This article is never fun, but it is a reality in the business. If Jim Boeheim can be shown the door at a place he’s been on campus since the early 1960’s anyone can. These are the higher-profile coaches I most worry about for the coming 2023-2024 season.
You just can’t go 4-28 with a NET ranking in the 300’s at a place with top 5 resources like Louisville. Much of it in our opinion was traceable to Mr. Payne as well. You can’t go into a season with one ball handler and almost zero guards. That’s the team he built and that was even upset by a Lenoir-Rhyne in an exhibition who didn’t even have their best player and wasn’t even a goot D2 team. I believe the damage is already done from this season. Baring a trip to the Final Four within the next year or two I can’t see how faith is restored. I believe the far more likely outcome is Louisville is looking for a new coach after Louisville wins about 10 or 11 games this season.
Florida State was 9-23 last season coming off 17-14 two years ago. It feels like FSU is giving Leonard Hamilton the runway to have a respectable season and retire on a better note. If he continues to as he has the last two years they may make the decision for him as they once did for Bobby Bowden.
Davis once led a team with the best players being NBA journeyman Jared Jefferies and Tom Cloverdale to the National Title game. That included beating the defending star-studded National Champ Duke team that returned everyone that mattered. This year he will probably be struggling to keep his 4 job. It’s a bit surprising that Detroit didn’t move on this off-season considering his son graduated, and the break would have been clean. Perhaps not having to feed his son 22 shots a game might help the situation even though he was efficient. Having more of a team concept could help.
Stanford has a talented roster and with it will likely come more expectations. Complicating the situation is Stanford alum Mark Madsen taking the job in the bay at Cal. That will put even more pressure on Haase to produce.
ODU won 19 games last season, but their basketball situation has really taking a dive since leaving the CAA. Even last years 19-12 was only good for #153 in the NET rankings. This is more of a cumulative mediocrity compiling. I don’t think these 150+ ranked finishes are acceptable for a fanbase that really supports their program well, usually one of the best mid major attendance. Even the attendance has now dropped though which is the canary in the coal mine.
Ellis will be 78 years old in December. He has 906 wins as a college coach, and 830 D1 which is good for 11th all time. He also has by far more losses though. He’s been at Coastal Carolina a long time now and they have tolerated losing seasons before, but it’s probably time. We expected more last year and I think overall Ellis has done a pretty good job in the portal the last few years. He’s adapting to the changing times quite well, better than many of the older coaches who seem to resist it like Jim Boehiem did. They have some nice talent and if he doesn’t have any progress this season then he may be on the shag circuit in Myrtle Beach singing his hits.
Hopkins is now in his 7th season, and Washington hasn’t won more than 17 games in the last 4 years. The only winning season was a 17-15 season, and they also had a 5-21 year. This has to be the make or break season.
Tinkle had the Beavers in the Elite 8 in 2021. It was an unexpected run as a 12 seed but has only won 14 games in the 2 seasons since. That’s kind of how it goes for him as they only won 5 games the season after their previous NCAA appearance. Does that Elite 8 get him a lifetime contract, I’m not sure. Going 3-28 the season after and 11-21 (5-15) last season I have to think makes this an important season. This is a tough job, but they still need the good seasons on occasion too.
Many of these coaches had been on the hot seat and have turned in a season strong enough to get them off. For some like Brownell it just seems over time that it builds up and these schools and fans may consider moving on if there is any slippage at all.
For others like John Calipari even getting to the NCAA maybe viewed as a failure with such high expectations. If Kentucky fails to make the NCAA tournament or makes it as an 8 to 12 seed, you may see Calipari look for an off-ramp. There were rumblings last off-season that he may have been interested in the Texas job.
The job that seems logical to open is if Louisville moves on from Payne maybe Calipari would jump ship to Louisville and get a fresh start. It would be the ultimate stick it to you move for a coach that has been hearing whispers for a while. Be careful what you wish for Kentucky, you aren’t that far removed from Billy Clyde. For Louisville cleaning up the mess would add to the legacy.