NCAA Hoops Portal

Reviews

High Majors

Illinois Brad Underwood, Oklahoma State Head Coach (A-)

“Illinois pulled off a stunning coup in hiring Underwood, who just finished his first season at Oklahoma State. He has proven to be successful everywhere he’s been, and he enters a high-upside situation with the Illini. Very surprising, but great hire.”

Georgetown Patrick Ewing, Charlotte Hornets Assistant Coach (A-)

“Being a former JTII player, Ewing is the perfect bridge between Georgetown’s past and future. He’s widely respected within coaching circles, plus he’s working to assemble a staff that will aggressively recruit the DMV and Florida areas.”

Indiana Archie Miller, Dayton Head Coach (B+)

“Indiana did a great job in landing Miller, who has waited for a long time to make the jump to a high major school. Although he lacks strong ties to Indiana, he has done an exceptional job running Dayton’s program and is ready to deal with the high expectations set at Indiana.”

N.C. State Kevin Keatts, UNC-Wilmington Head Coach (B+)

“Keatts is something of a rising star in the coaching business, having led UNC-Wilmington to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. It will be interesting to see how the respected former Pitino assistant navigates the high expectations that N.C. State has for their basketball program.”

Washington Mike Hopkins, Syracuse Assistant Coach (B+)

“This has been long overdue for Hopkins, who has been an assistant at Syracuse since 1996. Yes, it’s a tad surprising that he didn’t wait for Boeheim to retire. But he is strong on the X’s and O’s front, and if he assembles a staff with west coast recruiting ties, he could be very successful at UW.”

Missouri Cuonzo Martin, California Head Coach (B)

“Missouri offers a homecoming of sorts for Martin, who spent three years as head coach for Missouri State from 2008-11. This isn’t necessarily an inspiring hire, due to his underwhelming years at Cal, but he is a gifted recruiter and immediate upgrade over Missouri’s last head coach.”

Louisiana State Will Wade, VCU Head Coach (B-)

“Wade has sustained success at his prior head coaching stops for VCU and Chattanooga, so he is ready for a high major coaching job. But LSU is a whole different animal in terms of recruiting, plus they are in dire need of facility upgrades. Time will only tell if he is the right choice or not.”

California Wyking Jones, California Assistant Coach (C-)

“In a shocking move, Cal chose to promote Jones to head coach. While he has been a reliable high major assistant, he is far from ready for running a program of Cal’s size. He has no head coaching experience, and will be entering a mess of an organization in Cal Athletics.”

Oklahoma State Mike Boynton, Oklahoma State Assistant Coach (D)

“In another shocking move, Oklahoma State chose to promote Boynton to head coach. He has very little experience as a coach in general, and has only been part of the OSU program for one season. This hire shows a lack of commitment on OSU’s part to men’s basketball.”

Mid Majors

George Washington Maurice Joseph, George Washington Interim Head Coach (A)

“Simply put, retaining Joseph made too much sense. He did a very good job coaching the team in light of the whole Lonergan debacle, while also having a good shot at continuing what made GW basketball successful. This was the easy and correct choice.”

UC Santa Barbara Joe Pasternack, Arizona Assistant Coach (A)

“Pasternack has been Arizona’s lead assistant coach for years now, and is long overdue for his second head coaching opportunity. UCSB lands a very good X’s and O’s coach who carries strong familiarity with their recruiting territory.”

Massachusetts Matt McCall, Chattanooga Head Coach (A-)

“After the whole Pat Kelsey debacle, UMass did very good in landing McCall, a well-respected sitting head coach and disciple of Billy Donovan. He is ready for a bigger head coaching job, and UMass seems willing to put in a strong commitment to men’s basketball.”

Seattle Jim Hayford, Eastern Washington Head Coach (A-)

“Hayford brings head coaching and strong familiarity of Seattle basketball to his new head coaching opportunity, which on paper appears to be a very good match. Seattle did well in bringing in a head coach who can fix their struggling program.”

VCU Mike Rhoades, Rice Head Coach (A-)

“Rhoades provides a perfect continuity for VCU, as he spent six years as an assistant under Shaka Smart before departing for Rice three years ago. He has extensive head coaching experience at tow different stops and is well-versed in VCU basketball, making this a strong hire.”

