COACHING HOT BOARD: Down to the Wire

COACHING HOT BOARD: Down to the Wire

This search has had more false endings than a Hobbit movie, but could we finally be reaching an end? Which longtime favorite is out, and who's our odds-on bet to win?

WHO REPLACES MONTY?
THE FRONTRUNNERS
Russ Turner, HC, UC Irvine
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Russ Turner

The Turner File

Playing Experience: Graduated magna cum laude in 1992 from Hampden-Sydney with a B.A. in English and economics, and earned numerous academic honors including election into Phi Beta Kappa
• Two-time All-American (1991 and 1992)
• Runner-up for NCAA Division III Player of the Year in 1992
• Set school's career scoring record of 2,272 points

Prior to UC Irvine:
• Assistant at Hampden-Sydney 1993-94
Wake Forest assistant 1994-2000
• Demon Deacons won 161 games in his six seasons on the bench, making the NCAA Tournament three times, including the Midwest Regional final in 1996 • Assistant at Stanford from 2000-04, worked with All-Americans Josh Childress, Casey Jacobsen, Jarron Collins and Jason Collins
• Cardinal posted a 105-24 record during his tenure, including a 59-13 mark in Pac-10 play
• Stanford won two conference titles in 2001 and 2004, ranked No. 1 in both seasons, advancing to the NCAA Tournament each of his four years, including the West Regional final in 2001
• Coached Golden State Warriors summer-league team for five seasons, was an active participant in NBA's international outreach camps, including Basketball Without Borders, representing the league in Turkey, China and Lithuania
• Golden State Warriors assistant 2004-10

UC Irvine
• In four years, has 67-65 record, going 43-26 the past two seasons and winning the Big West regular-season title this past season
• Coached Anteaters to first postseason berth in 11 years in 2012-13, making a second-round exit in the CIT. The victory over High Point in the first round of that tournament was Irvine's first postseason win in 27 years

The Bottom Line:
Good coach and good talent evaluator, has had success at Irvine, but is it enough to take him to Cal already? Promising but unproven.
UPDATE 8:59 a.m. April 15: After Chris Mooney's name was floated, and other candidates dismissed for various reasons, Turner appears to be the conservative hire at this point. Sources say that something could happen as soon as TODAY.

UPDATE 4:02 p.m. April 6: Turner had his second interview with Barbour on Sunday.

Why he makes sense: From a former Cal player: "Russell Turner of UC Irvine makes ridiculously great sense for Cal. He was at Stanford with Monty briefly, so he'll have Monty's blessing. Monty brought him to the Warriors, he knows the Bay Area well, coached in the NBA (behind the bench), has gotten good experience as a head coach in the UC system working for UCI athletic director, and former Stanford assistant AD Mike Izzi. [He is] a good friend of Monty's, won the Big West regular season and has a program on the upswing in a challenging situation at an academic school, and they could cut a deal to make sure John Montgomery stays on the new staff. Russ is a great guy, would be popular with the Cal people, terrific/likable personality, played at Wake Forest, will recruit hard and well, knows the game, can coach bigs (he's a big guy himself), and respects the Pete Newell legacy."

Why he could get the job: As with Krystkowiak, he has a link to Montgomery, coaching under him for four years at Stanford and in the pros at Golden State. He's also relatively young at 43, and knows the UC system's academic requirements. In his four years in Irvine, Turner has won 20 or more games twice -- each of the last two seasons -- and improved the Anteaters' conference finish each year. He has a lot of talent development experience, as well, coaching for the Warriors' summer league team for five straight years.

As alluded to above, Turner himself was a big man, and boy, can he coach them. One of his pupils? Oh, just future NBA Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan. Recalling their time together coaching Duncan at Wake Forest, then-head coach Dave Odom called Turner fearless in his approach with Duncan.

Off the court, he's helped with fundraising, writing newsletters to donors in order to give them an inside look at the Cardinal program, and arranged team travel before Montgomery elevated him to assistant.

When he arrived at Irvine, he convinced Eric Wise, the team's leader in scoring, assists and rebounding, not to transfer. Though Bird and Wallace have said they will stay, there are others on the team that are keeping a very close eye on who the next coach is.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Irvine is Turner's first head coaching gig, and while he would bring a lot of NBA cred with him, it's hard to shake the thought that Barbour would either go with DeCuire, or shoot for the moon to get a big name. Additionally, Turner just signed a contract extension through the 2017-18 season. Lastly: Would Barbour hire a former Mike Montgomery assistant, without it being Travis DeCuire -- the coach Montgomery personally vouched for?
Chris Mooney, HC, Richmond
Mooney
Chris Mooney

The Mooney File

Playing Experience:
• Born in Philadelphia, majored in English at Princeton, where he played as a four-year starter for Pete Carril
• Scored 1,071 points in 107 career games, 20th in program history
• Second in Ivy League Rookie of the Year voting as a freshman
• Honorable Mention, All-Ivy League as a sophomore
• First-Team All-Ivy League as a junior
• Second-Team All-Ivy League as a senior

Prior to Richmond:
• HC at Lansdale (Penn.) Catholic High School
• HC at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) 1997-2000, going 24-27
• Assistant at Air Force Academy, 2000-04 under Joe Scott
• HC at Air Force 2005-05, going 18-12 overall, 9-5 in the Mountain West

Richmond
• 166-132 overall record
• 77-67 in Atlantic 10 Conference
• Five postseason appearances (3 CBI, 2 NCAA Tournament)
• NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2010-11
• One of 15 finalists for the 2010 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award
• Led Richmond to back-to-back final top-25 rankings, finishing No. 21 in 2010-11 and No. 24 in 2009-10
• Led the Spiders to the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship and back-to-back A-10 title game appearances.
• Led the Spiders to their best finishes in Atlantic 10 regular season play, finishing 3rd in both 2009-10 and 2010-11

The Bottom Line
With the search now taken out of the hands of Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, according to several sources, this is a name favored by Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Vice Chancellor John Wilton.
Age: 41

UPDATE 8:54 a.m. April 15: Mooney is out, according to sources. His name may have been floated to get folks off the scent of the true hire.

Why he makes sense: (ADDED ON 4/14) It's certainly not a home run hire, but he's young and would come relatively cheap. His one season at Air Force was the Falcons' first winning season in over 25 years, and it's likely he'd bring some version of the Princeton offense to Berkeley.

Why he could get the job: He's averaged over 20 wins in his last six seasons, and with one playoff appearance in his last three seasons, it's likely he won't come at a very high price.

