Thursday, March 17, 2011

Potential Coaching Candidates For GT

This week on From The Rumble Seat, BirdGT put out a poll on some already mentioned coaching candidates and asked for additional nominees in the comments.  Early this morning, Bird dropped a post with W-L and experience of a compiled list of coaches resulting from the first poll.  There was a wide range of experiences and results from the list, ranging from a national title winner in Tubby Smith to a relative rookie in the business in Anthony Grant (only five years on the job).  Looking at the each coaches W-L record and their years of experience, I began to wonder if I could find a way to compare them using Tubby Smith as my baseline.  Following are the results of that thought process.



My first step was to simply average each coach's wins and losses per year.  It was simple enough to see that Capel's 82 wins in nine years was much less impressive than Anderson's 200 wins in nine years or that Grant's 51 losses in five years was less impressive than Capel's same 51 losses in nine years.  But how would they all compare to the 20 year career of Tubby Smith?  I then calculated the differential just so I could use a single number to compare between coaches.
 
 
YRS
W
L
W/yr
L/yr
W/L DIFF
Smith
20
467
198
23.35
9.90
13.45
Sendek
17
342
231
20.12
13.59
6.53
Capel
9
82
51
9.11
5.67
3.44
Marshall
13
247
130
19.00
10.00
9.00
Bennett
10
203
107
20.30
10.70
9.60
Anderson
9
200
97
22.22
10.78
11.44
Grant
5
115
51
23.00
10.20
12.80
Turgeon
13
248
156
19.08
12.00
7.08

 The above results are obviously in no way entirely conclusive.  However, they do illustrate that some of the coaches have performed slightly better than others when just comparing W-L records.  Grant's 23.0 wins and 10.2 losses per year are very close to what Smith has averaged over 20 years, as are Anderson's.  Not that I thought Capel was a viable option for Tech to begin with, but it's clear that even with some limitations from inheriting a bad situation from the previous head coach (Sampson) he shouldn't be considered for the job.

The next step was to then see how each would project out to a full 20 year career.  Below are the resulting records of each coach if they were to continue their current rate of success.

                       W          L
Smith            467        198
Sendek         402.4      271.8
Capel            182.2      113.4
Marshall        380.0      200.0
Bennett          406.0     214.0
Anderson       444.4     215.6
Grant             460.0      204.0
Turgeon         381.6      240.0

Now, we all know that it's never as simple as just looking at a W-L record or a box score, but without the ability to quickly quantify each coach's individual circumstances at every stop in their career one must rely on what data exists.  It's definitely not fool-proof, and much like star ratings on Rivals or Scout there will inevitably be a few busts.  However, the opposite could also be stated and as such I believe that looking at ones past success is a fair method of evaluating between similar coaches and determining which might be the more successful of the group moving forward.

That being said, I believe that if the above list was the first cut at making a list of potential candidates, I would select Bennett, Anderson, and Grant for the final interview stage.  Smith has all the experience and the success, but he's not exactly the young rising star many would like D-Rad to hire.  Sendek has almost as many years but half of the accolades.  Capel shouldn't even be mentioned amongst the rest on this list.  Marshall and Turgeon are equally qualified, but the above numbers don't have them on par with the remaining three.

What this list doesn't account for are the recent coaching candidates quoted from notable former Tech players, Drew Barry, Kenny Anderson, etc., as reported by Doug Roberson of the AJC:

"You don't make a bigger splash than a Mark Price or Craig Neal, who have been there and done it and know what it takes," said Barry, who played at Tech from 1993-96.

Price declined to comment on the job, other than to say by text that "he wants whoever is the best for GT."

Neal has been less reserved, saying Sunday, “That’s my dream job. That’s my school.”
 Mark Price has been mentioned for a couple of years now and as of yet, no one has gotten a quote from him denying he would like to take on that challenge, but he has yet to say he would either.  While I wouldn't outright oppose Craig Neal getting the job, I'm not sure that it would be the best solution without a little more experience and success under his belt.  I fully respect Barry's opinion that having a ton of head coaching experience is somewhat overrated, but I do not share the same opinion when it comes down to coaching experience overall, as a head coach or otherwise.  Seeing as how neither of us have coached a major college basketball program, it may just be a matter of differing opinions.

Another player, Brook Steppe, threw us all a spit covered screwball of a candidate by mentioning (please don't be drinking while reading this) Mike Woodson:


Steppe said he also would like to see Neal considered, but was most enthusiastic about Woodson.

"He brings instant credibility and a track record of success," Steppe said. "He learned under ... Cotton Fitzsimmons and Larry Brown, got the Hawks turned around in the right direction."
Really?  Instant credibility?  By who's standards and in what circles does Mike Woodson bring instant credibility?  Sorry, but Mike Woodson is NOT the answer for GT.  If you thought Hewitt's offense was stagnant, you definitely don't want Woodson getting a hold of it.

Kenny Anderson however, he just wants play:

“I know with my inexperience on the sidelines in college I don’t need to be a head coach, but I would love to be a part of the program in some form or fashion,”
Honestly, I wouldn't oppose this either.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a PG actually grow at GT?  I also agree with his statement later in the article that having him around would be a nice change.  Who wouldn't love having these guys hanging around the school more often?

Screw it, from all the above here's my coaching staff:  Mark Price as Head coach, Craig Neal-AHC, Kenny Anderson-OC, get Barry and Harpring to handle skill development, and someone go find Salley so he can help with the low post development.  Sorry Steph, I love ya bro, but the team doesn't need any Vaseline.

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