Cleveland State Dennis Felton, Tulsa Assistant Coach (B+)

“Felton brings a dearth of experience with him as he becomes the head coach at Cleveland State. He certainly stands out as being very qualified for this job, but he doesn’t have ties to the CSU family which makes this hire somewhat surprising.”

Duquesne Keith Dambrot, Akron Head Coach (B+)

“After a miserable coaching search in which they were repeatedly turned down, Duquesne did well in landing a proven head coach. While the fit is murky, Dambrot is well-respected in coaching circles and could do well if he assembles the right staff.”

Morehead State Preston Spradlin, Morehead State Interim Head Coach (B+)

“Retaining Spradlin as head coach seemed like the most likely case all along. With that said, he will need to take this team a step forward next year if Morehead State wants to become a top program within the Ohio Valley Conference.”

North Texas Grant McCasland, Arkansas State Head Coach (B+)

“McCasland holds extensive knowledge of the North Texas recruiting region from the many years he spent as an assistant as Baylor. He turned around an underwhelming Arkansas State basketball program in one year with fewer resources than he’ll have at UNT. Hiring him was the right call.”

Quinnipiac Baker Dunleavy, Villanova Assistant Coach (B+)

“Dunleavy, a longtime assistant under Jay Wright at Villanova, is primed for his first head coaching opportunity at Quinnipiac. He checks a lot of boxes in terms of what Quinnipiac is looking for, and has the chops needed to succeed as a mid major head coach.”

Rice Scott Pera, Rice Assistant Coach (B+)

“Rice basketball has been on the rise for the last few years, so it makes a lot of sense for them to promote Pera in light of Rhoades’s departure. Although he hasn’t been a collegiate head coach, he is a well-respected assistant who is ready to lead a program of Rice’s caliber.”

Southern Morris Scott, Southern Assistant Coach (B+)

“The promotion of Scott to head coach makes a ton of sense in light of Southern naming Roman Banks their full-time athletics director. He was targeted for a few other head coaching opportunities, so he’s certainly ready for his first challenge, one in a familiar environment.”

Youngstown State Jerrod Calhoun, Fairmont State Head Coach (B+)

“Calhoun has done an exceptional job at Fairmont State, leading them to the Division II basketball tournament this year. Youngstown State is a challenging job, but they were smart to land an up-and-coming coach to lead their program.”

Austin Peay Matt Figger, South Carolina Assistant Coach (B)

“Figger has been South Carolina’s lead assistant coach for the last five years, a program that just reached the final four. He’s certainly ready for his first head coaching stop, but he doesn’t have any ties to APSU or the state of Tennessee. So the fit here is somewhat questionable.”

Chattanooga Lamont Paris, Wisconsin Assistant Coach (B)

“Paris has been a loyal assistant at Wisconsin for quite some time, and he’s definitely ready to lead the Chattanooga program. He inherits a good team, which is a plus, but he doesn’t have strong ties to the state of Tennessee. He will need to hire a good staff with recruiting connections.”

Dayton Anthony Grant, Oklahoma City Thunder Assistant Coach (B)

“Grant is a Dayton alum who has prior head coaching experience at Alabama and VCU, both big and respectable programs. He’s also a Billy Donovan disciple, which is a plus. This is a good hire, but isn’t necessarily as inspiring as an up-and-comng head coach would have been.”

Eastern Washington Shantay Legans, Eastern Washington Assistant Coach (B)

“EWU pretty much immediately promoted Legans to the full-time job in light of their head coach’s departure for Seattle. He does have solid familiarity with the program, but it would have been wise to have a full-blown search, as there were several strong candidates with west coast recruiting ties.”

Miami (OH) Jack Owens, Purdue Assistant Coach (B)

“Owens has been the lead assistant coach at Purdue for the last couple seasons, so he’s certainly got the experience needed to lead a program. He is highly regarded in coaching circles too, which is a plus. But it remains to be seen if he has the right recruiting ties to turn this program around.”

South Florida Brian Gregory, former Georgia State Head Coach (B)

“Gregory was mediocre at both Dayton and Georgia Tech, so this isn’t the most exciting hire that USF could have made. With that said, the program is in the midst of a troth, so at least he has just about nowhere to go but upwards.”

