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Wednesday, May 02, 2007 "These Coaches Will Ride Carousel Next Year"

Thanks to my friend G for finding this article, ed.

These coaches will ride carousel next year
Jeff Goodman /

Now that the coaching carousel has basically come to an end this season, the only natural thing to do is take a look at those who might be on the move next season. We'll give you a breakdown of 10 head coaches who could have new jobs and then 10 assistants who should be in the mix for head jobs.

First, here are 10 head coaches who should be "hot" names in about 11 months or so.

1. Anthony Grant, VCU: He's the hottest young coach out there. A protégé of Billy Donovan, the 41-year-old Grant has the charisma and intelligence, and quickly earned the respect of his players and peers in his rookie season with the Rams. He won a school-record 28 games — with the biggest being a first-round upset over Duke.

2. Tony Bennett, Washington State: We know he signed a long-term extension to remain in Pullman, but there will still be plenty of options after next season — and depending on his buyout, he'll be able to leave for a more attractive situation, probably in the Big Ten. The 37-year-old won 26 games in his first season taking over for his father, Dick, and led the Cougars to their first NCAA tournament win in 24 years.

3. Tom Crean, Marquette: It's hard to tell what's going to open, but expect Crean to be in demand for any of the elite jobs. He's done a terrific job at Marquette and is a tireless worker. The Golden Eagles have won at least 19 games in each of Crean's last seven seasons at the helm.

3. Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois: Lowery is another one who inked a hefty, multi-year deal (seven years for $750,000 per season), but if the Salukis make another NCAA tournament run, expect the big boys to finally come hard after him. Lowery, 34, won a school-record 29 games a year ago and was the youngest coach in the Big Dance.

4. Mark Fox, Nevada: His name wasn't tossed around in the off-season as much as it should have been, but Fox has done a terrific job since he took over the program. His record is 81-18 in his three years and he has gone to the NCAA tournament each season.

5. Reggie Theus, New Mexico State: The natural fit is for Theus to go to his alma mater, UNLV, when Lon Kruger leaves. However, no one really knows whether Kruger wants out of Vegas or not. Theus' Aggies could win the WAC and that should mean that some of the big boys will come calling. Also, let's not forget that he worked for Louisville coach Rick Pitino — who has plenty of juice when it comes to who gets hired.

6. Brad Brownell, Wright State: One of the most underrated coaches in the country. Enjoyed success at UNC-Wilmington before a rift with the administration basically forced him to take the Wright State job. He picked up right where he left off, taking his new team to the NCAA tournament this past season and finishing 23-10. His career coaching mark in five seasons: 106-50.

7. Cliff Warren, Jacksonsville: Won just one game his first season at the helm and had his program contending for the league crown this past season. If he can put up 20 or so wins this year, he'll be a hot commodity after the year.

8. Randy Rahe, Weber State: Took over a program and brought in a ton of new players — and still managed to have success this past season. Weber State went 20-12 and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.

9. John Calipari, Memphis: No matter what, Calipari always finds a way to get his name involved in coaching rumors. Next year will be no different. He likes the attention and will talk to virtually anyone about an opening.
10. Andy Kennedy, Mississippi: He's entering his second season and is from the state, but he'll get some looks because he'll have the Rebels once again in contention for the NCAA tournament.

Here are 10 assistant coaches who could make the jump and run their own program in 2008.

1. Derek Kellogg, Memphis: The Tigers are among the best teams in the country and Kellogg is a major reason why.
2. Chris Collins, Duke: If he's smart, he waits for the right opening. We know that former Coach K assistants haven't all had a stellar track record, but Collins will be a star one day.

3. Robert Burke, Georgetown: Burke watched his two fellow assistants, Kevin Broadus (Binghamton) and Sydney Johnson (Princeton) get jobs. Next year it'll be his turn.

4. Mark Montgomery, Michigan State: He's a Tom Izzo assistant and the Spartans will be among the best teams in the country next season.

5. Philip Pearson, Alabama: If Ron Steele hadn't been injured all season, the Crimson Tide would have fared much better — and Pearson would have already earned a head gig. It should happen next year.

6. John Groce, Ohio State: Obviously the Buckeyes will be down a little bit, but Groce is waiting for the right job to come along.

7. Joe Dooley, Kansas: He had one shot at East Carolina when he was very young — and Dooley should get another crack at it soon.

8. Rob Senderoff, Indiana: Has done a terrific job at Kent State and now at Indiana. With the Hoosiers back among the nation's elite teams, he'll be in the mix.

9. Josh Pastner, Arizona: With a couple of jobs certain to open in Texas, the energetic Wildcats assistant should be in line for something after the season.

10. Mike Hopkins, Syracuse: The only thing here is that Hopkins is the heir apparent once Jim Boeheim retires. His name may be tossed around, but it would have to be a terrific situation for him to leave the Orange.

Jeff Goodman is a senior college basketball writer for He can be reached at

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