As the tip of February approaches and the NCAA Event turns into more and more shut, some coaches have put their applications in favorable positions whereas others have teetered towards the recent seat.

Which coaches have an opportunity to boost their profiles as we head into the ultimate couple weeks of the common season? 

And who might use a powerful end to take away slightly warmth from beneath their chairs?

Our faculty basketball writers Andy Katz, John Fanta and Michael Cohen study the scenario throughout faculty basketball and make their picks for which coaches are in a dicey place, that are trying sharp heading into March, and which may turn out to be high candidates within the subsequent hiring cycle.

Who’s a coach on the recent seat who wants a powerful end to the common season as a way to cool issues off? 

John Fanta: Brad Brownell, Clemson 

In 13 seasons on the helm, Brownell has totaled two NCAA Event victories. It seemed just like the 54-year-old was going to place discuss his job being at stake to mattress when Clemson began ACC play 7-0, however even at 19-8 the Tigers discover themselves on the skin trying in in the meanwhile. Why? A completely devastating trio of Quadrant 4 losses, the newest one coming this previous weekend in a 10-point defeat to bottom-feeder Louisville, which has simply 4 wins this season.

I’ve been informed that second-year athletic director Graham Neff is contemplating making a change if the Tigers do actually miss the NCAA Event for a ninth time in 11 seasons. With how comfortable the bubble is that this season, Clemson might nonetheless make a late push to be thought-about, however it will likely be tough. However by the identical token, a possible 23-win ACC staff — between work carried out within the the rest of the common season and the convention match — ought to be up for dialogue. 

That stated, right here’s the Tigers’ remaining schedule: 

  • Wednesday: Syracuse
  • Saturday: at NC State
  • Feb. 28: at Virginia
  • March 4: Notre Dame

Going 3-1 is doable and certain must occur forward of the NCAA Event, that means the Tigers might want to get a marquee highway win to attempt to negate a few of the current main blows to the résumé.

Andy Katz: Jim Boeheim, Syracuse

I don’t see it as my position to fireplace and rent coaches. However I’ll say this: I gained’t be stunned if we see a change at Syracuse. It ought to be famous that a few weeks in the past, Jim Boeheim stated he’ll “in all probability” be again subsequent season. He additionally stated: “I do know it is my selection. I can do no matter I would like. I simply do not know for positive.”

If he doesn’t retire this offseason, then it’s exhausting to see the Corridor of Fame coach persevering with the tenure past 2024. The Orange are going to overlook the NCAA Event until they win the ACC match. The timing appears proper to move the Orange on to Adrian Autry, who’s the most certainly successor on the employees. We’re in an period by which change is prone to proceed within the ACC in some unspecified time in the future within the close to future at Miami (Jim Larrañaga) and Florida State (Leonard Hamilton), as effectively. By the best way, essentially the most intriguing opening within the nation, not to mention the ACC, is at Notre Dame. That rent ought to create a domino impact.

Michael Cohen: Jerry Stackhouse, Vanderbilt 

It may appear slightly unusual to pick a coach whose staff has gained 5 consecutive video games to climb to 8-6 within the Southeastern Convention, which is nice sufficient for sixth place forward of Wednesday’s motion. However a miniature run within the final two weeks isn’t sufficient to shroud an underwhelming efficiency from Stackhouse since he arrived in Nashville in 2019. The Commodores are on the verge of lacking the NCAA Event for the fourth consecutive yr, whereas ending no higher than eleventh within the SEC throughout Stackhouse’s first three seasons. 

Of specific concern is the presence of a brand new athletic director, Candice Storey Lee, who had but to enter her present position when the Commodores plucked Stackhouse away from the Memphis Grizzlies, the place he was an assistant coach from 2018-19. The one who employed Stackhouse, former athletic director Malcolm Turner, resigned in 2020, lower than a yr after bringing the extremely touted basketball coach to Vanderbilt. It’s not unreasonable to assume Lee would possibly decide to wipe the slate clear and rent somebody of her selecting.

Stackhouse was amongst a wave of faculty basketball hires from the final decade that focused former gamers with sturdy careers within the NBA, an inventory that features the likes of Penny Hardaway at Memphis, Juwan Howard at Michigan, Patrick Ewing at Georgetown, Mo Williams at Jackson State, Rod Strickland at LIU, Aaron McKie at Temple and Damon Stoudamire at Pacific. However practically all of these coaches have underwhelmed at finest and flopped at worst. The Commodores want a number of extra wins if Stackhouse needs to stay round subsequent season. 

