Monday, April 13, 2009

So Who Will It Be?

It has been one week since Sean made it official with Arizona. In the week since then Sean has taken along James Whitford and Book Richardson as assistants. He also seems to have an offer on the table for Mario Mercurio to be his director of basketball operations for the Wildcats. Finally Kyryl Natazkho made it official Saturday night at the Derby Classic in Louisville and will be joining Sean at Arizona. But enough about $ean. The storm has passed. I think by tomorrow afternoon we will know who the next coach of the Xavier Musketeers will be. With the school being closed today for the Easter holiday no official business will be conducted. Also the season ending basketball banquet is on Wednesday night with the spring signing period also officially getting under way on the 15th. That lends Tuesday as a ideal day for an announcement. Here is my preferences for the job listed in order with the percentage chance they have of getting the nod:

Chris Mack (80%): There is rampant speculation currently that he has been offered the job and they are waiting for the team to all get back from Easter vacation before an announcement is made. I would support Chris getting the job because out of all the candidates nobody would understand Xavier and the current team better. The only drawback to Chris is lack of experience. I take heart that Xavier has done well by calling on guys who were assistants or had only one year experience in the head seat in recent searches.

Brad Brownell (5%): He has done well at basketball only schools UNC-Wilmington and Wright State. His team's are defensive oriented and can struggle to score at times. However you must keep in mind the talent level that he has been able to attract to those schools. I firmly believe having access to the resources Xavier offers it's basketball program Brad would flourish. The down side there is when that happens the big money state schools will come calling.

Keith Dambrot (5%): I am liking the idea of Keith more and more. His connections with Lebron only enhance his reputation. Dambrot landed Zeke Marshall out of McKeesport, PA this past year when he was rated a top 50 prospect by How many 6-11 centers rated that highly end up in the MAC right out of high school? None until now. He also has built up the Zip program to the NIT two years ago and a NCAA appearance this year against Gonzaga. Dan Hipsher was solid as a coach for Akron but no postseasons. The program was never the same after Bob Huggins left in the '80's. Sound familiar?

Darrin Horn (5%): I personally think the Darrin Horn ship has sailed due to money. XU was just getting ready to pay Sean in the 1.1 million range. I believe sources quoted Darrin as expecting a starting salary of 1.25 million to leave South Carolina. I know 'sources' are generally bs but this seems plausible. And he is not lying when he said HE has never contacted Xavier about their coaching search. However I am certain his attorney has spoken to XU officials. Such a tangled web these coaches weave.

John Groce (5%): Yes I know Ohio University finished last in the MAC this year. Yes I know John Groce was a huge Churchill Odia fan. However the man is a hell of a recruiter sans the over sight on Church. He got Kyryl to take a visit to Athens after the Ukranian visited X. His class for next year is very strong and probably the best in the MAC. He runs a system that X players and fans would be very familiar with. His half brother is on the staff currently at Xavier as the DBO. However I think many X faithful and high level donors in AFO have had enough of the Thad Matta coaching tree at this point and time. Nevertheless you never know until an official announcement is made.

In the end I think Mack is the man for X. I could see him retaining Travis Steele (current DBO) as an assistant coach, bringing Pat Kelsey as his lead guy from Wake Forest, and making a offer for Mario to be his DBO. Mario is a St. X grad as well. His final assistant position could possibly be someone with strong ties to the grassroots scene for recruiting purposes. So there you go. IF Mack is the man I think you will see a scenario like that play out. I also think Mack would keep roster turnover to a minimum for the Muskies. Either way tomorrow is a big day for Xavier hoops fans.

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