But the column isn't due in three or four years, is it?
The column is due today.
So just as the athletic directors who made these hires had to use the available information, the recommendations of others and a bit of gut instinct to make their decisions, that's what you're getting here. Thing is, my gut doesn't always agree with theirs.
Biggest gamble: Oklahoma, Jeff Capel
Although Capel did a terrific job for Virginia Commonwealth, at age 31 he is very young to be moving into the Big 12. He is moving into a part of the country where he has few longstanding recruiting connections. He needs players fast because transfers depleted the Sooners' upper classes and three gifted players who had signed with OU in the fall asked to be released. Grade: C
Surest bet: Iowa State, Greg McDermott
McDermott has been in Iowa longer than corn. He runs sophisticated offenses and defenses that enabled teams at Northern Iowa to compete with high-major opponents. As long as there are enough solid players in the region, McDermott will succeed. Grade: B+
Right at home: Cincinnati, Mick Cronin
Alive 34 years, Cronin has called Cincinnati home for all but five of them. He knows the university, the community and the area high school coaches. Most important, he'll recognize the obstacles as he tries to rebuild a program that — despite recent success — was barren when he arrived. Grade: B (docked one letter grade for finishing the coaching turnover a year late)
Out of water: Arizona State, Herb Sendek
Although Sendek's intellect has few boundaries, he's a long way from his base. None of Sendek's previous coaching stops took him west of Ohio. The staff has been well-received by high school and club coaches in the region, but because the state isn't especially productive, Sendek and his assistants are going to have to find players in California or Texas. Grade: B
Speeding up: Pepperdine, Vance Walberg
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Slowing down: UAB, Mike Davis
The Blazers made three consecutive NCAA appearances employing an unyielding full-court pressure style — and could have continued by hiring former assistant Scott Edgar. At Indiana, Davis' teams did not play stall-ball but averaged only 72.0 points last season. UAB opted for his name recognition and recruiting contacts. Grade: B-
Boldest move: Kansas State, Bob Huggins
Whereas Missouri retreated from Huggins' radioactive public image, K-State moved forward and grabbed him. And the reaction? Pretty tame. There have been few loud condemnations of the move. Huggins has signed two prime players and added a commitment from a third, which suggests the Wildcats quickly will become a factor in the Big 12. Grade: A-
Safest move: Brad Brownell, Wright State
The administration didn't exactly do right by previous coach Paul Biancardi, but it certainly nailed this hire. This is an ideal opportunity for Brownell, who took UNC Wilmington to two NCAA Tournaments in four years. Reigning Horizon power Wisconsin-Milwaukee is likely to dip, and Wright State's top four scorers return. Grade: A+
Potential for failure at N.C. State: high
Sidney Lowe's history as a member of N.C. State's 1983 national championship team was a big reason he was hired away from his assistant job with the Detroit Pistons to become the Wolfpack's next head coach.
Now, N.C. State has to hope history doesn't matter.
There is a clear precedent that coaches who arrive from the NBA with no recent college experience do not succeed in Division I. Lowe hasn't had to deal with recruiting, NCAA rules compliance, encouraging players to achieve academically and making sure they behave well.
Pro coaches don't have those responsibilities — which may or may not account for the failure of most who've attempted what Lowe is about to try.
Previous college experience: none. Head coach at: Howard, 1990-94. Record: 40-79. Returned to the NBA to coach the New Jersey Nets for two seasons; later became coach at Morgan State and struggled again (39-105).
Absence from college basketball: 18 years. Head coach at: Notre Dame, 1991-1999. Record: 106-124. Did not make an NCAA Tournament appearance with the Irish.
Absence from college basketball: 14 years. Head coach at: Fordham, 1999-2003. Record: 36-78. Fordham's wins total decreased in each of Hill's four seasons.
Absence from college basketball: 13 years. Head coach at: Pepperdine, 2001-2006. Record: 76-72. First team made the NCAA Tournament; last team went 7-20.
Absence from college basketball: 17 years. Head coach at: Air Force, 2005-present. Record: 24-7. Inherited a veteran team from Chris Mooney and adjusted well to the Princeton-style offense.
CBT: Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski made it official that he'll be coaching Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he'll also be with Duke at least that long, too.
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