Why he wouldn't get the job: After a three-year run where he guided Richmond to 75 wins and two NCAA Tournament appearances, Mooney has gone a pedestrian 54-45 over the past three seasons, finishing no higher than seventh in the Atlantic 10. After the Spiders' three-year run, he became a hot commodity in coaching searches at many ACC, SEC and Big East programs, but he decided to stay at Richmond, signing a 10-year contract. Additionally, he has no West Coast connections.
Travis DeCuire, Assistant, California
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Travis DeCuire

The DeCuire File

High School: Mercer Island (Wash.)

Playing Experience: Point guard at Montana from 1991-94
• Montana's all-time assist leader (435), led Grizzlies as top single-season assist man (199 in 1993-94)
• All-Big Sky as a junior and senior
• Two-time team MVP

Prior to Cal:
• Head coach at Bellevue (Wash.) Sammamish, leading the school to two conference titles, a state tournament appearance and three consecutive trips to the district tournament
• 2 years as head coach at Green River Community College in Seattle. After taking over a last-place program in 2001-02, guided the team to a conference championship and its first 20-win season in over 20 years, earning league Coach of the Year honors in 2003
• 5 years as an assistant coach at Old Dominion, combined 117-53 record. 94 wins his final four years, most in school history over a four-year stretch. Monarchs reached the postseason each of those four years, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and 2007. ODU reached the National Invitation Tournament semifinals in 2006 and the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational in 2008 • ODU's best overall record came in 2004-05 when the Monarch's finished 28-6. They also won 24 games each of the next two seasons, posting marks of 24-10 in 2006 and 24-9 in '07.

Cal
• Coached 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year and 2011 Freshman of the Year Allen Crabbe, 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Jorge Gutierrez, as well as 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year Jerome Randle in his six years at Cal
• Coached 2014 Bob Cousy Award finalist Justin Cobbs, a three-time All-Pac-12 selection by conference coaches
• Golden Bears were 130-73 during his tenure

The Bottom Line:
Hard worker, very good recruiter, familiarity with Cal, inexperienced, big job for a first HC job, Bears could get someone more proven
UPDATE 8:57 a.m. April 15: A source says that players have been told that DeCuire will not be the next Cal head coach.

UPDATE 6:12 p.m. April 6: DeCuire will have his second interview on Monday.

UPDATE 9:31 p.m. April 5: A source has said that, unless Sandy Barbour can get an established head coach at the last second, the job will go to DeCuire, and it could happen as soon as Sunday, with an announcement on Monday.

UPDATE: DeCuire will interview for the job in Dallas at the Final Four.

Why he makes sense: Montgomery's most highly-regarded assistant, DeCuire has a lot of West Coast recruiting connections, very robust relationships with AAU and high school coaches and is probably the best technical coach on staff, save for Montgomery himself. The guards have been one of the more solid units on the team during DeCuire's tenure.

"We have a terrific group of young people that are ready to take the next step," Montgomery said. "We dealt with stuff all the time that we've kind of had to wade through, but this group's ready to move forward, and in my opinion, they're ready to move forward with Travis at the helm."

Athletic director Sandy Barbour said that DeCuire would "fit into that picture of a really great fit for Cal."

"That's what we're looking for," Barbour continued. "We're looking for a leader, we're looking for someone, obviously, who can do the X's and O's, we're looking for someone who's going to do it the right way, who is going to have the ability to come into this very complex university and navigate all that is here, and bring the right young men into this university to perform in our basketball program and have an opportunity to engage with the education that's here, and that may be someone who has not been a sitting Division I head coach. It may be someone who has had a lot of success someplace else."

Why he could get the job: If Montgomery has any say in his replacement, he's made no bones about recommending DeCuire.

"Sandy will get mad at me, but we've got the guy in this room that should have this job, and that's my assistant, Travis, and I'm really hoping that Sandy comes to that conclusion, ultimately," Montgomery said on Monday. "We're positioned very, very well, and I just felt that, at this point in time, with this young group, that this would be the best time to make that move."

In recruiting circles, he's the most well-respected of the Cal assistants and is the odds-on favorite to get a head coaching job some time in the near future. As for the qualities that make DeCuire right for the job? Montgomery wasn't shy about singing his praises.

"Players in our program trust Travis, and that is huge in today's business," Montgomery said. "They want to play for him, and he's developed relationships with these kids, and he's developed relationships with the people that we need to recruit, that trust him. I think that, that alone, is huge with this group of young kids."

DeCuire has a quiet confidence about him, and relates exceedingly well to players.

"I think Travis is a great coach," said Tyrone Wallace, who, along with Jabari Bird, said they would return next season, regardless of who the new coach is. "He does a lot of work with us on the X's and O's. He builds relationships with his players and I think he's very energetic and fun. We really respect him, and we trust him. I think, if he was hired as coach, he would do a great job.

He's also young and energetic, as well as a very good identifier of talent. 2014 point guard signee Ahmaad Rorie? DeCuire offered him and landed him two years ago.

"He's energetic and young, and he'll bring some life to the program," Bird said. "If he is the new head coach, that would be great for the program."

One of the unique parts of the Cal job is the academic requirements, and after the Bears were dinged in the press for a sub-40% graduation rate, it was DeCuire who led the charge to fix the numbers and stay on top of Cal's players.

"One of the things I think that, if anybody would have thought we'd done a good job in six years, he's been a huge part of it," Montgomery said. "He's worked tirelessly to get this academic thing turned around. We took a little bit of a hit in the press because of the academics, but they weren't our guys, and so we didn't like that. We didn't like the idea that we were kind of getting labeled as we weren't doing our job, academically. Travis has been huge in turning this thing around, in terms of hiring learning specialists and making sure our kids are in a position to graduate.

"One of the issues with this whole graduation rate is kids and this pro thing. As soon as the season's over, they're gone. We've done everything we possibly can with parents and agents and everybody else to try to get kids to stay, but we don't have control, so when kids bail out, we lose points. That has been a huge component."

Why he wouldn't get the job: If history has taught us anything, it's that Sandy Barbour wants to make a name hire. That's why she went for Montgomery in the first place. Sources close to her say that she wants someone with head coaching experience, and that's not DeCuire. However, as Barbour said at Montgomery's retirement presser, when someone with 677 collegiate wins and 32 seasons of college coaching experience speaks, it's foolish not to listen.

"You pay attention. Mike said it: The success that this program has had, and those that have been involved, certainly demands a good look, absolutely," Barbour said. "There's no doubt in my mind that Travis DeCuire is a significant candidate for this job. But, just like we always do when we have a head coaching opening, we will do a national search and we will hire the absolute best fit."

What could hurt DeCuire the most is the fact that Barbour is once again engaging DHR International, the same search firm that brought Sonny Dykes to Berkeley. Speaking candidly after Monday's retirement presser, Montgomery expressed in no uncertain terms his distaste for search firms in general as it relates to college coaching openings, and pointedly remarked that if a school engages a search firm, and they come up with a candidate that was right under the school's nose the entire time, then the school just payed some serious money for a name they already knew. Just some food for thought.

