I will write about something other than the DePaul head coach shortly, but let's just take this one step further. Here are five current head coaches at BCS schools that the Blue Demons might be interested. Now, a lot of these names are just wishful thinking, so I've included odds along with the short profiles. Also, there is a rumor floating around that Siena's Fran McCaffery has turned down a job that would've doubled his current salary at Siena. Was that DePaul? We don't know. But it's just something to remember.
Please note, I've only included names on this list that DePaul should want to hire. Hiring someone like Oregon State's Craig Robinson might sound nice in the press release, but he doesn't seem prepared to return DePaul to national prominence right now.
(We'll discuss lower conference candidates in a later post.)
Wish List Candidate #1 - Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh
Dixon is a great coach. He gets more from less better than almost any coach in the country. He's shown the ability to recruit the New York City area well and that would continue to be a plus at a Big East school like DePaul. He might have a few emotional ties to the DePaul from his late sister Maggie, but I doubt it would be enough to sway him to leave a good job. You might think Dixon gets it done with defense, but actually until this season his Pittsburgh teams were always better at offense. His commitment to offensive rebounding and getting to the line makes any team competitive.
Chance of him coaching at DePaul next season: 0.01%
Wish List Candidate #2: Ben Howland, UCLA
I'm not really sure why anyone would want to leave Los Angeles for Chicago, at least in terms of the weather. Also, the Pac-10, at least right now, is an easier place to coach. Howland though doesn't need an easy conference to be successful. He was Dixon's predecessor at Pittsburgh, but Howland's teams really do get after you on defense. His best teams are great at defense. That's where Pittsburgh earned it's tough defensive reputation. Howland struggled this season after losing a lot of talent, but the Bruins will be back shortly. There doesn't seem to be any logical reason for him to come to DePaul, despite some people's ideas to the contrary.
Chance of him coaching at DePaul next season: 3% (since there are rumors it could happen)
Wish List Candidate #3: Tubby Smith, Minnesota
Smith has been the master behind sustained success at Kentucky and Minnesota. He won a National Title at Kentucky in 1998, but got run out of town in 2007. Since then he's been coaching the Gophers and they've made the postseason every time. He's been in the NIT and two NCAA Tournaments in Minnesota. It always seemed like Minneapolis was a way station for another job and now those teams are starting to come calling. The most likely landing spot for Smith appears to be at Auburn (though a Pioneer Press columnist seems to think that Georgia Tech, if it opens, is the more likely destination). Whatever the case, Smith won't be coming to DePaul. He's got too many other options and have credentials much stronger than what the Blue Demons will be able to attract.
Chance of him coaching DePaul next season: 5%
Wish List Candidate #4: Scott Drew, Baylor
Drew's name in an interesting one because he's still in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears, and their incredibly athletic lineup, are in the Sweet 16 and will play St. Mary's for the right to go to the Elite 8. He did a great job turning around the Baylor program and would be a natural fit to rebuild DePaul. He is a great teacher of offense, but his defenses often lag behind. His teams do it by taking good shots and crashing the boards hard. This could be a great strategy for DePaul as well. This actually seems like one of the better fits. Drew coached at Valparaiso for a time before taking over at Baylor, so he knows the Midwest. For what it's worth, Drew was also named the 1998-99 Recruiter of the Year by Court Vision and he's been able to get some incredibly talented players to come to Baylor. If he can get guys to come to Waco, Texas, he can get them to go to DePaul. This is an avenue the Blue Demons should continue to pursue.
Chance of him coaching DePaul next season: 40%
Wish List Candidate #5: Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech
I'll say this for Hewitt, the man can recruit. He's brought some incredible talents into the Georgia Tech program. The question is, why hasn't he had more success? The past two seasons he was coaching an under-.500 ACC team. Now, because he got Derrick Favors to come to the Yellow Jackets and made the second round, he's a hot commodity. This seems a little out of whack to me. When he has talent though he can win and Hewitt is good at keeping local talent home. If he could do that in Chicago he'd be able to put a quality team together quickly at DePaul. While he seems like more of a quick fix guy than a long-term solution Hewitt would at least be worth a look if he doesn't go to St. John's.
Chance of him coaching DePaul next season: 12%