Who’s a coach who has his staff peaking at simply the correct time and is primed to make some noise in March?

John: Chris Collins, Northwestern

I added the exclamation level as a result of that is as massive of a shock as any in faculty basketball. The Wildcats had been picked second-to-last within the Large Ten preseason ballot. Pundits pegged it as a yr when Collins, who led this system to its solely NCAA Event look in program historical past in 2017, needed to reply from 5 consecutive dropping seasons since that Large Dance look and present vital strides of enchancment. 

And reply, they’ve. The Wildcats are effectively on their option to the NCAA Event whereas occupying second place within the convention with an 11-5 league document. Collins has a roster rooted in expertise, with main scorers Boo Buie and Chase Audige combining for 32 factors per recreation and actually taking possession of this staff from the beginning. Buie has made a number of performs in closing time for Northwestern alongside the best way, together with a game-winner towards Indiana final week to take over second place within the Large Ten. 

Audige is the person who units the tone defensively and is thought to be among the best within the convention on that finish of the ground. 

Successful 5 straight video games and getting it carried out with among the best defenses within the nation — No. 21 in KenPom, third in B1G in scoring protection at 61.9 PPG — the Wildcats are clicking on all cylinders as March looms. Greater than something, they’re enjoying with the very best trait you may have this time of yr: confidence.

Michael: Jim Larrañaga, Miami 

The coach finest identified for his magical run to the Closing 4 with George Mason in 2006 is now the architect of one of many higher, most constant applications throughout a downtrodden period within the Atlantic Coast Convention. The Hurricanes reached the NCAA Event simply twice within the 11 years following former head coach Leonard Hamilton’s departure in 2000, however Larrañaga has hauled them again into the nationwide highlight. He’s cobbled collectively eight 20-win seasons since taking the job in 2011 and can deliver Miami to the NCAA Event for the sixth time subsequent month on the heels of an Elite Eight look final yr.

After bringing again two of his top-four scorers from final season, Larrañaga enhanced his roster with two wonderful additions by means of the switch portal. Bruising ahead Norchad Omier (6-foot-7, 248 kilos) is averaging 13.9 factors and 9.8 rebounds per recreation after two standout years at Arkansas State, the place he poured in 17.9 PPG as a sophomore. And sharpshooting guard Nijel Pack (6-foot, 184 kilos) is averaging 13.5 PPG whereas hitting 41.8% of his 3-pointers on 158 makes an attempt to rank ninth within the nation amongst gamers from energy conferences. With Omier and Pack in tow, the Hurricanes now have 4 gamers scoring in double figures this season.

Larrañaga’s staff additionally seems to be getting scorching on the proper time with six consecutive wins forward of Tuesday’s journey to Virginia Tech. Miami has overwhelmed Clemson (highway), Duke (residence) and North Carolina (highway) throughout that stretch to climb to No. 31 in each KenPom and the NCAA NET rankings after checking in at No. 13 within the newest AP Prime 25 ballot. Remaining video games towards Virginia Tech, Florida State and Pittsburgh are all winnable getting into the ACC Event.  

Andy: Shaka Sensible, Marquette

At his earlier cease at Texas, Sensible’s last NCAA Event look got here to a shocking finish with a loss to Abilene Christian. Now in his second season at Marquette, his Golden Eagles are one of many season’s shock groups and have an opportunity to go on a deep run. This staff has a lead guard in Tyler Kolek, has scorers and finishers in Kam Jones and David Joplin, and has bigs Oso Ighordaro and Olivier Maxence-Prosper who can end across the basket.

This staff defends, and performs with function and keenness. Sensible can lead the Golden Eagles to the Candy 16 and proceed to point out that the Texas loss was extra of an aberration than the norm on his résumé. Sensible ought to be the Large East coach of the yr. And he’s acquired an important shot to steer the Golden Eagles to the Large East title. 

Who’s a coach who has an opportunity to make a giant impression forward of the following hiring cycle? 

Michael: Brian Dutcher, San Diego State

Any dialogue about what Dutcher has carried out over the past 5 years at San Diego State — 5 straight 20-win seasons, 4 journeys to the NCAA Event — has to start with the caliber of program he inherited from former colleague and mentor Steve Fisher, who retired following the 2017 season. Fisher gained a minimum of 20 video games in 11 consecutive seasons from 2006-16 and introduced the Aztecs to the NCAA Event seven instances throughout that span. He gained 34 video games in 2011 to earn Naismith School Coach of the 12 months honors and gained 31 video games in 2014. The cabinet was removed from naked when Dutcher, who labored as Fisher’s assistant for greater than 25 years at Michigan and San Diego State, took over. 