And, with that, we take a look at the other coaches who could possibly pick up Montgomery's clipboard.
Chris Mack, HC, Xavier
pasternack
Chris Mack

The Mack File

Prior to Xavier:
• Varsity HC at McAuley High School (all-girls) in Cincinnati
• Girls head coach at Mount Notre Dame High School in Reading, OH, named 1996 Coach of the Year from Cincinnati Post
• Director of Basketball Operations at Xavier under Skip Prosser 1999-2001
• Assistant at Wake Forest 2001-04

Xavier
• Hired by Sean Miller as an assistant in 2004
• Replaced Miller as head coach on April 15, 2009
• 111-57 record in three seasons
• Preseason NO. 25 for 2010-11 season
• Won Atlantic 10 in first season, reached Sweet Sixteen
• Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year 2010, 2011
• Atlantic 10 regular-season championship 2010, 2011
• Four NCAA Tournament appearances in five seasons
• Two NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances in all
• Four out of five seasons, has placed third or better in conference play

The Bottom Line
Mack has not only been offered the job, but sources have told BearTerritory that he's very, very seriously considering it. Sources have also said that the two sides have been in discussions since Wednesday morning. Yet another source close to Cal Athletics has said that Mack is very interested.
UPDATE 8:53 a.m., April 12: After meeting on Friday with the Xavier athletic director, Mack is staying put at Xavier.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m. April 10: A source said that, with incentives and bonuses, Mack is making roughly $1.2 million per year at Xavier. That means that Cal can most definitely afford to give him and his future assistants raises.

UPDATE 11:20 a.m., April 10: Mack has been offered the job, per a source
.

Age: 44

Why he makes sense: He's young, just polished off Xavier's best recruiting class in years and has reached the postseason in four of his five seasons with the Musketeers. His first two seasons as an NCAA head coach saw him win two Atlantic 10 conference titles, and he got to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in two of his first three years on the job -- something that Montgomery has not done at Cal. Add to that the fact that another former Xavier head coach -- Sean Miller -- has done quite well for himself in the Pac-12, and the move makes a lot of sense.

Why he could get the job: He's young, he's from an academically-oriented school, transitioned Xavier from the A10 to the Big East rather successfully and has averaged over 20 wins a season in just five years of experience. Yes, he had early success with Sean Miller's recruits, but he's also navigated Xavier through some treacherous waters after the transition.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Well, he's already been offered the gig. If he turns it down, it's because he's a local guy. His wife played hoops at Dayton, and Mack played at Xavier for two seasons. The only thing that could have scared Sandy Barbour away would have been this past season, when he got dismissed from the Play-In game after a 21-13 season and a third-place finish in the Big East.

From an expert: One of our experts at Scout.com gave me this assessment of Mack: "He has been successful at Xavier, is known as a very strong X and O coach, and already signed the top class in the history of the school for next season. Dealt with some major issues beyond his control and kept everything afloat, and has the roster in place to be very good going forward."

Reading List:
Taking a Look at 2013-14 for Mack
Call Mack Maybe?
Joe Pasternack, Associate HC, Arizona
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Joe Pasternack

The Pasternack File

Prior to Arizona:
• Got his start as a four-year student manager under Bob Knight at Indiana, breaking down game film and scouting opponents
• Graduated from Indiana in 1999 with a degree in marketing
• Assistant at California 2000-07
• Recruiting coordinator for classes that included Richard Midgley, Ayinde Ubaka, Leon Powe, current staff member Theo Robertson, Jerome Randle, Ryan Anderson and Patrick Christopher.
• Head coach at New Orleans 2007-11, record of 54-60

Arizona
• 83-25 record in three seasons
• Two Sweet Sixteen appearances, one Elite Eight appearance
• Three-consecutive top-5 classes, including No. 3 recruiting class for 2014, No. 4 for 2013, No. 3 for 2012

The Bottom Line:
Long experience at Cal, strong family connections to athletic department, elite recruiter, still unknown as coach
UPDATE 9 a.m., April 9: Pasternack is one of the finalists for the job, along with DeCuire and Russ Turner (below). He is said to have heavy backing from Douglas Goldman -- "Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza at Memorial Stadium," Douglas Goldman.

Age: 37

Why he makes sense: Remember Brandon Ashley, Elliott Pitts, Stanley Johnson and Aaron Gordon? Yeah, Pasternack was their primary recruiter. The biggest knock on Montgomery has been the fact that he's had trouble keeping local stars at home, and given that one of the biggest advantages the Cal job has is its fertile recruiting base, it makes a whole heck of a lot of sense to bring in someone who's dominated in the Bears' backyard. He spent eight seasons in Berkeley under Ben Braun, overseeing scouting and game prep, while working with Cal's guards. Bonus connection: His brother-in-law is the voice of Cal Basketball: Roxy Bernstein.

Why he could get the job: Young ace recruiter with plenty of West Coast -- not to mention Cal ties -- work in Pasternack's favor. Why would he leave an associate head coaching gig with a perennial power? After three years as an assistant, it's hard to think he won't get the head coaching bug again after a 2007-11 stint as the skipper at New Orleans.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Well, there's this little incident that many Cal fans remember, for starters. Second, he's got a very good gig right now and was promoted to that associate head coach position this past season. Would he want to return to Berkeley and an administration that let him go along with Braun? Given that he got his start here, I personally doubt that there are any hard feelings. This could be one to watch.
Larry Krystkowiak, HC, Utah
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Larry Krystkowiak

The Krystkowiak File

High School: Missoula (Mont.) Big Sky

Playing Experience:
• Power forward at Montana from 1982-86, drafted 28th overall by Chicago Bulls in 1986
• San Antonio Spurs 1986-87
Milwaukee Bucks 1987-1992
Utah Jazz 1992-93
Orlando Magic 1993-94
• Chicago Bulls 1994-95
• Levailois (France) 1995-96
Los Angeles Lakers 1997
Idaho Stampede (CBA) 1997-98

Prior to Utah:
• Assistant at Montana 1998-2000
• Assistant at Old Dominion 2001-02
• Head coach for Idaho Stampede (CBA) 2003-04
• Head coach at Montana 2004-06, 42-20 record, two NCAA Tournament appearances, 2 Big Sky Tournament titles
• Assistant for Milwaukee Bucks 2006-07
• Head coach for Milwaukee Bucks 2007-08, went 31-61 at the helm in one-plus years
• USA U18 men's national team in 2010
• Assistant for New Jersey Nets 2010-11


Utah
• 42-55 career record, improved conference finishes each season, improved win totals each season (6 to 15 to 21) and school's first postseason berth since 2009

The Bottom Line:
Very good coach, but has struggled to evaluate and recruit Pac-12 level players at Utah
UPDATE 12:05 PM, 4/3/14: Looks like Larry just agreed in principle to a five-year extension in Salt Lake City

Why he makes sense: One of Montgomery's all-time favorite players from his days coaching Montana, 'Krystko' has drawn praise from Montgomery every year the two have faced off in the Pac-12. The two share coaching philosophies and Krystkowiak obviously knows the conference.

