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Where do Terps turn next in hoops coaching search?

Like most Maryland fans, I went to bed late Saturday night thinking Arizona's Sean Miller was to going to succeed Gary Williams as the Terps' coach and woke up to the stunning news that he decided to stay in Tucson.

So who's next on Kevin Anderson's wish list?

Amid reports that Notre Dame's Mike Brey and Butler's Brad Stevens have rejected Anderson's offer to talk about the job, you get the feeling of what happened back in December when Anderson fired Ralph Friedgen. There was a lot of excitement among the fans about the possibility of Mike Leach coming to College Park, and it was a tremendous letdown for many of them when Randy Edsall was introduced as the school's next football coach.

After Miller changed his mind, I never thought Brey would come. If you are Brey, despite your roots in the area and your ties to the Atlantic Coast Conference as Mike Krzyzewski's longtime assistant at Duke, are you going to want to be viewed as a second choice? (Or even a third choice if Pitt's Jamie Dixon was also approached, as has been reported.) 

And if you're Anderson, would you want to have another press conference where the coach you introduce is not the one the fan base was all fired up about (think Edsall and Leach) but whose "dream job" was coaching at Maryland? Had Miller not been rumored to be on his way to Comcast Center, Brey's hiring would have played well.

As for Stevens, unless there were plans to move the Maryland campus about 600 miles west to Indianapolis -- and I know of a moving company that used to make that sort of trip for an entire football team -- I doubted Butler's boy-wonder coach was going anywhere soon, given that the Bulldogs showed their first run to the NCAA title game wasn't a fluke by doing it again. Stevens' success is rooted in the Hoosier State, and his down-home style would not have played as well with recruits along the Baltimore-Washington beltways.

There's also been mention of Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon. He's well-respected in the coaching community for what he's done at Wichita State and the Aggies, but does anyone outside of the Big 12 know him? Put it this way: Edsall would be considered a much more high-profile hire in these parts than Turgeon.

So where does that leave Anderson?

He could try making a cost-effective trip down Interstate 95 to Richmond to talk with VCU's Shaka Smart or Richmond's Chris Mooney. As much as Smart is a hotter commodity, Mooney actually has built something with the Spiders rather than inheriting another coach's players and going on a magic carpet ride in March. He could also make a play for Alabama's Anthony Grant, whose players Smart coached to the Final Four.

Anderson could also start from scratch, with a new list of big-name coaches such as Rick Barnes of Texas, who recruited a phenom named Kevin Durant out of Maryland, or an up-and-comer like Memphis' Josh Pastner, who brought the Barton brothers, Will and Antonio, down from Baltimore last summer. Anderson did say he had until recruiting began in July, though Williams seemed to suggest at his retirement ceremony to act quickly.       

Anderson could hire a guy who is well-known on the recruiting trail, well-respected by Williams and well-liked by the Maryland players. In fact, he could be the next Brad Stevens.

His name is Rob Ehsan, and right now he is the interim head coach of the Terrapins.

Given the timing in early May, one major college coach told me over the weekend that it's a tough time for any established coach to move.

"We've all got things set for next year," he said. "It might be best just to let an interim guy go for the year and see how he does."  

That Anderson named Ehsan to that position after Williams suddenly announced his retirement Thursday is an indication of the respect folks at Comcast Center -- particularly Williams -- has for a 28-year-old who graduated college in 2005. He quickly moved up the hierarchy of Williams' staff since joining it straight out of UC Davis, where he earned a degree in economics.

When he was promoted four years ago, Stevens was 31 and better known at the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company based in Indianapolis than on ESPN. Now he's the poster boy for the thirtysomethings who are looking to take over the sport from Hall of Famers like Jim Calhoun and Krzyzewski and a future Hall of Famer named Gary Williams.

In this case, going from Williams to Ehsan could be more like the transition the Miami Heat made after Pat Riley anointed Erik Spoelstra when Stan Van Gundy was forced out. Williams could be Riley to Ehsan's Spoelstra, minus the rumors that he would come out of retirement if things went wrong. It would even allow Williams to come watch a few games played on a court named in his honor. 

Ehsan has established himself as a future Division I coach, maybe even a coaching star. If you followed Maryland the past few years, Ehsan's presence on the sideline increased during timeouts and I'm sure in terms of practices and game preparation. Ehsan also was credited with signing a number of players, including Terrell Stoglin.

Maryland's next best choice might be right under its nose.

Comments

Maybe the next Jim Boeheim? Things could be lot worse. I Guess I think like Gary, "If you don't want to come to my school, then I don't want you"! I wouldn't mind seeing Ehsan get a chance, good press, makes for a great story in 25 years if it works. Of not, then there is time to try another who really wants the job.

Jim Patsos? Doing a nice job at Loyola, 13 year assistant at Maryland, clean cut, community oriented, home grown, capable. Again, doing a nice job at Loyola. And, I don't even know the guy.

