With potential transfers already being announced and teams across the nation deciding on the fate of their coaches after the final buzzer, we have officially entered Silly Season. Condescending articles from the national media, fanbases wildly overvaluing their job, flight trackers and guys with eggs as their Twitter profile picture somehow nailing a surprise hire...it’s a nonstop news cycle that goes all the way into summer and sometimes beyond.
Just this past week or so a number of jobs opened up that will produce some interesting searches but may (or may not) have an impact on, the only reason we are here, NC State’s basketball fortunes.
Wake Forest retains Danny Manning- As many have pointed out his contract was a bit of a burden and with Ron Wellman soon out the door as AD (to be replaced by John “Go Get A Good One” Currie) it actually makes sense to keep Manning for another year, even as a lame duck. Impact on State: Obviously we face WF every year, and while that hasn’t produced a perfect record against the Deacs, our program should have confidence that those SHOULD be two wins and the added bonus of recruiting against a coach who will soon be fired.
BC retains Jim Christian- BC underachieved a bit this year with the talent they had in Ky Bowman surrounded by unheralded but solid role players. This could’ve been an NIT team at least. There was some consternation among BC fans (remember this guy did go 0-18 a couple of years ago) but there is no clear direction of where the program will go without him. It’s all very “Steve Addazio,” dude. Impact on State: Keatts seems to have BC & Christian’s number as he is 3-1 against them with the 3 wins by an average of 17 points. Who knows what Ky Bowman does pro-wise but NC State should have some confidence when they face BC home & away in ‘19-20.
Alabama moves on from Avery Johnson- 4 years and 1 tourney appearance has led the NBA champion PG to part ways with Alabama. This seems much more mutual then most of these announcements, so maybe Avery wants back in the NBA coaching game and is tired of dealing with teenagers. Impact on State: Nothing directly, expect for the fact that Johnson was a phenomenal recruiter and, as others have discussed recently, signed a player we were after. Getting a high-level recruiter in the South with an unlimited budget off the board may only be the slightest of positives but its worth it
Vandy fires Bryce Drew- Not much to say here, 3 seasons and 1 NCAA plus the bottoming out this year (thanks for nothing) forced the Vandy admin to make a quick, decisive move of which the criticism sounds very familiar. Impact on State: Again nothing too notable. Drew was recruiting at a very high level so his being gone may give us an upper hand with some guys even those it doesn’t appear we cross streams very much.
Billy Kennedy gone from A&M- So Billy Kennedy after 8 seasons took A&M to 2 Sweet Sixteens, won the SEC 3 years ago and he’s gone. Granted those Sweet Sixteens were in his first 4 years but that SEC championship was relatively recent. But who am I to judge, the fans and admin saw the product on the floor and made a move they thought needed to happen. Impact on State: None really EXCEPT the heavy favorite for the gig is Buzz Williams. Buzz is a great coach and has continually elevated Virginia Tech. He was a coup for them during their last search so, while the job is better now than it was, can they pull it off twice? For our sake and ACC record going forward, I hope not.
UCLA, UCLA, UCLA- The “biggest” job on the market currently and one far enough away that whoever they hire (as long as it isn’t Keatts who is on their SBN site’s “Hot Board”) wouldn’t impact us on a competitive level. Impact on State: According to them, Tony Bennett is their front-runner. I don’t know why he’d take a high pressure, thankless job after he’s building a new blue blood with UVA but they are willing to pay, have a wealth of recruiting talent and have a legacy that coaches of a certain age still look up to. Go ahead Tony, take the job and have UVA tumble down the pecking order in conference.
There are other job openings at Temple, UNLV, Wazzu and maybe Nebraska lets go of Tim Miles (sorry Steven :/) but for right now this is where we are. The Carousel will impact recruiting, assistant coaching hires and scheduling across the country...so it would behoove us to keep an eye out during Silly Season.