There have been a lot of coaching stories breaking over the past few days and some of them have included some not-so-kind opinions of how DePaul is running its coaching search. I think the fans, and media, are upset that they don't know the blow-by-blow of the search, but it appears to be progressing. I wanted to take the time to respond to a couple of stories that I found particularly interesting or provocative.
Shockingly, in general Gary Parrish, the author of this column, is usually the more benign of the two big college basketball columnists on CBS. Here it seems like he had an axe to grind with DePaul. Otherwise why would you rehash old arguments and then use an anonymous quote as justification? It appears that DePaul wanted to cover their bases and interview Tony Barbee in case some of the other options fell through, but he was never going to be the No. 1 option for the Blue Demons. Auburn made him a top priority and got him inked to a contract efficiently. Good for Auburn, maybe the Tigers won't have to wait six seasons between 20-win seasons anymore.
I'm not a DePaul fan persay, if you've read some of my other stuff that should be clear, but I care about the program and I think the Blue Demons can do better. Especially for the money they're throwing around. There's a big difference in the coaching world between $1.5 million at an SEC school and $2.5 million to coach in the Big East. I'm glad the Blue Demons aren't taking that responsibility lightly.
Chicago Tribune: Sources say DePaul has $2.5 million dangling for new coach
This is where I got that $2.5 million number from (well, and other reports). The names on the list aren't new. Reggie Theus is going to be interviewing with DePaul on Thursday. For two seasons at New Mexico State he was a good college coach. He even got the Aggies into the NCAA Tournament. Marvin Menzies has sustained that success since. We don't know if Theus can sustain a program, so he'd be a bit of a wild card, but he's an interesting name.
Unfortunately, two other interesting names are still coaching. The two best mid-major coaches are showing their talents off by advancing to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament - in Butler's Brad Stevens' case, and the NIT - for Dayton's Brian Gregory. My guess is that nothing will get done in terms of hiring until at least one of these events finish.
Also, good luck to Steve Lavin at St. John's, but I consistently heard from sources that the Blue Demons had no interest in the former UCLA head coach.
ESPNChicago: Lessons Learned
I'd recommend you read Scott Powers' work in general because I think he does a great job covering the Chicago area. He's the best reporter on ESPNChicago. It will be interesting to see once this whole situation shakes out how long of a contract the new coach receives. My guess is that anyone taking over the Blue Demons would want to have a lot of runway time. Thus it would almost have to be a 6-year contract.