Why he could get the job: If DeCuire is not the choice, Krystkowiak would at least seem on the face of things to be a spiritual successor to Montgomery. He's done a lot in Salt Lake City, particularly considering that he does not have the recruiting advantages of many of the top-tier programs in the league. He took Utah to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals in his second season, more than doubling the Utes' win total from the season before. He improved on that in 2013-14, going 21-12 overall with a 9-9 conference record. Beyond the numbers, Krystkowiak is a high-energy coach who's in his prime at 49-years old. Yes, Utah finished eighth in the conference this season, but he's improved the Utes' record every season he's been at the helm, and coached Montana to two straight NCAA Tournament appearances. If the Bears make a run at Krystkowiak, the Bay Area and the recruiting advantages Cal offers would powerful incentives to defect.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Taking a coach from another Pac-12 program is not going to be easy, particularly a program where Krystkowiak has started to build the foundations for a contender. As we saw with Chris Petersen this past football offseason, lifestyle can also play a factor. Petersen had multiple opportunities to take glamorous jobs at USC and UCLA, but his outdoorsy sensibilities kept him in Boise until Washington came calling. Likewise, Krystkowiak has spent most of his career in the norther wilds of Montana, Wisconsin, Idaho and Utah. Could Cal entice him away from that? It's hard to say.
NEW NAME AS OF 4/3: Mike Brey, HC, Notre Dame
turner
Mike Brey

The Brey File

Prior to Notre Dame:
• Assistant at DeMatha High School in Maryland (1982-87)
• Assistant at Duke (1987-1995)
• HC at Delaware 1995-2000, 2 NCAA Tournament appearances, 3 postseason berths
• America East Tournament Champion 1998, 1999
• America East regular-season champion 1998, 1999
• America East Coach of the Year 1998
• Three playoff appearances, two NCAA first-round exits, one NIT berth
• 99-52 record

Notre Dame:
• Coached the Irish since 2000, named Big East Coach of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2011
• CBSSports.com National Coach of the Year 2011
• Sports Illustrated National Coach of the Year 2011
• Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year 2011
• NABC District V Coach of the Year 2011, 2012
• Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year 2012
• 300-159 record at Notre Dame, has reached the postseason every year in South Bend except for 2013-14
• One Sweet Sixteen appearance (2002-03)

The Bottom Line:
Good coach with connections to Barbour, but he's getting on in years and is in a comfortable situation at Notre Dame. "I don't know if he would even take it, anyways," said a source.
UPDATE 6:12 p.m. April 6: Brey will have his second interview on Monday.

Why he makes sense: Barbour was the assistant athletic director at Notre Dame, and clearly knows Brey, who's been in South Bend for 14 years, now. A source said there is some mutual interest, but it seems as though it's mainly Barbour looking to talk with a familiar, known quantity. He would certainly be a safe hire.

Why he could get the job: There's a reason he's a safe hire: He's gone 300-159 for Notre Dame and has reached the postseason in 16 straight seasons. He's won 20 or more games seven of the last eight seasons. He's reached the NCAA Tournament six of the last eight years.

Why he wouldn't get the job: At 55, he's not a spring chicken. The whole idea of hiring a young, exciting coach for a new generation and a new world of recruiting would go out the door with him. Yes, he's made the NCAA Tournament in four of the past five years, but the furthest he's gotten is the third round. Sound familiar? That's just about what Mike Montgomery has done recently. Brey also had a down season this past year in the ACC, going 15-17. He's also still signed for quite some time. He signed a 10-year extension with the Irish back in June of 2012 and doesn't look like he's going anywhere.
THE BIG NAMES
Shaka Smart, HC, Virginia Commonwealth
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Shaka Smart

The Smart File

Playing Experience: Kenyon College point guard, 1995-1999
• All-conference as a senior
• Kenyon's career assists leader (542)
• Member of 1999 USA TODAY All-USA Academic Team

Prior to VCU:
• Assistant at California (PA) 1999-2001
• Director of Basketball Operations at Dayton 2001-03
• Assistant at Akron 2003-06
• Assistant at Clemson 2006-08
• Assistant at Florida 2008-09

VCU
• When hired, he was the 10th-youngest head coach in Division I
• First season saw him win the CBI Championship after a 27-10 season
• Forward Larry Sanders was drafted in 2010, making VCU the only school in the state of Virginia to have a player taken in the first round of the NBA Draft in consecutive years
• Despite the loss of Sanders and guard Eric Maynor (drafted in 2009), Smart reached two straight Colonial Athletic Association title games in 2009-10 and 2010-11
• Turned at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Tournament and a First Four slot into a Final Four appearance, beating No. 6-seed Georgetown and No. 3-seed Purdue
• Signed eight-year contract extenstion on April 4, 2011, upping his salary from $350k to $1.2 million per year, prior to any performance bonuses
• On Jan. 19, 2013, became second-youngest active coach to win 100 games at the age of 35

The Bottom Line:
Doubtful. Turned down UCLA, just don't see it
UPDATE 8:47 PM 4/1/14: A source very close to Smart said that Cal is definitely not a long shot. Smart's wife got her degree in journalism from Northwestern, and is very interested in the culture of expression out west, and particularly the history of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley. As they say, 'Happy wife, happy life,' and if Cal has the cash (Smart will demand quite a high salary), Smart could be enticed out to the Golden State.

The source said: "Shaka Smart's wife went to Harvard as an undergrad, and went to Northwestern graduate school, and what she got her masters in, is journalism. She would love to come to California, with the Free Speech Movement, the Berkeley 60s, 70s and 80s she wants to come. Shaka's a Midwest guy, but his wife graduated from the Northwestern school of journalism and is a big writer. She wants to get out west and write."

The source went on to say that Smart turned down the Marquette job, which had a lot of dollars thrown at him, because he looked at his conference – the Atlantic 10 – and the A10 sent six teams to the Tournament. Marquette's conference sent three. One was in a play-in game. The A10 had better seeding, so his thoughts were, ‘Why would I go to a conference who's name and brand has changed?' Shaka will only go to a school where he thinks he can win a national championship. Can he win a title at VCU? He can, but it's not easy. Shaka believes he could win a national championship at Cal. It's easier to do it at a Cal or a UCLA or an Arizona or a Florida. If a school like Cal had interest and had the (admittedly a lot of) money, it could be a match made in heaven.


