Saturday, April 05, 2008

Marquette-ch a rising star?

It's been a busy month, but Pun City has been ridiculously negligent with the posts. Time to stop the bleeding. Hopefully this blog can get up some new stuff on its recent trips to San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Detroit, including a review of Del Taco.

Big news in the area is Marquette Basketball. Here's Pun City's thoughts on their plight:

1. Marquette has a coaching search going on to replace Tom Crean. The order of preference this blog would have had initially was 1. Tony Bennett, 2. Sean Miller, 3. Anthony Grant, 4. Bob MacKillop, 5. Chris Lowery, 6. Brad Brownell, 7. John Groce (Ohio State assistant). Current Marquette assistant Buzz Williams doesn't appear on Pun City's list for a bunch of reasons.

a) Very little head coaching experience. He coached one season at New Orleans, finishing 14-17. This iteam alone would not be enough to merit an interview at a major conference school, much less a hire.

b) The way he left his prior head coaching position. Basically just bailed on them after the season to take an assistant's job at Marquette. Pun City always thinks that leaving a head job for an assistant's job shows poor leadership. Leaving after only one season is even worse. Leaving the kids he recruited in the city of New Orleans is worse still by this blog's estimation.

c) Hiring a head coach only for the sake of continuity is short-sighted. On the surface it seems ridiculous to this blog that an assistant coach that has only been there for one season would provide realistic continuity anyway.

Several recruits seem to have expressed interest in being released from their national letters of intent. For some, it doesn't even look like hiring Williams would keep them in the fold. By hiring Williams you run the risk of mortgaging the future for the present. It's conceivable that Marquette would be willing to take this risk because they have a good opportunity to have a great season next year. If Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, Wesley Matthews, and Trevor Mbakwe return, they would have a very good nucleus. (Unfortunately, this blog realizes that Mbakwe's return is unlikely).

The ideal scenario would be hiring a very good "x's and o's" head coach other than Williams, then retaining Williams as a recruiting assistant. There has been speculation that Williams would not stay on unless hired as the head coach, so Pun City would caution Marquette fans against getting their hopes up. That said, MacKillop, Lowery, and Brownell would be fine choices for the job. The future of the program would be in good hands. With Williams as the head coach, Pun City does not have the same confidence.

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