Bryan Mauro- Contributing Writer (@Threecolorbeard)
For the second installment of the Coaches on the Hot Seat, we will examine the SEC, Big East, Pac-12, and Big 12. There has been lots of movement over the last week with conference tournaments wrapping up.
Kim Anderson– To say that Kim Anderson’s tenure at Missouri was tumultuous would probably be an understatement. Kim Anderson was relieved of his duties last week, before the SEC tournament even started. In his short stint at Missouri, they were one of the worst power five teams I had seen in quite some time. This is a move that absolutely had to be made, and I’m sure it surprised no one when it happened. Kim Anderson inherited a Missouri team that was a perennial top finisher in their conference under Frank Haith. However, coach Haith did bring some sanctions on the school, right before Kim Anderson got there. None the less, his team had enough talent. Kim Anderson’s tenure was riddled with transfers, watching the in-state talent go elsewhere, and getting flat out embarrassed in some games. Missouri should go looking for an upstart coach ready to start from the bottom. I look for Pat Kelsey from Winthrop and Nick McDevitt from UNC-Asheville to get interviews for this job. It is currently a lower tier job in the SEC, with the potential to be a top-tier job. There is a nice influx of home-grown talent in Missouri to work with, and they have the backing of the SEC.
Johnny Jones– Where to begin with Johnny Jones and LSU? Basketball plays third fiddle at this school behind Football and Baseball. I knew Johnny Jones was probably not long for LSU, after last year. Last year, he had arguably one of the most talented teams in his history and the history of the school. He had number one overall pick Ben Simmons, Craig Victor, and Tim Quarterman, and his team was not even close to qualifying to for the NCAA tournament. Not only did his team not win enough, there was the scandal of whether or not Ben Simmons was actually attending class before and after basketball season. It had been reported that Ben Simmons made coach Jones aware that he was there to play basketball, not attend class. Apparently, Johnny Jones seemed to be okay with this, as that was cited as one of the main reasons Ben Simmons chose LSU over a bevy of other college choices. I really am at a loss as to where LSU will search for their new coach. Their best bet would be to hire a headhunter. They are really going to have sell LSU to their potential coach, because the fact is that, right now, this is not a good job.
John Thompson III– Georgetown basketball is a perennial power, so why would JT3 be on this list with one bad year? Well, it is a combination of everything that has happened to Georgetown in the last calendar year. Their two best players elected to transfer, Paul White to Oregon and Isaac Copeland to Nebraska. The team has also underachieved the last couple of years. This year, they had a losing record and were not close to making the NCAA tournament. When you are the coach at a program like Georgetown, it is a bad year if you earn a 10 seed, and it’s a miserable year if you don’t make the tournament all together. The downfall of Georgetown basketball under John Thompson III happened in 2013 when they ran into the ultimate Cinderella, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. The Eagles were a 15 seed who bounced number 2 Georgetown in the first round of the tournament. Since then, it has been a steady decline in DC. The Georgetown job is a difficult one. It has a nice location in DC and is surrounded by a hotbed of talent. The one issue? They don’t have their own arena to play in. The arena they play in is the host to the Washington Wizards, which is a huge downfall of that job. Facilities are a big piece to recruiting and with no arena to call their own, it’s amazing that Georgetown has done as well as they have. Plus, the new coach will always have the shadow of John Thompson Jr. overlooking and critiquing every move they make. Rumors have surfaced that John Thompson Jr. is the reason Georgetown has yet to make a move to fire their current coach, who is his son. If Georgetown makes a move, they will need to hire an established coach who knows the area, and can recruit to a private school with no arena.
Lorenzo Romar– Lorenzo Romar has been a huge disappointment overall at Washington. Apparently not a big enough one though, as he will return to his post next year. I’m guessing a lot of that has to do with the fact that he coached the future overall number 1 NBA draft pick in Markelle Fultz, and next year is bringing in the Porter brothers, with Michael Porter Jr. being the number 1 recruit in the country and future lottery pick. Another year like Washington had this year though, and Romar may have his walking papers. It’s great that he is able to find talent like Fultz and Porter Jr. However, the team around those players has never developed, and Washington is not what they once were. Washington has a storied history of placing players in the NBA and they play in one of nations best conferences. Plus they are located in Seattle, where fans are basketball hungry, and will go watch this team play, as they are the only game in town. If Lorenzo Romar does leave, Washington should look to hire their newly appointed assistant coach Michael Porter Sr., who is none other than Michael Porter Jr.’s father. It will be interesting to watch this one unfold next year.
– Rumors were that Bruce Weber was also in the hot seat. I think those rumors are gone now, as his team is probably going to make the NCAA tournament again. Kansas State will be fine going forward, and will keep making the NCAA tournament, so Bruce Weber is safe.