It’s time for Arizona State to start looking for their new Men’s basketball coach. And while there are many possible choices for ASU Athletic Director Ray Anderson, getting the hire right is crucial.
Here’s my list of the best replacement coaches for the Sun Devils.
Feb 14, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski (L) listens to associate head coach Jeff Capel (R) against the Syracuse Orange during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Duke defeated Syracuse 80-72. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Capel, Duke Assistant
It seems like Herb Sendek was let go because he couldn’t recruit. If recruiting is so crucial, Capel is the right guy for the job. Capel has coaching experience at VCU, and Oklahoma when he had Los Angeles Clippers superstar Blake Griffin leading the Sooners to the Elite Eight. Capel is rumored to have also played a big part in getting Jabari Parker, Jahlil Okafor, and Tyus Jones to commit to Duke. He has an impressive résumé, but his struggle to reach the post season consistently is a huge worry for most colleges.
Feb 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. John
Steve Lavin, former St. Johns Head Coach
Doug Haller, of AZ Central, put it best. “If ASU wants someone to sell the program, Lavin makes sense.” Lavin has ties to the West Coast, as he was the head coach at UCLA up until 2003. His big personality could certainly sell the student life and culture at ASU let alone his vision for Sun Devil Basketball in upcoming years. I’m a huge fan of having Lavin be the coach for the Sun Devils, and when Lavin and St. John’s decided to part ways this past weekend, it makes sense to have Lavin’s camp calling Ray Anderson’s phone line every now and then.
Mar 8, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Memphis Tigers head coach Josh Pastner against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Fifth Third Arena. The Bearcats won 77-65. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Pastner, Memphis Head Coach
Rumor has it that Memphis is not sold on Pastner. His coaching history is great having made the tournament 4 out of 6 years. However, he has failed to make it out of the first weekend each time. Pastner has ties to the desert being on Arizona’s 1997 National Championship team. Pastner’s ability to recruit great players is a huge plus as this year Memphis has the 12th best class in the NCAA according to ESPN.
Dec 29, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; UC Irvine head coach Russell Turner looks at the scoreboard during the first half of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Russell Turner, UC Irvine Head Coach
After leading the Anteaters to their first postseason appearance and almost knocking off Rick Pitino and Louisville, Turner has been rumored to a couple different head coaching jobs outside of the Big West. Turner is not a prolific recruiter, but has had success in recent years landing 7’6 Mamdou Ndiaye and has his team compete night in and night out. It’s a bit of a stretch but with his recent success, Turner does deserve some consideration.
Mar 14, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Diego Aztecs head coach Steve Fisher looks on from the sidelines during the Mountain West Tournament final against Wyoming at Thomas and Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Fisher, San Diego State Head Coach
I know what you’re thinking and my response is this: Why not? Fisher has done a fantastic job at San Diego State. He’s been building the program up since 1999, but he is 70 years old and may not want to leave the beautiful beaches of San Diego, for a struggling program out in the desert. One thing I love about Fisher is that he develops his players and gets them ready to play in the NBA. Having built a player like Kawhi Leonard a few seasons ago, and having great recruits coming into the program every year, why not try to pry him away from San Diego State for one last run at building an elite basketball program? Not to mention the retirement life in Arizona is a very nice life!