works: Architect of one of the top rebuilding jobs in college basketball, raising a program leveled by the murder of a player and NCAA probation into a consistent Big 12 power. Evolved from a coach fixated on 4- and 5-star prospects to a guy who has won with player development of lesser recruits and transfers. Could win the 2021 national title. Grew up in northern Indiana where he coached Valparaiso. Modest Fear Factor.
- Why It Doesn’t: Happy in Waco, where they’ll give him a statue when he retires. Believes in don’t mess with happy. In a 2012 poll at CBSSports.com, Drew ranked second to Calipari in a poll question about guys that opposing coaches considered to be cheating. Has detractors in Indiana AAU circles because of his recruitment of former IU player Hanner Mosquera-Perea. Some wonder if he’s using the IU job to squeeze a raise from Baylor.
- Dr. Bo Percentage: 10%
- Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics
- Why It Works: The slam-dunk No.1 recruit for IU fans since he directed Butler to back-to-back national championship games in 2010-11. Smart, innovative, universally respected. Eight years of NBA head coaching experience in Boston. The son of a former IU football player, whose father took him to Assembly Hall for three or four games every season. Grand slam. Total package. Definite Fear and Complete Respect Factor.
- Why It Doesn’t: Has a job he loves with the Celtics. Has repeatedly confirmed his commitment there. Would be hired by another NBA franchise immediately if the Celtics went another direction. Not gaga about recruiting but would be a top candidate for the Duke or North Carolina jobs when Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams retire.
- Dr. Bo Percentage: 7%
- Eric Musselman, Arkansas
- Why It Works: Has the Razorbacks in the top 10 in his second season in Fayetteville after the program spent several decades in the wilderness. Advocate of the modern game as evidenced by Arkansas ranking No. 17 in tempo. Won at Nevada.
- Why It Doesn’t: Recruiting heavily reliant on transfers. Just got to Fayetteville, and a source I trust says he has no interest in the job. Slim Fear Factor.
- Dr. Bo Percentage: 6%
- Thad Matta, former Ohio State coach
- Why It Works: Best winning percentage in Ohio State history. Won five Big Ten regular season titles and three Big Ten Tournament titles (what are those?). A couple of Final Fours. Also won big at Xavier. Midwest guy who understands what the Indiana job demands. Has recruited well in Indiana.
- Why It Doesn’t: Lost his mojo late in his Ohio State run. Failed to make NCAA Tournament in his final two seasons. Failed to advance to the Sweet 16 in his final four seasons. Health was not 100% and that appeared to affect his recruiting. Has turned down other college options. Minimal Fear Factor.
- Dr. Bo Percentage: 5%
- Everybody Else
- Why It Works: Because Indiana needs a coach
- Why It Doesn’t: Because they aren’t the names higher on the list. Nothing to fear but another coaching change in four years.
- Dr. Bo Percentage: 3%.
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