Is Tony Bennett a viable candidate for IU?

  • 02/26/2008 12:42 pm in

bennett.jpgSince there is still a lot of basketball left to be played, we’ll try our best to keep the inevitable coaching search talk to a minimum. However, one trend I’ve noticed since Sampson’s resignation on Friday is the amount of media attention being given to Tony Bennett of Washington State. Pat Forde of ESPN.com called Bennett the best candidate almost immediately after Sampson stepped down.

And now, the media out in Seattle is also starting to begin the whispers about the possibility of Bennett coming to Bloomington. Bud Withers of the Seattle Times had the following to say this morning:

You’d assume Bennett would listen. Indiana drips with history, from its five national titles to its candy-stripe warmup pants. There’s a reason they made a movie called “Hoosiers.”

Just as there’s history at Indiana, there’s history with the Bennett family there. Kathi Bennett, Tony’s older sister and the member of the family Dick Bennett has said might be the best at it, was head coach of the Hoosiers’ women from 2000 to 2005 before resigning and getting out of the business.

Indiana would offer Tony Bennett a bunch more money than the Cougars can; they’re paying him $800,000 annually. Bloomington, at 70,000 population, would present a college town but not one as remote as Pullman. No more would he have to contend with the nettlesome travel issues in and out of WSU.

He can win a national title at Indiana. Realistically, he can’t at Washington State.

Sounds good, right? My only reservation at Bennett is his lack of head coaching experience (two seasons). He did, however, win National Coach of the Year in his debut last year. So I’ll give him a pass on that.

He’s proven he can recruit. As an assistant at Wisconsin, he helped bring in Alando Tucker, Kirk Penny, Devin Harris and Brian Butch. He’s also just 38 years of age which means he could be a long term solution, unlike Kelvin Sampson.

So what do you think, ITH’ers? Where is Bennett on your radar screen? Is he somebody that IU should seriously consider when the coaching search heats up? Let’s hear your take in the comments.

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  • BrianK

    I checked. He has a career 528 win percentage. A 400 playoff percentage and is wayyyyy below 500 this year.

  • BrianK

    I checked. He has a career 528 win percentage. A 400 playoff percentage and is wayyyyy below 500 this year.

  • BrianK

    DD is barely abpve 500 in his coaching career. He did ok at Ball State and was fired from his last job. Saying if he does good this year? Theres only what 3 games left b4 tournament. He is made to be an assistant.

  • BrianK

    DD is barely abpve 500 in his coaching career. He did ok at Ball State and was fired from his last job. Saying if he does good this year? Theres only what 3 games left b4 tournament. He is made to be an assistant.

  • BrianK

    DD is barely abpve 500 in his coaching career. He did ok at Ball State and was fired from his last job. Saying if he does good this year? Theres only what 3 games left b4 tournament. He is made to be an assistant.

  • BrianK

    Im with you and your list 100%

  • BrianK

    Im with you and your list 100%

  • BrianK

    Im with you and your list 100%

  • Hoosier_Hound

    I like Sean Miller for the job and I agree with you about 1,2, and 4. But his current roster is about half transfers. He may be a good recruiter and he has a very good class for next year, but there are question marks for him in that area.

  • Hoosier_Hound

    I like Sean Miller for the job and I agree with you about 1,2, and 4. But his current roster is about half transfers. He may be a good recruiter and he has a very good class for next year, but there are question marks for him in that area.

  • Hoosier_Hound

    I like Sean Miller for the job and I agree with you about 1,2, and 4. But his current roster is about half transfers. He may be a good recruiter and he has a very good class for next year, but there are question marks for him in that area.

  • BrianK

    His contract wasn't “renewed”

  • BrianK

    His contract wasn't “renewed”

  • BrianK

    His contract wasn't “renewed”

  • Tom Coverdale IU hero

    i love this list bruce pearl had his first head coaching in southern indiana and he loved it here why wouldnt he want to come back to a basketball first state where he has already won in bring USI two national championships go for pearl i think he would jump for more money and a basketball first school

  • Tom Coverdale IU hero

    i love this list bruce pearl had his first head coaching in southern indiana and he loved it here why wouldnt he want to come back to a basketball first state where he has already won in bring USI two national championships go for pearl i think he would jump for more money and a basketball first school

  • Tom Coverdale IU hero

    i love this list bruce pearl had his first head coaching in southern indiana and he loved it here why wouldnt he want to come back to a basketball first state where he has already won in bring USI two national championships go for pearl i think he would jump for more money and a basketball first school

  • jgongora

    you raise a good point about the offensive part of his game, but I think that his defensive scheme creates a bunch of turnovers and therefore lead to the wild run and gun type of play.

  • jgongora

    you raise a good point about the offensive part of his game, but I think that his defensive scheme creates a bunch of turnovers and therefore lead to the wild run and gun type of play.

  • jgongora

    you raise a good point about the offensive part of his game, but I think that his defensive scheme creates a bunch of turnovers and therefore lead to the wild run and gun type of play.

  • JamesHardy

    you're the 2nd person that I've heard refer to his rec drug use…

  • JamesHardy

    you're the 2nd person that I've heard refer to his rec drug use…

  • JamesHardy

    you're the 2nd person that I've heard refer to his rec drug use…

  • Micheal Hermon

    Norm Ellenberger!

  • Micheal Hermon

    Norm Ellenberger!

  • Micheal Hermon

    lol….why doesn't anybody suggest Butler's coach?

  • Micheal Hermon

    lol….why doesn't anybody suggest Butler's coach?

