I almost missed the fact that Seth Davis tweeted about the DePaul job on Monday, that is until I read this post on Not Qualified To Comment. There Paul Banks of The Sports Bank.net said that Steve Lavin (right) would be a good choice for the Blue Demons.
Quickly addressing a few other names in Davis' tweet. It's obvious after Craig Robinson signed his extension yesterday with Oregon State that he won't be coaching in Chicago next season. That's a good thing for DePaul. Robinson needs to learn to build a program instead of jumping from one job to the next. If he stays at Oregon State he can do that.
Speaking of needing to build well... anything, Isiah Thomas is another name that should be immediately dismissed. In Davis' tweet it appears that is already the case. Still, anyone who has pipe dreams of Thomas coming in and recruiting the best kids to Chicago and then winning is delusional. Thomas has failed at a number of stops in his basketball coaching career. He leaves destruction, not construction, at each stop.
Davis' tweet is also the first I've heard of Tony Barbee being in the running. Honestly though, this one makes a bit of sense. Barbee is the highly successful coach of UTEP. The Miners have built a strong program and he's made the CBI twice and is going to the NCAA Tournament this season. He's from Indianapolis, IN and was an assistant to some very good coaches before starting his career. Tuck that name in your back pocket.
But back to Lavin.
This isn't the first time his name has come up. The National Football Post decided that it was fun to write about basketball too.
Honestly though, there are reasons why a guy doesn't coach for eight years. Either he doesn't have the drive and desire to do it, or administrators don't want him. Now, I don't know anything about Lavin the person, but, since one of these has to be true, there is an immediate red flag that goes up.
Lavin also has some Midwest connections. He coached at Purdue under Gene Keady. Even today you're more likely to find him announcing a Big Ten game than anything else on the ESPN family of networks.
He won at UCLA. He made six NCAA Tournaments in seven seasons as a head coach at UCLA. But the first season the Bruins didn't win under him he was gone. Why? Don't you think you'd give a coach with that incredible track record of success a chance to smooth things out?
Maybe he got caught in a rough situation with a new Athletic Director. Maybe it was UCLA's last gasp to hold onto a shred of its dignity. (Though Ben Howland seems to be escaping the chopping block in Westwood without NCAA appearances.) It could've been all that, but maybe it was something else.
Lavin is an old coach. He's been there before. He'll bring old ideas. Sure he's got a nice name. But he's not what DePaul should be looking for either.