Two potential coaching targets in action today

  • 03/22/2008 1:29 pm in

smiller.jpgTwo names that figure to be right at the top of the wish list for the “blue ribbon” search committee as well as Indiana fans will be in action this afternoon in the NCAA Tournament.

Sean Miller will lead the Xavier Musketeers against IU’s biggest rival Purdue in the East Region. Meanwhile, in the West Region, Tony Bennett’s Washington State Cougars will meet Notre Dame.

Xavier and Purdue should be a grind-it-out style game, eerily similar to what Hoosier fans are used to seeing in the Big Ten. As many of you witnessed earlier this season, Miller’s team prides itself on playing defense and doing the little things it takes to win. “I don’t think you can advance in tournament play unless you have a strong identity on defense,” he said.

Bennett’s Washington State team will get the challenge of slowing down Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish and Big East Player of the Year Luke Harangody. Notre Dame is averaging over 80 ppg on the season and Washington State is limiting opponents to 41 percent shooting, so something will have to give.

We’ll dig deeper into the coaching search over the next week, but my question for you ITH’ers is this: Where are Miller and Bennett on your wish list? Would you be happy if IU could land one of them or is there someone else out there you feel is a better fit? As always, thoughts are welcome in the comments.

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  • Kelin Blab

    I want Sean Miller or anyone in his family.

    Good to hear that Jordan Crawford says he has a decision to make….Nice…..

  • Where did you read that about Crawford?

  • HoosierInTheVille

    The link to CBS Sportsline on the Around the Hall: Reaction to Arkansas Loss post.

  • Just saw that. Didn't read through that initially because I can't stand Doyel.

  • msdiu81

    They are both in my top 6 along with Pearl, Dixon, Crean and Brey.

  • msdiu81

    Good bye Crawford, don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out.

  • BrianK

    First off I'd like to congratulate the NCAA Selection committee on the fine choice of a number 2 seed in picking Puke. Not only could they barely beat Beaumont but got beat by double digits to Huggy Bear.

    Both MIller and Bennett are in my top 5 I'd love to have MIller. He could fall some though if he doesn't beat that other team lol

  • southsidehitmen

    I was very impressed with Xavier's poise against Georgia.

    Georgia was on fire and riding a wave of emotions, and Xavier stayed within themselves and came back to win relatively handely. That was impressive.

    If either Sean Miller or Tony Bennet end up as the head coach at IU, I wouldn't be that dissapointed.

  • Kelin Blab

    Sitting here watching Xavier against PU……Oh how nice it would be. I do have to say Matt P is coaching his ass off along with our new coach Sean Miller.

  • jgongora86

    Anthony Grant is my #1 ( even though I believe he won't even get a courtesy look). I have to admit though I am impressed how Saen Miller's defense is doing well against Purdue. Purdue is trying to run on them but Xavier is always making sure they don't get any fast break points. They all but took away the perimeter game, and relentless on the boards

  • BTOWN40

    Watching Xavier play is awesome. Win or lose against Purdue, Xavier has things we need…passion by everyone on the court, they are also constantly moving without the ball making it easier to get good looks. That is why our season was so frustrating at times well most all the time. 4 guys standing outside the 3 point line trying to pass to DJ in the post and if they can't make the pass chuck a 30 footer.. That was our offense towards the end. Bring on MIller or Bennett someone who can run an offense

  • msdiu81

    Watching WSU/ND, Bennett's style looks like it would fit in well at IU. They are up 13 at the half playing smothering defense and ND is not getting many second looks. Miller is now very high on my list by virtue of beating PU!

  • kgork

    God, that Tony Bennett is a good looking man.

  • Ryan_Btown

    Bennett is a stud…WSU is really good

  • Brey?

  • tberry

    sounds like a great coach but he has a contract through 2015-16. It would be an expensive buy-out but might be worth it.

  • msdiu81

    Yeah he was on my list until I just watched how terrible of a game he coached tonight. Bennett moves up the list as a result. I figured a coach that leads his team to a 3 place finish in the Big East, has no history of problems, comes from the Coach K line, coaches at a football school and a school that had almost as many women's basketball games sell out as men's, terrible facilities, less than 10,000 fans showing up for home games and probably not paid as well as he could be, might be ok for us. Plus he is someone not being talked about and I think there always has to be a dark horse in the mix. But after watching the WSU game, I see Brey obviously doesn't play very good defense. So he's off the list. Go IU.

  • tberry

    He is young but has a very good resume'. I wonder if he would even talk to IU after his sister's problems.

  • Ryan_Btown

    I respect that everyone seems to love Miller but lets talk Bennett for a minute. This guy coaches in the Pac 10 and in the tourney they are killin people. He is a tad younger and I read that the buyout for his contract is 500,000, decreasing 50,000 every year.
    He currently makes about 800,000 so we could prolly get him for around 1.1 a year. I don't know why, but when you guys talk about miller, it doesn't do it for me. But Bennett…I really like him.