Arkansas State Mike Balado, Louisville Assistant Coach (B-)

“Balado comes from the Rick Pitino coaching tree, which has done a good job of developing future head coaches. Yet he has few ties to ASU’s recruiting region and has no prior head coaching experience. They also had a strong internal candidate, so this was a questionable call.”

Bethune-Cookman Ryan Ridder, Daytona State Head Coach (B-)

“Ridder’s hire by Bethune-Cookman was certainly surprising, as his most recent coaching stop was as head coach of a Florida JuCo team. He is very tied into the whole JuCo scene, which is probably how Bethune-Cookman wants their program to be built. But it’s certainly a questionable choice.”

UNC-Wilmington C.B. McGrath, UNC Assistant Coach (B-)

“It’s a bit surprising that UNC-Wilmington didn’t go after someone from the Louisville coaching tree or with ties to Keatts, their last head coach. McGrath is a solid coach, but is regarded as Keatts’s polar opposite. So this is a questionable hire.”

Drake Niko Medved, Furman Head Coach (C+)

“Medved did a solid job at Furman during his four years at head coach there, but he has zero ties to Drake or the state of Iowa, which makes this a curious hire. Drake swung and missed on a few candidates, so it’s not surprising they settled for a mediocre fit.”

Predictions

Duquesne: Keith Dambrot, Akron Head Coach

Eastern Washington: Shantay Legans, Eastern Washington Assistant Coach

George Washington: Maurice Joseph, George Washington Interim Head Coach

Indiana: Archie Miller, Dayton Head Coach

Louisiana State: Will Wade, VCU Head Coach

Morehead State: Preston Spradlin, Morehead State Interim Head Coach

N.C. State: Kevin Keatts, UNC-Wilmington Head Coach

North Texas: Grant McCasland, Arkansas State Head Coach

Quinnipiac: Baker Dunleavy, Villanova Assistant Coach

Rice: Scott Pera, Rice Assistant Coach

Southern: Morris Scott, Southern Assistant Coach

UC Santa Barbara: Joe Pasternack, Arizona Assistant Coach

VCU: Mike Rhoades, Rice Head Coach

Youngstown State: Jerrod Calhoun, Fairmont State Head Coach

Austin Peay: Wes Long, VCU Assistant Coach

Arkansas State: LeVelle Moton, N.C. Central Head Coach

Bethune-Cookman: Montez Robinson, Alcorn State Head Coach

California: Russell Turner, UC-Irvine Head Coach

Chattanooga: Lamont Paris, Wisconsin Assistant Coach

Cleveland State: Jermaine Kimbrough, Wyoming Assistant Coach

Dayton: Dan Muller, Illinois State Head Coach

Drake: Brian Jones, North Dakota Head Coach

Eastern Washington: Matt Logie, Whitworth Head Coach

Georgetown: Tom Crean, former Indiana Head Coach

Illinois: Scott Drew, Baylor Head Coach

Massachusetts: Micah Shrewsberry, Boston Celtics Assistant Coach

Miami (OH): Ryan Pedon, Butler Assistant Coach

Missouri: Tom Crean, Indiana Head Coach

Oklahoma State: Doug Gottlieb, CBS Sports Basketball Analyst

Seattle: Trent Johnson, former TCU Head Coach

South Florida: Keith Dambrot, Akron Head Coach

UNC-Wilmington: Joe Dooley, Florida Gulf Coast Head Coach

Washington: Eric Musselman, Nevada Head Coach

Akron: Anthony Stewart, UT-Martin Head Coach

Alabama A&M: Donnie Marsh, Texas Southern Assistant Coach

Coppin State: Larry Stewart, Morgan State Assistant Coach

Florida A&M: Rod Strickland, former South Florida Assistant Coach

Furman: Steve Smith, Clemson Assistant Coach

Grambling State: Ray Martin, Grambling State Assistant Coach

LIU-Brooklyn: Rasheen Davis, VCU Assistant Coach

New Mexico: Joe Dooley, Florida Gulf Coast Head Coach

Portland State: Luke Jackson, Northwest Christian Head Coach

2 thoughts on “NCAA Hoops Portal

    • My thinking is that Amari Cooper is a safer pick, and I really think Reggie McKenzie wants to make the “right” draft pick so he can save his job as Raiders GM (as he’s on the hot seat). Did a good job last year with Derek Carr and Khalil Mack last draft. Would love to talk further about draft, go ahead and email me at daniel.westra@gmail.com

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