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Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

Posted on: March 27, 2010 11:21 am
Edited on: March 27, 2010 11:24 am

HOUSTON -- It's been 11 days since Oregon fired Ernie Kent, and there's still no coach in place.

But that could change soon if the school moves away from its top candidates.

It's no secret that Oregon -- backed by the money of Nike founder Phil Knight -- would love to make a big hire like Mark Few, Jamie Dixon or Billy Donovan, but that seems unlikely at this point because Few and Dixon have little interest in leaving Gonzaga and Pittsburgh -- remember, either could've had the Arizona job last year -- and anything west of the Mississippi River is unfamiliar territory (and probably too far from home) for Donovan, a New York native who has won two national titles at Florida.

That leaves the next tier of candidates headlined by Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon and Minnesota's Tubby Smith.

Prediction: Oregon will land one of those two.

It's worth noting only Texas A&M seems willing to fight for its coach.

"We will make every effort to make sure Mark Turgeon remains our coach," Texas A&M athletics director Bill Byrne, coincidentally also a former Oregon athletics director, told The Register-Guard. "And Ducks who remember me will know how hard I'll work to do that. … My [job] is to keep Mark Turgeon as the coach of the Aggies."

Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi isn't as enthusiastic about trying to keep Smith.

"Somebody will offer him $3 million," Maturi told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. "We can't pay him $3 million."

Bottom line, Oregon probably won't get Few, Dixon or Donovan, but Turgeon and Smith are realistic options.

One of the latter two will likely be offered and accept the position in the next week.

Just depends on which coach Oregon officials want to purchase.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: March 29, 2010 12:23 pm

Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

What are you talking about, largest universities? Size has nothing to do with college sports, money does. How big is Duke? Minnesota is also in Minnesota. Why would anyone want to live and recruit there? Oregon is wet and damp, but it's closer to the coast. The PAC10 is a much better conference besides.

Since: Nov 2, 2007
Posted on: March 28, 2010 11:02 pm

Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

What about an established mid-major coach from the West, like a Stew Morrill, a Steve Fisher or even Steve Alford?  I think either of these could definitely get Oregon back onto the winning side of things.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: March 28, 2010 3:50 pm

Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

You can have Greg Graham back...

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: March 28, 2010 11:01 am

Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

To the Kentucky fan saying Gillespie's terrible. How great does Calipari's recruits look after yesterday's debacle. And to think, they'll be gone next year. A year of seasoning into another year of seasoning a new crop that will leave too. Doesn't seem like a good formula to winning titles, which is UK's birthright every year, right? 

Calipari will get higher NBA draft talent, but Billy G will get more "college" talent that will be useful for more than one year. Even Coach K quit recruiting one and done's. Has to be a reason for that, probably the broke shooting 18 year olds give you in a tight spot! This isn't the first time recently a Cal team(headed with the #1 pick) missed shots down the stretch, at least the other was a Championship game!
Happy offseason and did you guys at least honor Wall, Cousins, and Bledsoe on senior night for their mighty contributions to the program!

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2010 10:54 am

There's a Party Going on in the West Regional

Enough of the coaching changes Gary Cool .

There's a party going on in the West bracket.

FYI everyone..... The only thing mid major with Butler is their budget.

The A.D. is major league, the Coach is major league, the Team is major league (peppered with Indiana, Kentucky and Alabama H.S. All Stars. and the Gym (Hinkle Fieldhouse) is timeless.  

Way to go Butler....or should I say Butler Way!

The party is in Indy this week - get a ride and get over here!

Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: March 28, 2010 2:06 am

Randy Bennett

I would be shocked if Oregon didn't try to go after St. Mary's coach Randy Bennett. He has put the Gaels on the map and their pipeline to the best players in Australia is impressive. He can obviously compete with the big boys.

Since: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: March 27, 2010 10:07 pm

Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

I 100% agree with the above statement.  MAC court used to sell out every game when the Ducks were Elite 8 material, but the place often had 2,000-3,000 fans this season and that is the reason Kent isn't opening the new arena. 

Sad thing is, Basketball could be huge up here in Eugene, especially with a new arena, a big name head coach (only helps recruiting), and Nike $$ to back it.  We couldn't even keep Kevin Love in state (can't blame the kid), and with the team we threw out there the last 2 seasons, it looks like recruiting has just plain dried up. 

Here's to Oregon not signing the first big name that is willing to come here, but finding that coach that can open a nice recruiting pipeline to Eugene so the new arena is as loud as the old one was.  Go Ducks!

Since: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: March 27, 2010 9:55 pm

Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

I'd hate to see Tubby leave MN, but if a school is willing to pay $3 million a year, what do you do???  He's a great coach, but let's be realistic.  I would be surprised if Tubby has interest in Oregon though.  He's already 3 years into rebuilding MN, why would he start over at Oregon?  3 years of rebuilding at Oregon will put him into his 60's.  If Tubby does leave, I think MN pursues Flip Saunders.  I'd prefer Tubby, but would be happy with Saunders.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 27, 2010 8:21 pm

Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

I doubt Oregon will pay big money for a basketball coach.  Football is still king in Eugene.  The odds of whoever they hire getting a bigger salary than Chip Kelley seem slight to me.
Your school just built a brand new arena that opens this winter, and you doubt Oregon will pay to win in basketball?

Please. Oregon will pay whatever it takes.

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: March 27, 2010 7:40 pm

Minnesota 'can't pay' Smith what Oregon could

Tom Penders? Houston fans wanted his neck---hes lucky he escaped the town. He's old and washed up and Houston did'nt even have a good season this year. If Albre Coleman had'nt carried Houston on his back through the conference USA tournament, Tom Penders would'nt have had to be pressured to resign, he would have been litterally thrown out the door. Tubby Smith was in the same postion at Minnesota this year. Their fans are mad that they were barely able to make the NCAA tournament and then took a very early leave. Kentucky fired Tubby Smith because he was old and washed up, and now Minnesota is going to let him go without a fight. If two OLD, WASHED UP coaches that were practically thrown out the doors of their old schools for sucking are on top of Oregons list, then I feel truly sorry for Oregon fans. If Oregon is looking for age then they should go after John Wooden, he's 96 years old and is ready to make another run!

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