Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Pistolier's Pick

Rumors have been flying that Rick Pitino could be plucked from Loserville. Reasoning is that we could offer him more money and we would be willing to include a provision in his contract allowing his son, Richard, to take over when Pitino retires or dies. Pitino is a proven winner, a good recruiter, and a big name, but, he seems pretty comfortable basking in the self-appointed glory of a BCS conference. A cbssports.com article even quotes a source who says there is "No way in hell" Pitino would come here. The same article also suggests Mr. Pat Summitt would come if offered the money. Please no.

So whats a spurned school who has already flashed their cash to do? I think we would all be in agreement that John Calipari did an excellent job coaching here (and an excellent job raping us on the way out)...so to get an idea of what will be the best fit here lets look at Calipari's basic blueprint when he came to Memphis in 2000:

  • Played 4 years of college ball (2 at UNC Wilmington, 2 at Clarion U)
  • 6 years as an assistant coach (3 at Kansas, 3 at Pitt)
  • 8 years as head coach at UMass where he won 6 A-10 regular season championships and 5 A-10 tournament championships. Went to the 1996 Final Four with the help of Marcus Camby
  • 2+ years as head coach of the New Jersey Nets (72-112) .391
  • 1 season as assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers
  • Age when hired at Memphis: 41
  • Previously stated he would like to coach at: Kentucky
Now, there is one name somewhat hidden in the mix that more or less fits this profile. His hiring might not have the tsunami wave impact UofM administration wishes for, but I can see him doing a tremendous job here. He is a program builder, a proven recruiter, and a very good basketball player in his own right. Also, he is quite a bit older than Calipari was when he came and his threat to leave is considerably less prestigious than Kentucky.

His name is Reggie Theus. Let's take a look...

No! No! No! At his resume! ....C'mon man! Hide the women and children.


There, that's better. Now, his street cred...
  • 3 years of college ball at UNLV, led them to the 1977 Final Four and, please sit down first Tiger fans, shot 81.8% from the free throw line.
  • 9th pick of the 1978 draft, Rookie of the Year runner-up
  • 13 years in the NBA, 2-time All-Star
  • 2 years as assistant coach at Loserville, was Loserville's top recruiter, CUSA regular season and tourney titles in 2005 leading to a Final Four appearance.
  • 2 years as head coach at New Mexico State, turned team from 6-24 in 04-05 before he arrived to 16-14 in 05-06 ...5th best turnaround in D-1 history. They went 25-9 in 06-07 and won the WAC and a NCAA tourny bid. Recruited 5-Star prospect Herb Pope to NMSU beating out Memphis, Loserville, Pitt, and Texas.
  • 1+ year as head coach of the Sacramento Kings (44-62) .415
  • Current age: 51... older you are less likely you are to use us as a launchpad for another school
  • Previously stated he would like to coach at: his alma mater UNLV... he has applied and been rejected twice. But, Memphis would drink UNLV's milkshake anyday.
So that is Reggie Theus as a coach. Theus off the court is equally as impressive. After retiring from his playing days, he spent almost 10 years as an actor and basketball television analyst so he knows how to put on a good show and knows how to deal with the media. He is also very involved in charitable organizations where ever he goes, including: the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, NBA's Stay in School program, and Reggie Theus' Trikes for Kids. He is also happily married with 3 kids.

So, while maybe not the big name everybody is looking for, he's almost the same product with the same potential as Cal had when he came. For this reason, Reggie Theus is my pick for the UofM coaching job.

Sources: wikipedia.org and nba.com


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd take him. Why not? He's probably our best option next to that asshole bruce pearl

DG said...

There is no way in hell Pitino would leave Louisville to coach Memphis. It's just unfathomable. Theus might work out for Memphis, but would he bolt for a better job after two years like he did to NMSU?

JB said...

I agree. Theus is nice on paper (and print apparently), but he does not have a track record of loyalty. We may just need someone to step in quick and salvage the program, though, so he might do that. I think the time to strike is now with a big offer to someone though. If Memphis sucks for the next few years, fewer and fewer coaches will want the job.

Jarrod said...

The thought of having Bruce Pearl or Pitino strolling the UM sidelines is like having a rabid dog bite me in the balls, not exactly ideal. Personally, and this is OPINION, my top three are Nolan Richardson, Bobby Knight (MASSIVE NAME RECOGNITION) and Reggie Theus. He's an interesting pick, but Nolan Richardson and Bobby Knight are too.

Grant said...

Knight just interviewed and apparently pearl is interviewing today. What a weird world. I have no idea what to think now. I am not saying anything because I picked anderson and then floyd. I am afraid if I name another name the guy will be snatched up. Also for the last time, richardsom will not and should not coach here. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I'd be ok with Reggie but my plan is hire Nolan and make him take Bobby Parks as his assistant....then Bobby takes over after being groomed AND his son sign's with Tigers!!!

Anonymous said...

Antonio Anderson ran practices for Cal and won't make it in the NBA. Why not give him and Elliot Perry some type of assistant/recruiter job? Parks and even Keith Lee are good ones too.

DG said...

Bobby Parks was on our church league basketball team for one game. We dominated, and it really wasn't because of him, but he did drain some nice jumpers. We were just fast up and down the court. Anyway, he never came back, and every week D would call him and he would say he'd be at the next game. Never showed up. He came into CarMax during the middle of the season and I said hi to him, but I don't even think he recognized me. Is that the type of guy you want coaching the Tigers? Ha ha, that's probably not a good representation of his character. I'm sure he's a stand up guy, I just wanted to make myself look cool because I played basketball with Bobby Parks.

Pistolier said...

I agree we need to try and make a big strike right now (Pitino, Dixon, or Wright). We've already tipped out hand and shown that we are ready to spend major money and take Cal's status as the highest paid coach away from him. But all those options seem unlikely. Pearl is also an option, more likely than those three, but it would take me awhile to embrace him as coach after hating him for so long. All those guys are BCS conference coaches, but that might not matter as much as it used to. Memphis is a legit basketball powerhouse now... 4 straight sweet 16s, new practice facility, fedex forum, and the money to retain a coach.

But I think right now, more than anything, the Memphis fanbase is not happy about being used as a trampoline and wants somebody who is going to stay. Thats why you get somebody older, but not too old or they could retire or die before a younger coach would have left us then we are no better off. I would be OK with Richardson, not so much Knight, but Theus is perfect. He's 51... gettin up there in years but health and age are not a concern yet as a new hire but age could be in a few years which limits his options for bolting. He's already failed as a coach in the NBA. And the only other school he would want to coach at is UNLV... I doubt UNLV could give him $3mil a year... not that we have to either, I think he would be a bargain.

Jason said...

I just like the way Theus is looking at me in that shirtless picture.

Grant said...

Like Blake's wife, I think I could fake it with Bruce Pearl for a while and I think all memphis fans would. But if salvages our season we will quickly forget his ridiculously inappropriate behavior with UT students and his ridiculous and unmatched ability to sweat a metric ton each game. I just hope he doesn't buy a bright blue blazer.

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