Discussion in 'Around the League' started by bumba, Mar 5, 2022.
I've met Bruce Weber a couple times. Seemed like a pretty nice, down to earth guy. Bummer his time is over at K-State.
The 2022 coaching carousel about to start picking up pace and spinning
Nijel Pack, anyone???
Tom Crean went down in flames by 35 to Vandy. He’s become a punchline joke.
That’s amazing. No one loses to Vandy by 35 but Crean did. Yet someone will hire Crean.
There were people on this board clamoring for him earlier this year.
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Hell yes call Pack. Come home!
It's official. Would Weber consider being a top assistant at Butler (like Gene Keady with St. John's)?
Crean just got Creaned......
Sources: Georgia has officially parted ways with Tom Crean.
Looking at the list of possible candidates to replace Bruce Weber, it sounds like Grant McCasland is being seen as the front runner to take that job....If so, good for him, but I did like the idea of him for Butler. In all seriousness, I don't believe Butler was gonna try going after him anyway, but it's a fun thought experiment.
Interesting that there's a lot of buzz for the Georgia job to go to (former Georgia player) Jonas Hayes, currently on Travis Steele's Xavier staff. I'd not heard his name mentioned at all before the Georgia job came up. Seems his only qualifications are "is a coach and played for Georgia."
Here's a decent article for those with ESPN+ on the current status of the coaching carousel. A lot of names that have been brought up here are floated for multiple open spots. There is specific mention of LaVall, but no new info. I'm sure there will be a ton more moving pieces and articles as the carousel continues to spin.
I only have ESPN+ because of the Disney Bundle. But glad I have it here. Borzello has been pretty consistent in that there's been whispers and grumbles, but no real action of which to write. But it's definitely not just the ol' message board that's the rumor mill - it's real.
It's in full force already. Martin out at Missouri. ECU fired theirs as well.
this is a feel good story heading into the tournament- no one fired . Bit long for those with short attention spans but worthy nonetheless
Bear Hugs for a Basketball Coach
A former law partner and private equity executive takes a team to the NCAA tournament.
By James Freeman
March 11, 2022 3:43 pm ET
Longwood head coach Griff Aldrich gets a congratulatory hug from forward Leslie Nkereuwem during the Big South conference championship game on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C.
PHOTO: RUSTY JONES/ASSOCIATED PRESS
A coach who assisted in perhaps the greatest college basketball upset of all time is now creating another underdog story. Specifically, a man who has overcome both cancer and the decision to become an attorney is now leading his unheralded team into next week’s NCAA tournament.
On Sunday the athletics department at Virginia’s Longwood University announced: “Yes it’s a dream, and yes it’s real. Longwood is headed to March Madness.” The joyous release from the school followed a win in the Big South conference tournament. The Longwood Lancers had never had a winning record in conference play until Griff Aldrich arrived to coach four years ago. Mr. Aldrich has described the school’s decision to hire him as “a hare-brained notion” but he has certainly vindicated its judgment.
Longwood is located in Farmville, Va., where according to the Census Bureau the population dipped to around 7,500 in the decade ending in 2020. Though few in number, local residents have cultivated an abundant love of basketball. It seems that as the Lancers began their improbable rise, the townsfolk were initially even more excited about the team than the school’s students were. Writing earlier this month in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, David Teel noted that the locals turned “claustrophobic Willett Hall (1,900-seat capacity) into a raucous home-court asset” and reported:
“To be honest it’s been a little bit surreal,” Aldrich said. “ . . . To see the joy in the students, and their engagement, and their pride in Longwood. . . . And then the community. [One] game the community side was full, and students were still filing in. It reminded me of my wedding. We got married in Houston, and my wife’s side was packed already and the groom’s side was still trying to fill the first couple rows.”
If this is starting to sound like the screenplay for “Hoosiers,” imagine Gene Hackman showing up in Hickory after quitting his job in private equity. Mr. Aldrich took a circuitous route to Farmville but the journey began nearby. John Feinstein writes this week in the Washington Post:
Opinion: Best of the Web
James Freeman of the Journal editorial board comments on the news of the day.
Aldrich graduated from Hampden-Sydney, a Division III school about six miles from Longwood, in 1996. As a senior, he was team captain but only played 10 games because he was diagnosed the previous summer with bladder cancer. Aldrich had applied to law school as a senior, but he really wanted to coach.
When the University of Virginia law school accepted him, it seemed like the wise decision to attend. Even after graduating, though, he still yearned to coach. Mr. Feinstein reports:
But Aldrich still had law school student loans to pay off. So when big-time Houston firm Vinson & Elkins offered him a job making six figures, he took it. “The idea was to pay off the loans and then get back into coaching,” he said. “Plans change.”His changed in part because he met his future wife, Julie Wareing—who was born and raised in Houston—and because he became so successful and well-established it seemed impossible to leave. He became a partner. He and Julie left their house in a high-end neighborhood and moved into downtown Houston after returning from a four-year stint in London. They adopted three kids from Houston—two boys and a girl—who are now almost 11, just-turned 10 and 7. Eventually he founded an oil and gas company and became the managing director and chief financial officer of a private investment firm . . .He also created an AAU team called His Hoops—Aldrich is a devout Christian—not to travel the country and attract college coaches but to help inner-city kids. After-school practice started every day with study hall and often ended at the Aldriches’ house for dinner. When one of his players, DeAndre Jordan, showed college and pro potential, Aldrich hooked him up with a high-powered AAU program so college scouts would see him.
Mr. Jordan would go on to play in the National Basketball Association, and still does. Griff Aldrich for his part continued his career in finance until he decided to abandon it in his early 40s for a job paying $32,000 per year. Mr. Teel explains:
This was 2016, and Maryland-Baltimore County, UMBC, had just hired Aldrich’s close friend and former Hampden-Sydney teammate, Ryan Odom, as head coach. Odom promptly appointed Aldrich . . . as director of recruiting and program development.
In Mr. Odom’s second season, UMBC did something that had never happened before in the history of the men’s NCAA Division I basketball tournament. As a lowly 16th seed, UMBC upset a No. 1 seed. “Weeks later, Aldrich was the head coach at Longwood, a 10-minute drive from his alma mater,” writes Mr. Teel. As for Longwood’s current success, Mr. Teel reports:
“I wish I could say I’ve figured out all the magic sauce on this,” Aldrich said, “but I certainly haven’t. . . . I do think we pay keen attention to the character of the guys we recruit. That doesn’t mean we get it right all the time or even evaluate well at times, but I . . . really think it’s helped the locker room. I think that the guys all really love each other, and I think it’s a credit to each individual person.”
Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch writes on the loving aftermath of Longwood’s conference championship:
. . . after the win, Aldrich oozed emotion, wiping tears away as he did a post-game television interview, and wrapping players, assistants, school officials, family, fans—anyone who wandered close enough for him to grab—in big hugs.And not shoulder to shoulder taps, but bear hugs.
Fantastic. I read each article embedded in the one you shared. Inspiring and interesting!
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He’s apparently a good guy. He should not apply to Butler
Will Wade out at LSU.
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