Why he makes sense: A 137-46 record at VCU, four NCAA Tournament appearances in five years, five postseason appearances in five years, not a single NCAA Tournament exit earlier than the second round and a Final Four appearance that made him the darling of the coaching world in 2010-11. In two seasons in the Atlantic-10, he's finished no lower than second, with a 12-4 conference mark each of the past two seasons. Also, his given name is that of a famous Zulu warrior. If 'metal as hell' was a job qualification, he'd be able to check that box with authority.

Beyond the numbers, Smart's style of play is exciting, to say the least. It's simply called 'Havoc.' Again, metal as hell. Smart utilizes a full-court press that would take advantage of the athletes on the current roster, and draw even more of those kinds of athletes to Berkeley. Along with being an exciting system, Smart's style is incredibly effective on defense. Smart's team ranking 31st in steals per game and 17th in turnover margin his first season, and led the nation in both categories his second and third seasons.

Offensively, his philosophy rests on the freedom to make plays in the open court, a phrase that should be music to the ears of not only the Cal faithful, but the ears of the massive amount of talent that routinely comes out of the Bay Area.

Why he could get the job: This is the home-run hire Barbour would want. If he looked Cal's way, the Bears would jump at a chance to pluck him away from Richmond, Va.

Why he wouldn't get the job: This is more of a "wouldn't take the job" situation. Smart has turned down UCLA and Marquette, which have recruiting and historical advantages over Cal, and, for what it's worth, he's signed a lengthy extension with Virginia Commonwealth. Should Barbour make the ask? Of course. She'd be remiss not to. However, he's been linked with more potential openings than Chris Petersen was for years before he finally took the Washington gig, and he's also coached his entire careeer on the East Coast, and has few -- if any -- West Coast recruiting ties. He may be the hot name, but there just are too many reasons for him to say "No."
Tommy Amaker, HC, Harvard
amaker
Tommy Amaker

The Amaker File

High School: McDonald's All-American, Parade All-American at Fairfax (Va.) W.T. Woodson

Playing Experience: Four-year starter at Duke, 1983-87
• Led Blue Devils in assists three years, and in steals for four
• Played in NCAA title game in 1986, recording 81 steals over the course of the season, second-most in Duke history
• Set Blue Devils career steals record, which stood until 2001
• Set Duke single-year NCAA Tournament record with 18 steals in 1986
• 1986 All-NCAA Final Four Team
• Played in 1986 FIBA World Championship, winning a gold medal
• 1986-87 team captain for Sweet Sixteen-bound Blue Devils, leading Duke in three-point shooting
• Henry Iba Corinthian Award (NABC Defensive Player of the Year) in 1987
• 1987 All-American, third team
• All-Midwest Regional Team, 1987
• 1987 All-ACC Second Team
• Co-ACC MVP, 1987

Prior to Harvard:
• Assistant at Duke 1988-1997
• 1991, 1992 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
• Final Four: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994
• 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1997 ACC regular season champions
• Head coach at Seton Hall 1997-2001 (68-55 record, three NIT berths, one NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance)
• Head coach at Michigan 2001-07 (108-84 record, NIT Champions 2003-04 season, NIT runner-up 2005-06 season)

Harvard
• 139-70 record, three NCAA Tournament appearances
• Five postseason appearances in seven seasons, including each of the last five
• Four Ivy League regular-season titles
• Ivy league Coach of the Year, 2010 and 2011
• 2012 USBWA District I Coach of the Year

The (VERY INTRIGUING) Bottom Line:
Those who know him say he loves the Bay Area. Maybe not as long a shot as we think. He's a proven good coach with experience recruiting high academic kids, Michigan only blemish but has bounced back
UPDATE 11:42 P.M. 4/1/14: From a source: Amaker is "awesome, one of the best human beings," and he would die to coach at Cal, but one of the reasons he probably won't come, is that he's best friends with Johnny Dawkins, and there is an "unwritten rule at Duke, that they don't play each other and they try to stay out of each other's conferences." The only thing that would hold him back, the source said, from taking the Cal job, would be his close relationship with Dawkins who is "like his best friend."

Why he makes sense: Cal is a very unique school with unique challenges, to say the least.

"Cal's not easy. You've got to earn a degree here," Montgomery said on Monday. "You can't just walk through the doors and they say, ‘Oh, that guy's a basketball player; we'll take care of him.' That's not the way it is, here, and all the people that graduated understand that. They take pride in what they had to do to graduate and have a Cal degree. That makes it tough. At Cal, they ask you to write a 12-page paper, not a two-page paper that you got out of Reader's Digest. They're going to ask you to actually write a paper, and that makes it unique. You've got to be prepared for this."

As the head coach of Harvard, Amaker knows that reality all too well. One of the reasons Dykes got the football coaching job was his commitment to academics, and that's expected to play big with Barbour once again, particularly with her focus on that element of the job and how Montgomery did things "the right way," during Monday's press conference.

"We're looking for a leader," Barbour said. "We're looking for someone, obviously, who can do the X's and O's, we're looking for someone who's going to do it the right way, who is going to have the ability to come into this very complex university and navigate all that is here, and bring the right young men into this university to perform in our basketball program and have an opportunity to engage with the education that's here, and that may be someone who has not been a sitting Division I head coach. It may be someone who has had a lot of success someplace else."

And Amaker has certainly had plenty of success, netting Harvard its first NIT bid in 2011, its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1946 in 2012 and a first-round NCAA Tournament win over fifth-seeded Cincinnati.

Why he could get the job: Success in an academically-focused environment? Check. Big-time experience? Stops at Duke, Seton Hall and Michigan (considered by many a strong analogue to Cal in its fusion of academics and athletics) check that box. Basketball pedigree? How does playing and coaching under Mike Krzyzewski grab you? Shaka Smart may be the pick many are clammoring for, but Amaker would be a much better fit. Oh, and by the way, sources say he loves the Bay Area.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Extensions, extensions, extensions. As addressed earlier, college basketball coaching extensions are worth the paper they're printed on. Amaker has been connected with several openings since 2011, including South Florida, Miami and, most recently, Boston College. Amaker signed a lucrative and lengthy extension with Harvard in 2010, and re-affirmed his commitment to the Crimson on Saturday.