However Dutcher improved the Aztecs from 22 wins and 21 wins in his first two seasons, respectively, to 30 wins in his third yr when the NCAA Event was canceled through the pandemic. To date this season, Dutcher has guided San Diego State to an 18-5 document and a No. 22 rating within the nationwide polls. His staff is No. 17 in each KenPom and the NCAA NET rankings with an 8-5 document towards Quad 1 and Quad 2 opponents mixed. The Aztecs have misplaced simply twice since mid-December. 

What makes Dutcher an fascinating candidate for larger jobs is his ties to the Midwest. His father, Jim Dutcher, was the top coach at Japanese Michigan (1966-72) and Minnesota (1975-86) with a stint as an assistant at Michigan (1972-75) in between. Dutcher himself graduated from Minnesota and has expertise at each Illinois (graduate assistant from 1983-85) and Michigan (affiliate head coach from 1989-98). It is likely to be time for bigger colleges to offer him a glance. 

Andy: Rodney Terry, Texas

Terry is the interim coach at Texas. He ought to be the full-time coach. Terry took over when Chris Beard was fired after his arrest on assault costs towards his fiancée (costs have since been dismissed, however the police report was nonetheless damning and the conduct was greater than sufficient to warrant a dismissal).

I don’t perceive why Chris Del Conte hasn’t made this transfer but. Terry is a top-15 finalist for the Naismith Coach of the 12 months award. How can he not get the job? He stored collectively a staff that might have simply splintered. Texas was a 2-seed within the NCAA males’s basketball choice committee’s high 16 reveal Saturday. The Longhorns are tied with Kansas by means of Monday’s video games within the loss column within the Large 12. He has carried out an incredible job preserving Texas within the chase, and he’s carried out it with none drama. Terry has the respect of his gamers, employees and friends. He’s a former head coach and a former assistant at Texas. The Longhorns want some consistency. They don’t must waste time making an attempt to seize a headline identify they gained’t get. Simply finish the hypothesis and provides him the job. He has earned it.  

John: Dusty Might, Florida Atlantic 

No mid-major coach in faculty basketball has risen quicker this season than Might. 

At 24-3, the Owls have made nationwide headlines in a historic season down in Boca Raton. FAU cracked the AP Prime 25 for the primary time in class historical past in January, profitable 20 consecutive video games from Nov. 14 to Feb. 1. A former Indiana males’s basketball supervisor from 1996-2000 beneath Bob Knight, Might acquired his begin in Bloomington as a result of he mowed the garden for Hoosiers staff physician Larry Rink, who related him to the IU employees. 

Quick-forward to 2023, and the previous Florida assistant shocked the Gators in Gainesville to start out this system’s record-breaking streak. Florida coach Mike White’s brother, Brian, is the athletic director at FAU and had a great supply of advice when he was making the rent.

In his fifth yr at FAU, Might took over a program that solely had profitable seasons in its 25-year historical past and was on a streak of seven consecutive dropping campaigns. All of the 46-year-old has carried out is go 90-59 and shift the Owls, and a budding fanbase, from being an afterthought to dreaming of the varsity’s first NCAA Event look since 2002, and second all-time.

The fascinating issue with FAU is that it’s set as much as win a recreation, if not two, within the NCAA Event. With a NET rating of twenty-two, a mixed 5 Quad 1/2 wins and no main blemishes, FAU at the moment has a 10-seed in Mike DeCourcy’s newest projections. Positive, it will imply a second-round upset probably, however crazier issues have occurred. With some energy convention leftovers from the switch portal in addition to some in-state expertise, Might has constructed a roster with the correct mix, one that may be harmful offensively with a mean of 10 made 3s per recreation.  

He’s going to be on the radar for energy convention openings, particularly in a local weather the place turnover is speedy within the teaching ranks and somebody like Might, who’s made one thing from nothing, is placing up historical past. 

Andy Katz is a longtime faculty basketball author, analyst and host. He could be seen on the Large Ten Community, in addition to March Insanity and, and he hosts the podcast “March Insanity 365.” Katz labored at ESPN for practically 20 years and, previous to that, in newspapers for 9 years.

John Fanta is a nationwide faculty basketball broadcaster and author for FOX Sports activities. He covers the game in a wide range of capacities, from calling video games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Community to offering commentary on The Discipline of 68 Media Community. Observe him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

Michael Cohen covers faculty soccer and basketball for FOX Sports activities with an emphasis on the Large Ten. Observe him on Twitter @Michael_Cohen13.

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