The current SEC Basketball coaching searches should open the eyes of the ACC.


We warned you about this 3 years ago. When South Carolina hired Kansas State’s Frank Martin, we told you it was coming.  The SEC was going to make a commitment to basketball. It is happening now. The SEC wants to get to better at basketball and they are willing to pay for it. Frank Martin hasn’t exactly set the world on the fire, but if the SEC continues in this direction the conference will eventually be deeper than Kentucky and in most years Florida.

Tennessee has just hired former Texas coach Rick Barnes.  Barnes is not an elite coach, but he’s a good one and a strong recruiter. He’s won over 600 games in his career, and went to the NCAA’s 19 of his last 20 years. That’s a pretty consistent track record. Tennessee could certainly do a lot worse. He’s going to get paid $2.25 Million. That’s more than every ACC basketball coach save Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, and Pitt’s Jamie Dixon.

 Anthony Grant won 63% of his games at Alabama and was let go. The Tide aren’t exactly a basketball powerhouse, but that wasn’t good enough. Rumor has that Alabama will attempt to make a run at Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall or VCU’s Shaka Smart and they are willing to offer upwards of $3 Million. That would give the SEC 4 of the highest 15 paid college basketball coaches. The ACC would have 3?

The ACC is at a bit of a cross roads here. At the moment they have the strongest collection of coaches in the country, and arguably the ACC is the nation’s best basketball conference.

Those Hall of Fame coaches like Krzyzewski, Pitino, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim are closer to the end of their careers than the beginning. Schools like Duke, Louisville, UNC and Syracuse will continue to be top college basketball coaching destinations. When you see schools like Tennessee and Alabama makes moves that speaks more to the Virginia Techs and Georgia Techs of the ACC world.

We know schools like  Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech probably will never have the resources of a Tennessee or Alabama. They just don’t have the alumni bases, but already we’ve seen financially strapped Georgia Tech have to give Brian Gregory another year despite a 27% ACC winning percentage. On the other hand we’ve seen Virginia Tech pay Buzz Williams $2.3 Million, which oddly enough was still less than what he made at Marquette. The hire was universally hailed as home run.

You get the idea, if the ACC wishes to remain at the top of the heap of college basketball over the next 4-5 years, they are going to have to pay for high end coaching. That makes additional revenue sources for the conference like the possible ACC network all the more important to get finalized. The SEC has made it clear they plan to turn the corner in college basketball.

 Become a fan of the ACC on Facebook and follow the ACC on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>