Some Brief Thoughts On The Oklahoma Coaching Search

Let's face it, the Oklahoma Sooners men's basketball program is at a low point - about as low as you can get in one of the biggest college conferences. Over the last two seasons, they've combined for just 27 wins. As a result, the Sooners are probably not going to get a successful veteran coach to take on the massive task of rebuilding a team with not a whole lot of talent on the roster.

I would also not expect someone to leave a pretty comfortable setup for not much more money and a rebuilding project. Guys like Brad Stevens at Butler, Josh Pastner at Memphis, and Buzz Williams at Marquette are already at "basketball schools", have had success there, and have a comfortable life with their recruiting connections all set up. Why would they leave that to go to a school that has horrible attendance for their games, has hit rock bottom, and doesn't show a lot of promise for immediate success?

And yet, Joe Castiglione is going to have to target a guy who can bring interest back to OU basketball, preferably sooner rather than later. Someone like that is going to probably need to have either a flashy personality, or a track record of success but they just aren't happy where they are at right now. He's also probably going to go after someone with one of those (or both), and with a history of rebuilding a program(s).

A move from Minnesota to Oklahoma would probably be an upgrade for Tubby Smith who has already said he'd listen to similar offers. Let's remember that Tubby is getting nearly $2 MIL a year from Minnesota, though, which makes it unlikely that OU would pay big money to lure him away.

Bruce Pearl certainly fits the bill, and he has had a troubled season at Tennessee. Despite that, I think he would stay put unless he's fired. UW-Milwaukee only had two winning seasons between 1990 and 2001 when Pearl was hired. After he was hired they made a tournament in 4 consecutive years, and the Sweet 16 once - unprecedented for the small program.

This leaves the unconventional hire, which is certainly the M.O. of Joe Castiglione, and probably what is most likely. Geno Auriemma's name has been bantered about, and that would certainly be unconventional. It's not completely crazy either, as it was reported that OU tried to lure Auriemma in right before they settled on Capel. 

Who are the unconventional hires that you like? Keep in mind that Capel was making $1.05 MIL a year, so OU probably won't target someone who makes much more than that. Post your thoughts in the comments section!

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