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

U.S. coach swaps ‘keepers for semi

first_imgRyan shrugged off any criticism. “That’s not important to me at all,” he said. “From Day 1 I’ve just tried to make decisions that will help us win the next game.” Unbeaten in 51 straight games, the No. 1-ranked United States is seeking its third World Cup title, but Brazil figures to be its toughest test. A victory today (5 a.m. PDT, ESPN2) puts the U.S. squad into Sunday’s final against defending champion Germany in Shanghai. Solo, 25, has been excellent defending crosses and high balls, but Ryan wants Scurry for her scrambling. From news services Greg Ryan will be seen as a savvy strategist if it works. If it fails, he’ll be blamed for benching goalkeeper Hope Solo, who hasn’t yielded a goal in almost 300 minutes in the Women’s World Cup, and switching 24 hours before the match to veteran Briana Scurry for today’s semifinal against Brazil in Hangzhou, China. The U.S. coach surprised almost everyone on Wednesday, going with the 36-year-old Scurry because her quick reflexes could frustrate the tricky, fast-paced Brazilians led by strikers Marta and Cristiane. “The way the Brazilians play in terms of creating off the dribble in the penalty box and making a goalkeeper make reaction-type saves, I think Bri is the best goalkeeper in the world in those situations,” Ryan said. The move split opinions. Scurry is a longtime star. Her decisive penalty-kick save against China in the 1999 final in the Rose Bowl captivated the nation. But this switch could be disruptive to a young, close-knit group. The game is expected to be tight, although the United States has lost only once to Brazil in 22 games. Ryan broke the news to Solo on Tuesday, but she sensed what was coming. “The moment I got tapped on the shoulder saying I need to meet with you, I had a pit in my stomach and I knew what it was,” said Solo, who’s given up only two goals in four games. Germany advances Defending champion Germany broke a shutout record in defeating Norway, 3-0, in a semifinal match at Tianjin, China, and claimed a spot in the final. An own goal by Norway’s Trine Ronning just before halftime sent Germany on its way, and it dominated the second half, with goals by Kerstin Stegemann and Martina Mueller. Germany has gone 529 minutes without conceding a World Cup goal, dating to the 2003 tournament. That broke China’s record, which was 442 minutes in the 1999 and 2003 events. Manchester United upset Manchester United was eliminated from the English League Cup by lower-league Coventry. Man United, which lost at Old Trafford for the first time this season, wasn’t playing its top team, but still had six international players in its lineup. Michael Mifsud scored two goals to lead Coventry.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more