  • KJ

    Any of these would be outstanding –

    Big Names – Bruce Pearl, Thad Matta, Rick Barnes
    Solid Coaches – Jamie Dixon, Kevin Stallings, Jay Wright
    Young and promising – Tony Bennett, Sean Miller

    Clean program, keep Indiana talent, Big Ten contender every year, national contender most years – is that too much to ask?

  • KJ

    Any of these would be outstanding –

    Big Names – Bruce Pearl, Thad Matta, Rick Barnes
    Solid Coaches – Jamie Dixon, Kevin Stallings, Jay Wright
    Young and promising – Tony Bennett, Sean Miller

    Clean program, keep Indiana talent, Big Ten contender every year, national contender most years – is that too much to ask?

  • CC

    Remember, Bennett is only 37 – with any luck he will be a coach for another 20+ years. So he could stick around WSU for another 5-7 years, establish a reputation as a guy who builds programs rather than bolting after a quick turnaround, and still only be in his early 40s. That would be the time to make a jump to a top 10 program like Indiana.

  • CC

    Remember, Bennett is only 37 – with any luck he will be a coach for another 20+ years. So he could stick around WSU for another 5-7 years, establish a reputation as a guy who builds programs rather than bolting after a quick turnaround, and still only be in his early 40s. That would be the time to make a jump to a top 10 program like Indiana.

  • Ty

    I like Bennett for the position…He's young, defensive oriented like Sampson, has demonstrated his ability to win in a tough conference, and cheap in comparison to some of the big names like Peal and Matta being tossed around. I love the passion, emotion, and intensity that Pearl could bring to IU but unless we come up with some more loaded annonymous donors, I just don't see it happening. Same thing with Matta.
    I think IU stands a better chance of landing a young, promising, up and coming coach with potential than someone with the stature of Matta or Pearl. I like Bennetts involvement in recruiting some of the top names and tallent of Wisconsin as well. I think Bennett could really gain the support of the Hoosier nation quickly and play by the rules. We need someone we can support that will do things the right way. I loved Sampson as a coach but he just couldn't play by the rules. It sucks to see him go, especially the way he did, but I think its really opened an opportunity for us to go after someone who can really lead us down the road. If we hold out on Bennett to see what happens over the next few years, we'll lose the opportunity. I think the time is right and he'd be happy to bolt the west coast for the storied tradition and incredible Hoosier fan base. I'm voting for Bennett…or Sean Miller of Xavier…both would be great catches for the Hoosiers.

  • Ty

    I like Bennett for the position…He's young, defensive oriented like Sampson, has demonstrated his ability to win in a tough conference, and cheap in comparison to some of the big names like Peal and Matta being tossed around. I love the passion, emotion, and intensity that Pearl could bring to IU but unless we come up with some more loaded annonymous donors, I just don't see it happening. Same thing with Matta.
    I think IU stands a better chance of landing a young, promising, up and coming coach with potential than someone with the stature of Matta or Pearl. I like Bennetts involvement in recruiting some of the top names and tallent of Wisconsin as well. I think Bennett could really gain the support of the Hoosier nation quickly and play by the rules. We need someone we can support that will do things the right way. I loved Sampson as a coach but he just couldn't play by the rules. It sucks to see him go, especially the way he did, but I think its really opened an opportunity for us to go after someone who can really lead us down the road. If we hold out on Bennett to see what happens over the next few years, we'll lose the opportunity. I think the time is right and he'd be happy to bolt the west coast for the storied tradition and incredible Hoosier fan base. I'm voting for Bennett…or Sean Miller of Xavier…both would be great catches for the Hoosiers.

  • John

    DD didn't coach at Ball State. You're thinking about McCallum

  • John

    DD didn't coach at Ball State. You're thinking about McCallum

  • John

    DD didn't coach at Ball State. You're thinking about McCallum

  • MPmike

    I agree. Sean Miller is #1 followed by: 2)Brad Brownell 3) Bruce Pearl 4)Tony Bennett

  • MPmike

    I agree. Sean Miller is #1 followed by: 2)Brad Brownell 3) Bruce Pearl 4)Tony Bennett

  • MPmike

    I agree. Sean Miller is #1 followed by: 2)Brad Brownell 3) Bruce Pearl 4)Tony Bennett

  • mushroomgod

    Dackich won 52% of his games at BG over 10 years. He never made the NCAA tourney. He would not be considered for any top 75 program other than IU. He would be the dumbest possible hire.

  • mushroomgod

    Dackich won 52% of his games at BG over 10 years. He never made the NCAA tourney. He would not be considered for any top 75 program other than IU. He would be the dumbest possible hire.

  • mushroomgod

    Dackich won 52% of his games at BG over 10 years. He never made the NCAA tourney. He would not be considered for any top 75 program other than IU. He would be the dumbest possible hire.

  • mushroomgod

    give me a break

  • mushroomgod

    give me a break

  • mushroomgod

    give me a break

  • mushroomgod

    Here's mine:

    1. Dan Dackich
    2. Dan Dackich
    3. Dan Dackich
    4. Dan Dackich
    5. Dan Dackich

  • mushroomgod

    Here's mine:

    1. Dan Dackich
    2. Dan Dackich
    3. Dan Dackich
    4. Dan Dackich
    5. Dan Dackich

  • mushroomgod

    Here's mine:

    1. Dan Dackich
    2. Dan Dackich
    3. Dan Dackich
    4. Dan Dackich
    5. Dan Dackich

  • hoosierboy812

    sherron wilkerson?he went to rio grande jc after iu ended up overseas

  • hoosierboy812

    sherron wilkerson?he went to rio grande jc after iu ended up overseas