Given the Harvard community's love for Amaker and his success on the court, it's easy to overlook the 2012 cheating scandal that involved co-captains Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey, but Amaker's reaction to the scandal -- quickly suspending both major contributors -- could play well with Barbour and the other parties involved in the decision.
Ben Howland, Former HC, UCLA
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Ben Howland

The Howland File

Prior to UCLA:
• Assistant at Gonzaga 1981-82
• Assistant at UC Santa Barbara 1982-94
• Head coach at Northern Arizona 1994-99
• NIT, 1996-97
• NCAA Tournament 1997-98
• Big Sky Tournament championship, 1998
• Big Sky regular-season champions, 1997, 1998 • Head coach at Pittsburgh 1999-2003
• Two NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances (2001-02, 2002-03)
• Big East Tournament champions, 2003
• Big East regular-season champions, 2002, 2003
• Henry Iba Award, 2002
• Naismith College Coach of the Year, 2002
• Big East Coach of the Year, 2002

UCLA
• 233-107 record, seven NCAA Tournament appearances in 10 seasons
• Three appearances in the Final Four, one appearance in the NCAA Tournament final
• Four conference titles, two conference tournament titles
• Pac-10 Coach of the Year, 2006

The Bottom Line: Great coach but soiled reputation as a recruiter from UCLA
UPDATE 6:12 p.m. April 6: Howland will have his second interview on Monday, and a source has said that Barbour "really likes him."

Why he makes sense: He has experience in the UC system, he's a proven recruiter and comes with a career record of 398-205, with three Final Four appearances. He's one of the bigger names on the list, and would certainly qualify as a splash hire, but there's a reason he didn't coach last season. Then again, Montgomery was out of coaching for a year before he was hired at Cal.

Why he could get the job: We've seen this story before: A year off allows the stink of previous failures to dissipate, opening up new opportunities (hello, Jeff Tedford), and after a noisy exit from Westwood, maybe a year off was what Howland needed to recharge his batteries and take a good, long look in the mirror. Or, maybe not.

Why he wouldn't get the job: As well as Howland recruited, let's be honest: UCLA recruits itself. Beyond that, his coaching style isn't suited for the talent on this roster currently, and in the long view, his heavy-handed defense-oriented coaching style is not going to fill Haas Pavilion and justify the likely-high price he would command. The way he and the Bruins parted ways, the Reeves Nelson fiasco and the multiple reports of him losing the team late in his tenure, as well as the way he dealt with stars as a whole, are also turn-offs.
Archie Miller, HC Dayton
cochran
Archie Miller

The Miller File

High School: Chippewa (Penn.) Blackhawk
• Father John Miller was one of the country's top high school coaches when he retired in 2005, with 657 wins in a 35-year coaching career

Playing Experience:
• Point guard at NC State 1998-2002
• 84.6% career free-throw percentage, 42.9% three-point shooting percentage and 218 career three-pointers ranked top-10 in school history

Prior to Dayton:
• Assistant at Western Kentucky 2003-04
• Assistant at NC State 2004-06
• Assistant at Arizona State 2006-07
• Assistant at Ohio State 2007-08
• Assistant at Arizona 2009-11
• Regarded as top-notch recruiter, with his last incoming class at Arizona being a consensus top-10 bunch
• Architect of Arizona's upset of eighth-ranked Texas to get them to the 2011 Sweet 16

Dayton
• 63-38 record
• Elite Eight in 2013-14

The Bottom Line:
Sources say no chance; he's an East Coast guy who won't coach in same conference as brother
UPDATE 4:36 p.m., 4.2/14: Miller is not a candidate for the job, a source says.

Why he makes sense: Cal saw Miller up close this past season when the Bears fell 82-64 to the Flyers in the Maui Invitational. His teams are scrappy and tough, and at age 35, he's entering the prime of his coaching career. He's young and energetic, spent five years as an assistant in the Pac-10, and in three seasons at Dayton, has compiled a 63-38 record. He knows success, he's been around success, and while he would demand a hefty raise, he wouldn't come at the price of a Smart, a Howland or an Amaker. he's young, dynamic and has shown remarkable versatility in his coaching style, duking it out with Syracuse in a defensive war of attrition, then out-running Stanford before going toe-to-toe with No. 1 seed Florida. As far as X's and O's, it doesn't get much better.

Why he could get the job: Miller is one of the hottest names in coaching right now, guiding a Dayton team to the postseason in two of his three seasons and making the Elite Eight this season following a bracket-busting win over Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Like Montgomery, he's an ace at recruiting transfers, including Jordan Sibert (a former Buckeye) and Vee Sanford from Georgetown. He's also starting to build quite a resume as a player developer, with seniors Matt Kavanaugh and Devin Oliver showing a lot of improvement during his tenure.

He's out-dueled Thad Matta and Jim Boeheim. He's taken down Gonzaga, Saint Louis and UMass. Miller is far from a flavor-of-the-month coaching candidate.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Insert boilerplate about extensions here. Miller signed an extenstion on Monday to keep him in Dayton through the 2018-19 season, but then again, Steve Alford signed a 10-year deal with New Mexico before jumping to UCLA. Marquette has already come up as a possible destination. UPDATE: Steve Wojciechowski has taken the job at Marquette.

Lastly, there's his brother: Arizona head coach Sean Miller. Does Archie want to face his big bro twice or three times a year? That's something that he'd undoubtedly consider, and that fact could very well fall on the "no thanks, I'll stay in Dayton" side of the ledger, according to a source close to the Miller family.
Mark Fox, HC, Georgia
fox
Mark Fox

The Fox File

Prior to Georgia:
• Assistant at Washington 1991-93
• Assistant at Kansas State 1994-2000
• Assistant at Nevada 2000-04
• Head coach at Nevada 2004-09
• Went 123-43 in Reno, guiding the Wolf Pack to five postseason berths, including three NCAA Tournaments
• Four WAC regular-season titles in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
• WAC Coach of the Year (2005, 2006)

Georgia
• 84-76 record
• NCAA Tournament second round in 2010-11
• NIT second round in 2013-14
• Three players in the NBA (Travis Leslie, Trey Thompkins and 8th-overall pick in 2013 NBA Draft Kentavious Caldwell-Pope)

The Bottom Line:
Experts consulted said: "no reason to make this hire," so move along.
UPDATE 12 p.m. 4/2/14: What does the Fox say? He says he's staying in Georgia, with a two-year extension signed this morning.

Why he makes sense: Fox may be on the way out at Georgia, despite the fact that his team went 20-14 overall and 12-6 in the SEC, losing in the second round of the NIT to Louisiana Tech. He's currently making $1.7 million per year through June of 2016, thanks to an extension he signed after guiding the Bulldogs to their first at-large NCAA Tournament berth since 2002, in 2011.

Why he could get the job: He's very detail-oriented, both on the floor and off. His player conduct policies for his team include rules for sexual activity, appearance and apartment behavior. Some of the highlights: You don't own your girlfriend; Birth control is your responsibility, too; Never assault or intimidate a woman; Don't spend all of your energy in the bed all night; Hicky/passion marks should not ever be noticed by coaches; One -- not two or three girlfriends.

