Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mack is the choice

The news is now 'official'. Chris Mack will be the next head coach of the Xavier Musketeers. I am not going to re-hash his resume but I feel the 39 year old is ready for the challenge. He clearly understands the expectations of the program and it's fan base. No doubt he will work hard and will make the most of his opportunity. To be clear I am no 'pollyanna', he has to produce. If not he will feel the heat to be sure.

Now on to the fun stuff. Who will the staff be? All kinds of names are being tossed out there. Pat Kelsey seems to be a popular one. He spent time with Chris at X and on the bench at Wake Forest with him under Skip Prosser. Some feel Pat may be ready to come home. I think Travis Steele is a slam dunk for a promotion. He has been around with Mack as the other guys were packing up. He is John Groce's half brother and was on Indiana's staff three years before arriving on Victory Parkway. A plus for him would be strong recruiting connections in the Hoosier state and a healthy understanding of NCAA phone regulations. Brian Thornton looks to be a candidate for an administrative type position. Joel Cornette is at Iowa currently but is a St. Xavier guy. He wouldn't be the first to flee Todd Lickliter's camp this spring as half the roster has declared they are leaving the Hawkeyes at the end of the semester. Jeff Massey at Bonaventure seems to be another natural fit due to his playing days for the Musketeers. One of the biggest rumors out there is Jeff Boals will be a part of Mack's staff. Who is Jeff Boals? He is the associate head coach at Akron. His recruiting ties are strong in the midwest and he is credited with getting class of 2010 studs like Adriean Payne and JD Weatherspoon to list Akron as schools under consideration. He was also the lead assistant for the Zips recruiting Zeke Marshall this year. Also 2011 blue chippers Markus Crider and Stevie Taylor list the Zips and Boals would certainly bring their phone numbers with him to X.

You could also see Mack go after a coach with head coaching experience at the D1 level. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Or you could see him go after a lead dog from the AAU circuit like Curtis Malone. Who is Curtis Malone? He is the director of the DC Assault program in (you guessed it) Washington, DC. I know people around here will remember James White. Seriously most of the players who come through that program end up in the ACC and other power conferences. Someone along those lines (possibly him) could be in the offing.

Great day to be a Xavier fan. The future is bright. One positive in hiring Mack is the talent in the program knows what he is all about. Many our on record (Frease for sure)that they would stay if Mack was given the job. I just don't want to hear any damn KrissKross songs at the Cintas Center next year.

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