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Apr
04
2014

Rating the 3 recent basketball hires of Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Boston College.

BuzzWilliams

Three struggling ACC basketball programs hired new basketball coaches in the last few weeks. Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Boston College are looking to turn things around. Does it look like they did? Let’s go through each one…

Virginia Tech – Buzz Williams

Let me just come out and say it right off, I love this hire. Buzz Williams is young at just age 41, he went to 5 straight NCAA tournaments, and he had 5 straight years of 22 or more wins at Marquette. Within days of his hire he’s on CBS NCAA tournament talking about recruiting to Virginia Tech. This year’s 17-15 mark was his worst season at Marquette. How happy would Virginia Tech be with a season like that?

Williams won’t be overwhelmed competing against the like of Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, as he more than held his own in the competitive Big East. Frankly I didn’t think Virginia Tech could land a coach the caliber of Williams. This is a great hire, and while anything is possible, I can’t see Williams not having at least some level of success in Blacksburg.

Wake Forest – Danny Manning

I don’t have a problem with hire. I think what Manning lacks in head coaching experience, he makes up for in name credibility. Manning has only 2 years of head coaching experience, but he has a solid background. Manning won a NCAA Championship in 1988 while at Kansas. He had long if a bit of an unspectacular NBA career. He was still a 2-Time All-Star. Who knows how good he would have been without the many injuries he suffered.

He was on staff at Kansas for 9 years under Bill Self, before heading to Tulsa where he made the NCAA tournament this year. I like Manning’s background. He knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level. There are concerns here, but I don’t think Wake Forest fan should be too disappointed. Expectations will be low, giving Manning at least couple of years to grow into the position.

Boston College – Jim Christian

If BC was looking to make a splash with this hire, they failed. All you have to do is listen to our Weekly ACC Podcast as we talk with Boston College blogger @SoaringtoGlory and you get what is probably the general consensus of Boston College fans. A big giant Huh?

Jim Christian has never won a NCAA tournament game. He’s never been a head coach at a major conference. In fact he hasn’t been at major university since being an assistant at Pitt way back in 1999. His resume isn’t as shaky as Jeff Bzdelik’s was when got hired at Wake Forest, but I liken Christian’s hire to Brian Gregory at Georgia Tech. There’s simply no buzz. Sure it could eventually be great, but it doesn’t seem like much of upgrade over Steve Donahue. He did win 49 games the last two years at Ohio. He is two-time MAC coach of the year, but can he recruit, can he match wits with some of the most successful college basketball coaches in history?

These are all questions we don’t know. On the surface you can’t give Christian’s  hire high marks.  What it gets is one giant question mark.

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1 comment

  1. Hokie Mark says:

    I agree with you. I expected more out of Wake and BC, less from VT – so in the end, all 3 were surprising. Wake may be ok with Manning, and the Hokies should be better, if not national contenders at least an NCAA tournament team. BC kinda has me scratching my head, though, but we’ll see.

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