Since when did the Maryland coaching positions for their revenue sports become a training program for unproven head coaches? This is another major blow to the University which is beginning to make Maryland look like a low-level division I program. This AD could not close the deal with Leach and not able to close the deal with Miller, Bray, Dixon or Stevens tells me that he does not have the experience or know how to do this job. He needs to realize the Maryland is not a military academy but a major division I school and without a proven division I head coach the school will lose in multiple ways. I just renewed my Maryland football season tickets but this could be my last season especially with the pre-season of Maryland football being in the bottom of its conference this year.

stop looking and get chucky drisell. an alum, good recruiter, young and full of energy and can relate to the players. stop going after the has beens and hang the banners lucky to have chucky

It sounds like Anderson is painted into the corner. I'm surprised Gary didn't give him a warning back in February. Unless the earth starts rotating backwards the dream of a big time coach jumping for joy to come to CP is ridiculous. There are a dozen schools whom young players have on their minds AFTER they've realized that Coach K isn't going to call back. After Ohio State, NC, Pitt, Louis, Nova, UConn, Kansas, Tx, ND there are two dozen school which have been fighting tooth and nail to get respect. MD has not accomplished anything to make them stand out in the crowd. We may detest the game rules but you're in the game to win. If u want to withdraw go ahead. But there's no one left standing except the kids who got a scholarship and a hope. Rick Barnes? Are u serious. Pastor? Really? Dixon or Wright? Why not Red Auerbach? I'm not deriding those whose sensitivities for MD run hot and steamy hot but this is not the big time school u think it is. If it was than it wouldn't have taken dirty recruiting to get them to play. Some coaches don't recruit. They let their record do the talking. Don't get po'd. Do something and get it done and start over. We love to think of our locals as heroes. But this isn't Kentucky. There are a whole crop of new coaches. Maybe that is the best place to start.

Glad you mentioned Mooney. I like him better than Brey or Tubby. Shaka has already turned down an offer, so Mooney may be more realistic, while also just as qualified, or even more, as you suggest, Don.

If they name Ehsan it will be perceived as interim, regardless of how they term it, with the expectation Anderson will be back in the market again next year, with better timing. Considering the team will struggle to compete in 2011-12 no matter who the coach is, Ehsan would be set up to fail.

Shaka Smart would make a great Maryland basketball coach.

Don i think that Shaka Smart is a good coach how he is under Eshan blows my mind.

I would cry if Ehsan got the job. That would be awful. talk about a no name...

Giving Ehsan the job on an interim basis for the year would be so unfair to him. It does not matter who the coach is this coming season, the team is going to struggle without any serious front court presence. To top it off, they would defiantly lose at least 2/3 of their recruiting class and sabotage all recruiting for next year. He would have to be a permanent hire for any recruits to take him seriously.

"a tremendous let down" that the Terps didn't get Leach. Let down to whom? The Terp fans I know were delighted that we didn't get Leach and his baggage. When are you guys going to let go of the fact tha Friedgon was not the choice of this AD. Just let it go and stop taking pot shots every time you get the chance.

Mooney just signed a 10-year extension with Richmond. Even if he was interested the buy-out cost would be huge.

Rick Barnes!!!

KA is starting to look bad. Whoever comes in to CP to interview will know they're the third choice for the job, at best. It's a shame that the Terps can't even get a coach with a name to even talk to them about the job. It may soon be time to cut our losses, end further humiliation, lower expectations, & give this guy or Chucky D a shot.

I cannot believe everyone fell for the Sean Miller hype. There was little chance of him leaving Arizona - just took his team deep in the tourney (where was Maryland?), most of his team is returning, and he has a high rated recruiting class coming to 'Zona. He used the hype to extend his contract with the Cats.

Maryland should be careful before hyping the coaches coming to town. No one wants to be second choice and you don't always get what you want.

This is what happens when you hire a second rate AD. He boots Friedgen, a first rate coach, and Gary bolts. I perdicted this and I don't blame him. I also predict that Gary will land somewhere else when the dust settles.
This school and their fans don't deserve a name coach. The Terps should relocate to Philly. Their fans are about the same mentality.

How about Bruce Pearl? He can flat out recruit and coach. If not, hire Tuby Smith and go back into the market in five years. A bad hire could turn MD into UVA or NC State.

Here is what I would like to know... Throughout this process, there has been a flood of leaks to the media about who was interested in the Maryland job, who was meeting whom, deals that were all but done, who is next on the list, etc. But we have heard nothing about what really happened in Vegas or why Brey turned down a job that he has been interested in for 10 years. Why no info on that? My guess is that the AD & University botched the Miller deal and that all of the leaks and hype have poisoned the well.

After losing Miller (a worthy shot that didn't happen), they need to take a deep breath and do this right. Put together a list, call a few dozen possibilities, interview three or four and pick a best choice. All this running around like crazy is very bad....