This season, he coached through the loss of his father, and still won over 20 games. The day after his father's memorial service, he coached the Bulldogs to a 70-64 upset over No. 21 Missouri. Sandy Barbour made a point of calling Cal Basketball a family affair, and the way Fox's players embraced him following the win shows that he fosters the same dedication among his charges as he has to his flesh and blood.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Fox's teams don't exactly set the world on fire. This season, Georgia ranked 228th overall in scoring, 328th in assists and 191st in field goal percentage. Fox's teams have never ranked higher than 169th in the nation in scoring, and in three of his five years at Georgia, the Bulldogs have ranked 228th or worse.

Over the past five years, Fox's teams have not once averaged more points than Cal. The closest the two ever came to one another was in 2010-11, when the Bulldogs were 169th and the Bears were 72nd.

As for scoring margin, only once in the past five years has Georgia been better than Cal (2010-11, when the Bulldogs were 95th and Cal was 185th).
Randy Bennett, HC, Saint Mary's
bennett
Randy Bennett

The Bennett File

Prior to Saint Mary's:
• Assistant at San Diego 1985-86
• Assistant at Idaho 1986-88
• Assistant at San Diego 1988-96
• Assistant at Pepperdine 1996-99
• Assistant at Saint Louis 1999-2001

Saint Mary's
• 285-136 record
• Seven postseason appearances in 13 years, including five NCAA Tournament berths
• WCC Tournament Champion in 2010 and 2012
• WCC Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2011

The Bottom Line:
Very good coach and evaluator. Not an exciting hire but a guarantee for at least some success.
Why he makes sense: Bennett was a contender for the job the last time it opened up, but did not make the final round. Since then, he's lost more than nine games just once, going a combined 158-46, making the NIT quarterfinals and the Sweet Sixteen, with three NCAA Tournament appearances. He knows the local recruiting grounds, is a Bay Area fixture and is a West Coast guy, through and through. In the past, he's been linked to openings at Utah, Oregon State, Oregon and Hawaii.

Why he could get the job: Local connections, sustained success and familiarity all work in Bennett's favor.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Bennett has never coached in a major conference, even as an assistant, for starters. He was also suspended in October for five games due to recruiting violations, and in March of last year, the NCAA put the Gaels on four years of probation for failing to monitor the men's basketball program. Even if Bennett were looking to escape the hand of NCAA discipline and go to a school not on probation, it's hard to think that Barbour would want Cal to be his safe haven.
THE UP-AND-COMERS
NEW NAME: Jerod Haase, HC, University of Alabama-Birmingham
gates
Jerod Haase

Playing Experience:
• Guard at Cal from 1992-93 before transferring to Kansas to play for Roy WIlliams from 1994-97
• Scored 13 points in California's upset of powerhouse Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament
• Transferred after head coach Lou Campanelli was fired and prelaced with Todd Bozeman, who benched Haase • Naismith and Wooden Award candidate at Kansas
• Missed just two games out of 101, averaged 12.5 points per game
• Big Eight All-Defensive Team as a junior
• World University Games in 1995

Prior to UAB:
• After senior season, co-wrote Floor Burnsi>, a book with Mark Horvath, describing the 1996-97 season
• Brief professional career in Macedonia
• Assistant at Kansas 1999-2003
• Assistant at North Carolina 2003-2012
• While at North Carolina, coached the junior varsity team for three years to help prepare him for the head coaching job. Team consisted of 14 students out of a 70-student try-out camp to compete for the squad. Haase played 14-game schedules against local competition as well as outside programs.
• Won 255 out of 317 games while coaching for the Tar Heels

UAB:
• Named UAB head coach on March 26, 2012, after followong Roy Williams from Kansas to North Carolina.
• Record of 34-30 in two seasons as head coach
Age: 40

Why he makes sense: A former Cal player who's played and coached under an all-time great? Sounds like a decent resume. A source said on Thursday that he's one of the new names in the mix with Sandy Barbour in Dallas for the Final Four, so it's likely he's been making his pitch. He's young, at 40, but he's a local from South Lake Tahoe, and coming from UNC and Kansas, he'll carry a lot of weight with recruits.

Why he could get the job: Barbour could get the best of both worlds -- youth and excitement, as well as head coaching experience -- in Haase. He likely also won't come at a big financial cost, as he's definitely one of the more under-the-radar names.

Why he wouldn't get the job: He's only been a head coach for two seasons, and his connections with Cal were during an era stained with violations. The former is going to matter a heck of a lot more than the latter, but if you want to get away from the Montgomery coaching tree, this could be a guy to do it with. The question is: Does Barbour want to get away from that coaching tree?
Steve Wojciechowski, Associate HC, Duke
wojo
Steve Wojciechowski

The Wojciechowski File

High School: Baltimore (Md.) Cardinal Gibbons, 1994 McDonald's All-American

Playing Experience:
• Point guard, shooting guard at Duke, 1994-1998
• 87-44 as a player
• ACC regular-season champion 1996-97
• Elite Eight 1997-98 season
• NABC Defensive Player of the year, 1998
• Eighth in Duke history in steals (203) and assists (505)
• Second-highest number of steals at Duke in a single season with 82 in 1997 Prior to Duke:
• One year of professional ball in Poland

Duke
• Returned to Duke as an intern for Duke Management COmpany and was a basketball analyst on the Duke Radio network
• Named assistant coach in 1999, promoted to associate coach in 2008
• Coaches front court players
• NCAA titles in 2001 and 2010

The Bottom Line:
Big-name assistant coach who has learned from Coach K, great reputation, one of biggest up and comers in business
Age: 37

UPDATE: Wojo has taken the Marquette job.

Why he makes sense: Yet another hot coaching name this offseason, Wojciechowski has been mentioned in connection with the Marquette job, but Barbour has a bit of a secret weapon for the Duke assistant: Blue Devils athletic director Kevin White, who's Barbour's mentor and one of the most influential athletid directors in the nation. Could that give her the inside track?

Why he could get the job: Young, energetic, learned at the feet of a coaching legend -- those are the qualities that Barbour herself cited as reasons to consider DeCuire, and Wojo checks all of the same boxes.

