Now that VCU head coach Shaka Smart has turned down the opportunity to take same position at UCLA, it is time for athletic director Dan Guerrero to look in another direction all together. Instead of “Plan B” let’s just skip to “Plan X”. I am sure guys like Mark Gottfried and Jay Wright are excellent coaches, but is that really the direction you take after firing Ben Howland. What makes Jay Wright or Mark Gottfried any more dynamic than Ben Howland? I thought the plan was to bring someone in who can win big and bring excitement to the fan base?
How about reaching out to a Jeff Van Gundy, Van Gundy would be a good teacher of the game with NBA experience that would definitely get highly touted recruits attention and enough of name recognition for even the casual fan to be aware of him. Van Gundy as a lead analyst on ABC and ESPN has shown humor and acute knowledge of the game during the telecasts. We know the press conferences would not be boring, with his self deprecating style and one liner would keep the media, boosters, and alumni at bay during rough patches. Van Gundy with a NBA pedigree could put a staff together that would be the envy of anyone in the country as well as coach players up who were 2 and 3 stars to become viable pieces and get highly touted recruits ready for the next level. Van Gundy has made money, so this would not be money grab for him and also he could do what he loves to do, which is teach the game. Van Gundy on a court at a practice is where he is at home
I understand it is an unconventional way of going about the coaching change. Ideally they guys who are titans of college basketball are not looking at the program as the dream job that it used to be. So UCLA could definitely go the “Plan B” route and see who was second on their list or UCLA can blow the list up and look for someone who would be completely off the radar when it comes to college basketball.
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