Barnes won't come here. He left the ACC as a coach and has turned down at least one ACC job in the recent past, due to as he put it, preferential treatment of the "bluebloods" (Carolina and Duke). No chance.

Norman Dale...as long as he brings Shooter!

I'm disgusted. This is the second chance Anderson has had to make a big hire and he's blown them both. How did we go from intense media speculation that Miller, Stephens, Dixon, and Wright were all interested candidates to scraping the bottom of the barrel with lower-profile coaches or assistants? Gary gave Anderson 2 weeks notice, and even though Miller seems to have snowed everyone, there had to be a backup plan in mind. It's inexcusable.

Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion Univ.) ???

The fact that Anderson tries to meet with candidates doesn't mean that the candidate is going to be offered the job. Didn't anyone pay attention to the football coach search? The Auburn guy wouldn't meet without a promise that he would then get the job. Leach interviewed and Anderson chose not to make an offer. With Edsall, he interviewed and Anderson, rightly or wrongly, decided he was the right guy. We don't know which coaches may have contacted him since this started and we probably never will. Whether we end up with a big name looking for a change of scenery or a young hot shot looking for a challenge, it will happen when Anderson thinks it is the right fit. Miller and Brey were chosen by the press, not the Terps, to be offered the job. And, the press has never won a single game on the court, so let's just cool off a little, float some opinions, and stop acting like we know what the hell is going on behind the scenes.

I'll sign the petition for Chucky D. now! A young, intense alum who paid his dues as an assistant and has some head coaching experience under his belt... don't beat him up for the record, first year results are more a product of the previous regimes efforts. Chuck has a reputation as a strong recruiter and he just looks the part. That focused stare reminds me of Scott Skiles. The current "big things" aint walking throught that door, time for the next big thing. Next years coach will have to suffer through a tough season, bring the kid in, let him cut his teeth and within 3 years the program will be back on solid footing for the long-term.

Todd Bozman, if Calipari can keep getting work, this guy deserves a second chance after years in purgatory

Edsall was not a sexy pick but a very good one. The guy built UCONN from nothing into a Big East contender & annual bowl team.

Going with Ehsan for a year on an interim basis may not be a bad idea. After losing out to Miller there is nothing else out there really all that intriguing. See what Ehsan can do & re-evaluate after the season....

Len Elmore said it best. This is not a hire for next season, it's a hire for the next 10 to 15 years. What about a young assistant waiting in the wings from a top ranked program. CAN YOU SAY WOJO......

Rick Barnes left Clemson because he was sick of bashing his head against Carolina and Duke every year. Certainly the Terps have a better basketball history than Clemson, but they are a still long way from challenging for conference supremacy. Doubt he'd leave Texas for that, plus his price tag would be huge.

People get off of the AD's back, he just got here. Edsall was a great hire,,,if you wanted the big name & Mike Leach then you dont know football. Edsall was an outstanding hire & the perfect man for this job.

Mooney & Bruce Pearl should be considered. Hey, I believe Phil Jackson is available as well. HAHA,,,but maybe an NBA coach who has been canned ? That could do wonders for recruiting in our talent rich area ?

It seems that people have boxed the search in to only target career college coaches. I say it’s time to go outside the box. Sam would do wonders in Baltimore recruiting. As well as having a record of winning @ basketball’s highest level. Why not?

Billy Hahn. He proved he could beat Duke when Gary Williams was out with pneumonia!

Pearl can coach, recruit and his mistake has made him cheap. You sign him quick and your recruiting class stays. As for Edsall - he is doing a great job. He is bringing in talent to beef up position coaching. Give him a year to recruit and MD is in BCS contention.

you can't give a college head coaching job to some one as a transition position. this isn't the pros. you have short term and long term recruiting. that's an idiotic suggestion.

I hear Bob Wade is looking to hang up his mop and leave his post as janitor at Lake Clifton.

But seriously, I like the five year "fix" idea and I think John Lucas is the guy.

He's a former Terp, lives and breathes basketball, and has some amount of star power.

The downsides are his age and the fact that he may not resonate strongly with the current generation of players.

Still, I think he's the guy to fill the seats while we get rid of Anderson and start taking this athletic program seriously.

I swear I hear circus music every time KA opens his mouth.

Thinking long term is the wrong approach (see Edsall) - filling seats should be the top priority, that's how you get recruits.

Seriously, someone give me a name other than Boeheim, Izzo or Krzyzewski that's been with the same program for more than 10 years.

Texas A&M blogs report that Turgeon is headed to Maryland!!!

Get one of the Capels. Jeff, Jr. ruined Old Dominion years ago. Jeff III got canned at Oklahoma. Both are available!

Doesn't Todd Bozeman deserve a shot? He is well known among the basketball community in the DC, PG, and Baltimore areas. Besides, Morgan State beating MD a few years ago is proof that the man can coach.

I like Pearl but he would never get the MD job following squeaky clean Gary Williams

FYI: Sturgeon to Maryland rumors heating up on A&M blogs. Done deal says one report.

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