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Sunday, April 05, 2009

CBS Sports Gary Parrish - What's next for Memphis?

What's next for Memphis?
Posted on: April 5, 2009 12:05 am

DETROIT -- The Memphis coaching search has turned into a complete mess , and sources have said the name bouncing around most at this moment belongs to Florida State's Leonard Hamilton, which would be fine, I guess. He can get players, and assistant Stan Jones (a former Memphian) can help coach them. So that might be OK -- although I'd be skeptical of hiring a 60-year-old man to rebuild my program, but maybe I'm just stupid.

Meantime, here are my thoughts on the matter ...

Former Memphis assistant Tony Barbee would be a good hire because he knows Memphis, knows the current roster, knows the recruits Memphis needs to get and is on the verge of winning C-USA next season at UTEP (he'll probably have the best roster in the league). But Barbee's issue is that John Calipari privately backed him for the job last week to multiple prominent boosters, and those boosters are so mad at Calipari now that they won't hire Barbee just because they don't want to do what Calipari told them to do. In other words, Calipari's endorsement has hurt Barbee's chances of getting this job, meaning he's probably not getting this job.

Which brings me to Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy.

Yeah, he had the cab driver incident this season, and that would cause and to clown the hire. They'd have jokes, and they'd be funny, and then all that would be over. It would last about 48 hours, and then Kennedy would hold a press conference, and he'd be impressive, and then he'd recruit and get players (he signed one of the best prospects from Memphis this season, it's worth noting), and the city of Memphis would love him. Trust me, this would be a good hire. But all indications are that the Memphis boosters can't get past the incident and still-looming legal issues, and unless that changes Kennedy won't get this job, either.

Which brings me to UMass coach Derek Kellogg.

Yeah, he had a losing season this season in his first season at his alma mater. But if Kellogg was still an assistant at Memphis he'd probably already have this job, and so it's worth exploring his level of interest, then see if Memphis assistant John Robic will remain in Memphis to help with the adjustment. Robic handled all the scouting for Calipari's Tigers, case you didn't know. He's the type of veteran a younger coach can lean on, something similar to what Larry Shyatt provides Billy Donovan at Florida. Would Robic stay in Memphis? I have no idea. But if Kellogg could keep Robic around, this route might end up being the most sensible route given the current state of affairs.

Beyond that, Memphis should just offer the job to assistant Josh Pastner.

He'd take it, I'm sure.

Or Western Kentucky coach Ken McDonald.

He'd take it, I'm sure.

Or former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie.

He'd take it, I'm sure.

Or New Mexico coach Steve Alford.

He'd take it, I'm sure.

Honestly, I could produce a whole list of people who would actually take this job.

Needless to say, it's a different list than the list Memphis has been using the past four days.

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