Boston College Basketball Coaching Search: Pressure Mounts?

With the Marquette job opening up, are Boston College's chances of making a "splash hire" diminishing?

Look, I know that Boston College athletic director Brad Bates said that there's "no rush to make the hire" but I can't help but feel a bit uneasy at the prospects of a coaching search dragging out over a few more weeks. Consider that the ACC just got that much tougher with Virginia Tech's excellent hire in Marquette's Buzz Williams. The Hokies new AD Whit Babcock wrapped up the entire process within a week.

As I've been saying since the start of this process, the Boston College opening is a very attractive one; arguably one of the top three job openings this offseason. But for how long will BC be near the top of the job market as the coaching carousel continues to turn?

The Marquette job just opened up and Ben Howland has already expressed an interest in the opening. Then there's Wake Forest, which has reportedly zeroed in on either VCU's Shaka Smart or Howland. Smart has turned down multiple $2+ million dollar / year offers over the past few seasons and is supposedly waiting for one of the country's elite college basketball jobs to open up. But a coach's stock doesn't stay high forever. Could Smart's stock rightly or wrongly take a hit following Stephen F. Austin's VCU-ing of VCU in the NCAA Tournament? Might Wake Forest be able to pick off the highly-sought Rams head coach?

Bates needs to strike while the iron is still hot.

Most of the rumored candidates for the position are no longer coaching this season anyway. Ed Cooley (Providence), Derek Kellogg (UMass), Mike Lonergan (George Washington) and Steve Masiello (Manhattan) all had short-lived stays in this year's NCAA Tournament, while other guys like Pat Skerry (Towson) and Joe Jones (Boston University) are also done for the year. Ben Howland and Jim Calhoun are out of coaching entirely. Unless you are one of the 32 coaches left standing in the NCAA Tournament*, operators are standing by.

If Bates is simply waiting on Harvard's NCAA Tournament run to end to tab the media's clear favorite, Tommy Amaker, as the next Boston College head coach, that's fine. Amaker wouldn't be one of my top choices, but I could live with the hire. In other words, if BC's hiring floor is a coach with major conference experience as a player (Duke), assistant (Duke) and head coach (Seton Hall and Michigan) -- and one that's very successful at his current coaching stop (Harvard) -- that's hardly a bad position to be in.

Similarly, if Bates is looking to make an investment in the future by hiring a younger, energetic coach from a mid-major cut from the same cloth as many of the program's past head coaches -- a Mike Lonergan or a Steve Masiello -- I'm good with that too.

But if Bates wants to lock up a head coach that combines the best of both -- a "splash hire" that fits all the criteria the school is looking for in its next head coach -- there's a small window of opportunity to do so. But unless that coach is one of the 32 head coaches listed below, the window of opportunity to hire that "splash hire" won't last for much longer.

If the football coaching search is any indication, Bates won't bend to the pressure and won't rush any decision. However, I hope that by now the AD has made up his mind on what he wants out of the next Boston College men's basketball head coach. The supply of head coaches that fits that last bucket -- "splash hire" / great fit -- is a very small one and one that BC will face increasing competition as this process drags on.

* Steve Alford (UCLA), Dana Altman (Oregon), Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Rick Barnes (Texas), John Beilein (Michigan), Tony Bennett (Virginia), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Jim Crews (Saint Louis), Johnny Dawkins (Stanford), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Billy Donovan (Florida), Scott Drew (Baylor), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), Bob Hoffman (Mercer), Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Danny Kaspar (Stephen F. Austin), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Cuonzo Martin (Tennessee), Greg McDermott (Creighton), Archie Miller (Dayton), Sean Miller (Arizona), Kevin Ollie (Connecticut), Josh Pastner (Memphis), Saul Phillips (North Dakota State), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), Bill Self (Kansas), Roy Williams (North Carolina), Jay Wright (Villanova)

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