Why he wouldn't get the job: This is another case of "wouldn't take" as opposed to "wouldn't get," particularly if reports of Wojo interviewing with Marquette already are accurate. He comes from basketball royalty and is an East Coast guy with no connections out west, save for the link between Barbour and White.
Bryce Drew, HC, Valparaiso
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Bryce Drew

The Drew File

High School:
• Point guard at Valparaiso (Ind.)
• Indiana's Mr. Basketball 1994
• Gatorade Player of the Year for Indiana as a senior

Playing Experience:
• Three conference tournament MVP awards
• Two conference MVP awards
• All-time leading scorer and three-point shooter, as well as all-time assists leader for Valparaiso
• 1998 NCAA Tournament, led No. 13-seed Crusaders to upset over No. 4-seed Ole Miss in the first round, hitting a 23-foot three to lift Valpo to a 70-69 win
• "The Shot" was ranked the No. 5 sports moment of 1998 by Sports Illustrated
• Played in the NBA from 1998-2004, and then in Italy and Spain from 2004-05 after being picked in the first round (16th overall) by the Houston Rockets

Valparaiso
• Assistant coach 2005-2006
• Named associate head coach by father Homer, took head coaching position upon Homer's retirement
• 66-36 overall record as a head coach in three seasons
• Won Horizon League in first year as head coach, made NIT
• Regular season and conference tournament champion in second season, advancing to NCAA Tournament second round
Age: 39

Why he makes sense: Coming from a coaching family (his father Homer was the head coach at Valpo and his brother Scott is the head man at Baylor), Drew has plenty of pedigree. He played six seasons in the NBA as a backup point for the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, so he's got plenty of professional clout.

Why he could get the job: Again, checks all the boxes: young, energetic and successful. The Crusaders went just 18-16 this season -- the first in which he hasn't made the postseason as a head coach -- so Cal could very easily sneak away with one of the hidden gems in the coaching market.

Why he wouldn't get the job: First off, he signed a 10-year contract in December, and he and his father are Valpo royalty. Would he want to leave the cradle of his coaching career after just three seasons? Would Barbour want to take a chance on such a young coach? Beyond that, he's never coached anywhere but Valpo, in any capacity. Consider this one a long shot.
Leon Rice, HC, Boise State
cochran
Leon Rice

The Rice File

Prior to Boise State:
• Graduated from Washington State in 1986
• Assistant at Oregon 1989-1992
• Assistant at Northern Colorado 1992-94
• Assistant at Yakima Valley CC 1996-98
• Assistant at Gonzaga 1998-2010

Boise State
• 77-54 record in four seasons
• Two postseason appearances, one CBI in 2010-11 and an NCAA First Four appearance in 2012-13
Age: 50

Why he could get the job: Rice has scored back-to-back 20-win seasons, and has upped the Broncos' home attendance significantly over the past four years. In the four years before Rice took the helm, Boise State averaged 4,277 fans per home game. Since he took over, the Broncos have drawn an average of 5,542. It's no secret that the Cal season ticket base tends to show up dressed as seat backs, so that may wind up being a factor.

Why he wouldn't get the job: He's not exactly a spring chicken at 50, but he's in the up-and-comers category because he's had just one head coaching gig. Also, attendance can't be the only thing driving this decision, and with a 77-54 overall record, Rice doesn't have a whole lot else going for him, plus, he just signed a four-year extension.
Steve Prohm, HC Murray State
cochran
Steve Prohm

Playing Experience:
• Started at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, playing NCAA Division III, but only lasted halfway through his first season

Prior to Murray State:
• After leaving the Oglethorpe team, transferred to Alabama, where he worked as a student assistant coach and student manager for five years
• Graduated from Alabama with a degree in education in 1997
• Volunteer assistant at Centenary College 1998-99
• Assistant at Southeastern Louisiana University 1999-2005 under Bill Kennedy, a Cal assistant from 1993-97
• Assistant at Tulane 2005-06

Murray State
• Rejoined Kennedy as an assistant at Murray State 2006-11
• Head coach, 2011-present
• School-record 32 wins in 2011-12 season, including 23 straight wins
• Advanced to Round of 32 in NCAA Tournament in 2011-12
• Won Ohio Valley Conference regular-season and conference tournament in 2011012
• Has won OVC Western Division title all three years
• Compiled a 71-23 head coaching record
Age: 39

Why he makes sense: Three straight 20-win seasons, affordable salary (current contract well under $1 million) and relative youth.

Why he could get the job: Prohm has just three seasons of head coaching experience, but he's done quite a bit in those three seasons. He's finished first each of the past three years in the Ohio Valley Conference's West Division, and in his first season, went 31-2, won the league and made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Why he wouldn't get the job: Beyond his pricetag and three good seasons, his jacket is a little thin. Playing and coaching experience at big-time programs are non-existent. Certainly a coach to keep an eye on, but this would be an underwhelming hire, to say the least.
Dennis Gates, Assistant, Florida State
gates
Dennis Gates

Playing Experience:
• Two-time All-Pac-10 First-Team All-Academic Team selection at California
• Cal's Most Inspirational Player 2001
• Twice named Outstanding Student-Athlete for Cal Basketball (1999, 2001)
• 2002 Pac-10 Medal of Honor given to each conference school's top graduating student-athlete
• As a player, went 83-46, won 20 games in a season three times
• All-Tournament team at 2002 Golden Bear Classic
• 114 career games, started 34, recorded 100 steals and 148 assists

Prior to Florida State:
• Coaching assistant 2002-03 for Los Angeles Clippers
• Assistant at Marquette 2003-04, reached NIT quarterfinals
• Graduate Assistant at Florida State 2004-05
• Assistant at Cal 2005-07, reached NCAA Tournament in 05-06
• Assistant at Northern Illinois 2008-09, coached MAC Freshman of the Year
• Assistant at Nevada 2009-11

Florida State:
• Reached NCAA East Regional third round, ACC champions in 2011-12
• NIT first round in 2012-13
• NIT Semifinals in 2013-14
Age: 32

Why he makes sense: The only candidate on this list with a Cal degree would be a natural fit. He's the youngest candidate on this list, and one of the sharpest young minds in college basketball. He's coached at Marquette, Cal and in the NBA. If there's a dark horse you should root for, it's Gates. Since Gates' arrival in Tallahassee for the start of the 2011-12 season, the Seminoles have played in two NCAA Tournaments, won the 2012 ACC Championship and defeated six nationally-ranked teams, including Duke and North Carolina on the their way to the first ACC Championship in school history. Remember those classes that Pasternack helped assemble? Gates was right there with him.

Why he could get the job: He has all of the positives going for both DeCuire and Pasternack, plus his Cal playing career going for him. Barbour has shown a propensity for bringing former Cal assistants back home (ahem, paging Lindsay Gottlieb), and hiring Gates would continue that trend. Oh, and by the by, he's the only coach on this list with his team still playing, as Florida State has a date with Minnesota at 6 p.m., Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in the NIT semifinals.

Why he wouldn't get the job: His youth could work against him, and, as we've said above, it's more likely than not that Barbour goes with a proven head coach. Sources say that Gates would jump at the chance to coach his alma mater, though, so he could be Cal's for the asking.

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