John Beilein’s seven best landing spots for college basketball return, from Texas on down

first_imgHe led four different schools — Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia and Michigan — to the NCAA Tournament, and he took the Wolverines to a pair of national championship game appearances in 2013 and 2018. He is also the consummate good-guy coach, and that will attract the attention of several college basketball programs who might be seeking something more out of their program.MORE: Beilein would be prize of coaching carousel in return from NBAHere is a look at some of those schools and their potential fit with Beilein:TexasTexas is going to get the most attention, and it fits. Shaka Smart is 85-77 with two tournament appearances through five seasons, and Beilein would have more resources to work with than he did at West Virginia and Michigan. Lon Kruger, also 67, has had steady success with rival Oklahoma in the form of six tournament appearances and a 2016 Final Four appearance. Beilein’s coaching style suits the Big 12 well, too: He had over-the-top success at Michigan, and he could do the same at another football-first-school.IndianaThe better move for Indiana is to stick it out with Archie Miller, who should be able to push the Hoosiers into the NCAA Tournament this year (it will be close). Indiana hasn’t advanced past the Sweet 16 since 2002, and the Hoosiers have an outgoing athletic director in Fred Glass at the end of the school year. Beilein also would be the fifth different hire for the Hoosiers since Bob Knight left. This is a tempting move, but the timing doesn’t seem right. Holding on to Miller is the better play.Boston CollegeThe Eagles are looking at a 11th straight season without a tournament appearance, and that would be bad news for sixth-year coach Jim Christian. It would be a chance for Beilein — who coached in the Big East and Big Ten — to bring that style to the ACC. Boston College used to be a tournament regular under Al Skinner, so it’s not like success is impossible in Chestnut Hill. The only question is whether the rebuild would take too long.Wake ForestThe Demon Deacons have almost an identical situation as Boston College. Danny Manning hasn’t managed better than a First Four berth in six seasons, and the Demon Deacons haven’t been to the Sweet 16 since 2004. Ironically, it was a Beilein-led West Virginia team that beat Chris Paul-led Wake Forest in a 111-105 second-round thriller in 2005. Beilein’s demeanor meshes with the program, which has been absent from the national stage for far too long. Think Beilein is too old to make it work in the Carolinas? Look at what Mack Brown is doing in football. This is the best fit among the ACC schools.MORE: Sporting News’ March Madness projections 1.0 The Cleveland Cavaliers and John Beilein ended their partnership on Wednesday — a professional relationship that was ill-fated from the start. (UPDATE: The Cavs said Beilein will be reassigned within the organization after resigning as head coach.)Cleveland has a 14-40 record under Beilein in his first foray into the NBA. If there’s a silver lining — and there is — then it’s that Beilein, who turned 67 on Feb. 5, is the prize of the college basketball coaching carousel. Georgia TechYet another ACC school dealing with a drought, Georgia Tech has not made the NCAA tournament since 2010, and Josh Pastner hasn’t produced more than 21 wins in a single season. Wake Forest and Boston College might be quicker to move on, but Georgia Tech has a decent recruiting base. Beilein also would be competing on that circuit with Georgia coach Tom Crean. Georgia Tech would have to be aggressive in their pursuit of Beilein, given the other options available.MinnesotaMinnesota has made two tournament appearances under Richard Pitino, but it has been a perpetual bubble team that hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. This would put Beilein back in the Big Ten, but there isn’t quite the same recruiting base that he had at Michigan. Northwestern is another Big Ten school to keep an eye on, but Beilein might cost too much.Any volatile schoolAny school that gets a notice of allegations from the NCAA, or a coach who gets suspended, is worth keeping an eye on. Kansas, Arizona and LSU, among others, are all worth watching simply because of the volatility. If there’s a change at any of those schools, it would be best to bring in the cleanest coach possible. Beilein has epitomized that throughout his coaching career. Fit would be a consideration, of course, but no coach is more deserving of another shot at a return to college basketball.last_img read more