  • PatrickDonohue

    I like Bennett a great deal. I also like Crean but as I'm sitting here watching Texas A&M, I'm hoping someone is thinking about Mark Turgeon. All he's been able to do this year is have his team 11 minutes away from beating UCLA, having lost the best player on his team to the NBA last season. Any love for Turgeon?

  • Raymond219

    Word from a family member of mine that is highly connected is that the committee is focusing on trying to get a coach who has deep tournament experience (a final four) and is a big name to draw some attention. Rick Pitino, anyone???

    More realistically though, what about Jay Wright of Villanova or Jamie Dixon from Pitt? Both are early/mid 40's and thus relatively young and could be around for a while but, are more established than Miller and Bennett (both of whom I like). Anyone else like the Wright or Dixon option?

  • southsidehitmen

    Dixon is a solid coach, but there is something about him that makes me think he belongs at Pitt. For whatever reason, it's not a good fit.

    Jay Wright? No thanks. He's east coast to the core and while I think he's a decent enough coach, I feel like this alleged “Blue Ribbon” commitee can do better.

    I may be caught up in the 'flavor of the month' moment, but Bennet and Sean Miller both are coming off as special coaches.

    Miller in particular. His team could have folded in both of their games but they stayed strong, and I would be shocked if they can't beat Huggy Bears West Virginia and earn an elite eight birth.

    Random comment of the night: If Purdue's team this year was the “Baby Boilers”…..Next year can we call them “Puberty Purdue” ?!………………..It seems appropriate enough

    Again….If Miller or Bennett chose to come to IU I would be pretty happy about it

  • TheMiz

    PLS god no mike brey.

    ship sean miller please, xavier looked strong tonight. Purdue played well and got out played by an excellent xavier team.

    If crawford leaves it would suck, but if armon leaves im not buying season tickets

  • TheMiz

    i dont see purdue having a much better year than they had this year, granted you get better as u get more experience…but i feel like they played above and beyond how they should have this year and this coming season will be pretty much the same..im not looking forward to them being at the top of the bigten the next 2-3 years, but i dont think etwaun is gonna have games like he had @ illinois consistently or that they can grow tremendously…they will be good, but not the dominant team purdue fans are dreaming about right now

    (i hope)

  • TheMiz

    i <3 tom crean…i know izzo coaches a bigten rival but any school in america should be happy to have him–and crean is an izzo disciple..young, can recruit, been to a final four, has experience in a big time conference…i have been calling for crean since october when the sampson drama first started and can only hope hes an option and hed have to consider coming to a basketball institution

    p.s. im not sold on thad matta

  • Kelin Blab

    It is to the point I cannot even fathom Greeny announcing anyone other than, Miller, Grant, Bennett, or Keno Davis….beyond that I may be dissapointed……I do like the low buyout for Bennet….

    I know he wouldn't leave but Izzo should get at least a phone call, email, or text message from the Blue Ribbon committee….

  • tberry

    Knowing IU and their cheapness, I would say that the $ for a buy-out will make a difference to them. Bennett's low $ requirement will attract them and Miller's High $ will cause them to look elsewhere. I think Millers is under contract thorough 2015-16.

  • I like Miller already. He's shown that he can beat Purdue!

  • Belmont.

  • And, as Dominic James will attest to, Crean likes to recruit Indiana.

  • From what I know of Jay Wright, he's not going to leave Villanova ever. He loves the school too much and the school loves him, and they're bending over backwards to install new and better facilities. Jay Wright would probably listen just to be polite, but in the end it'd be a waste of a long-distance phone call.

  • Keno Davis would have a honeymoon that last exactly until the first game where we shoot 30 threes. Look at what happened this year. We would go 12 of 24 from behind the arc, and the fans would complain.

  • BrianK

    Exactly lol.

  • BrianK

    Anyone else think Painter and Miller look alike lol.

  • And I'd totally agree. Duke did not deserve that number 2 seed, but the tourney bends over backwards for Duke. I'm wondering if we're beginning to see the decline of Krzyzewski.

    Oh, and it was funny…this morning, all of a sudden, both Krzyzewski and D. Nelson had “fevers” and were “sick”. I love how the local media makes excuses for Duke.

  • I like Miller already. He's shown that he can beat Purdue!

  • Belmont.

  • And, as Dominic James will attest to, Crean likes to recruit Indiana.

  • From what I know of Jay Wright, he's not going to leave Villanova ever. He loves the school too much and the school loves him, and they're bending over backwards to install new and better facilities. Jay Wright would probably listen just to be polite, but in the end it'd be a waste of a long-distance phone call.

  • Keno Davis would have a honeymoon that last exactly until the first game where we shoot 30 threes. Look at what happened this year. We would go 12 of 24 from behind the arc, and the fans would complain.

  • BrianK

    Exactly lol.

  • BrianK

    Anyone else think Painter and Miller look alike lol.

  • And I'd totally agree. Duke did not deserve that number 2 seed, but the tourney bends over backwards for Duke. I'm wondering if we're beginning to see the decline of Krzyzewski.

    Oh, and it was funny…this morning, all of a sudden, both Krzyzewski and D. Nelson had “fevers” and were “sick”. I love how the local media makes excuses for Duke.