Semifinals should pack a wallop

first_imgJunior forward Demar Derozan has had a breakout season, averaging 22 points a game and in the playoffs, he’s been phenomenal. In last Friday’s 75-68 win over La Mirada, Derozan scored 27 points, including nailing a 15-foot jumper with 42 seconds left that gave Compton a 69-65 lead. However, what makes the Tarbabes so tough to beat is the fact that Derozan has help in the form of 6-10 junior forward Edgar Garibay, who’s averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds. “Edgar had finally come into his own and he’s doing what he does best and that’s score and play defense,” Thomas said. “But with him, Demar and Taylor all playing in the same game, I think it’s going to be great for the fans. It’s going to be a battle of the superstars.” In the other semifinal, the Pioneers are hoping to continue their quest toward winning a second consecutive state title after winning it all in Division III last season. They’ve been nothing short of spectacular in the postseason, thanks to the talented trio of senior forward James Harden, junior guard Malik Story and sophomore power forward Renardo Sidney. Harden, who’s signed with Arizona State, was also named to the McDonald’s All-American team over the weekend while both Story’s and Sidney’s games have risen in their three playoff victories, including an 83-73 victory over Jordan in the quarterfinals. The Dons, however, are also playing great and nobody exemplifies that more than Illinois-bound guard Quinton Watkins, who had his third consecutive big game in the playoffs against Thousand Oaks on Friday night. Watkins scored a season-high 29 points as Dominguez never trailed in a 68-60 win. Matt Dewaal also played well in the victory, scoring 14 points to go along with 17 rebounds and six blocks. “Given their history of winning championships, I would think Dominguez is the favorite tonight,” Artesia coach Loren Grover said. “Watkins is a tremendous player and they can all really shoot the ball. I think in the second half of the season, they have really stepped up their game, especially on defense. “And their coach, Russell Otis, is really experienced in games like this and he’s going to make sure they’re ready for us. I think the game is going to be a dog fight.” Here’s a look at the other local playoff game tonight: DIVISION I-A Los Alamitos (25-4) vs. M.L. King (27-3) at Citrus Hills High, 7:30 p.m. The Griffins came within an eyelash of losing to Etiwanda in the quarterfinals, but they escaped with a 49-47 win when Xavier Mudd missed a wide-open 3-pointer at the buzzer. Still, Los Alamitos proved it could win a grind-it-out, defensive-minded game as well as an up-tempo one. After scoring 36 points in the second round, Cameron Jones was held to just seven against the Eagles, but expect that number to go up tonight. Senior forward Clint Amberry played one of his best games against Etiwanda, scoring 21 points and was the emotional leader on the floor. Ben Villa can be reached at or (562) 499-1338. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When the CIF realigned divisions this season, it wanted to make sure the best teams played each other in the playoffs and judging by tonight’s match-ups, it looks like it got its wish. The CIF Southern Section Division I-AA semifinals get underway tonight at 7:30 p.m. with two potentially great games locally. Compton’s game, however, is an especially big one for its first-year coach Tony Thomas, who felt his team should have earned at least a three or four seed after winning the Moore League title and beating the Dons twice this season. But a win tonight for the Tarbabes would validate them as one of the elite teams in Southern California. “We do have a chip on our shoulder and when the playoffs started, one of our goals was to make it to the final four and we’ve done that,” Thomas said. “Now we have to beat Mater Dei to reach the finals. If there is one thing that scares me about them, it’s their height. “They have a lot of tall guys at every position and we have to do a good job at rebounding the ball and eliminating their second chances. It should be a great game, though. There’s going to be a lot of Division I talent on the floor and a lot of scouts and coaches in the stands.” McDonald’s All-American Taylor King, who’s going to Duke next season, leads the Monarchs. The 6-foot-8 senior forward is averaging 25.9 points and 11.1 rebounds, but the Tarbabes have their fare share of big- time talent on their squad as well. center_img In one semifinal, top-seeded Mater Dei (28-3), which is ranked 13th in the nation by USA Today, will play fifth-seeded Compton (26-3) at Dominguez High. The other semifinal pits second-seeded Artesia (27-2), which is ranked 12th by USA Today, against third-seeded Dominguez (22-7) at Gahr High. last_img read more