Thursday, March 13, 2014

KU basketball coaching tree flourishing


It has been a banner year for college basketball coaches with strong ties to Kansas University, none more so than former Jayhawk great and assistant coach Danny Manning.

Manning, Tulsa’s second-year coach, was voted Conference USA’s Gene Bartow Coach of the Year on Wednesday.

Manning became the school’s first basketball coach to earn conference coach of the year honors since Bill Self (1999-2000), Manning’s boss at Kansas for nine years, the Tulsa World reported.

Manning’s young squad — six of the top seven scorers are sophomores — grew up in a hurry under him. The Hurricane started this season 1-6 and take an eight-game winning streak into today’s Conference USA tournament game vs. Tulane. Manning’s team is 18-12 and won a share of the conference regular-season title. Former KU guards Brett Ballard and Steve Woodberry are on Manning’s staff.

“Our team had a good year in conference,” Manning told the Tulsa World. “That’s the reason I was selected for the award — the energy and determination of our team. This is a team award, for our players and our staff.”

Former Jayhawk guard Rex Walters earned coach of the year honors in the West Coast Conference after guiding his University of San Francisco Dons to a tie for second in conference with a 13-5 record. Walters’ season has not come without controversy. All-WCC guard Cody Doolin, who had started 103 consecutive games for USF, quit the team early in the season after a fight, reportedly in practice, with a teammate. The San Jose Mercury News reported that 21 players have left the Dons with remaining eligibility since Walters was hired in April 2008. Walters coached USF to its first 20-victory regular season since 1981-82.

Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson, former assistant to Self at Oral Roberts and Kansas, finished second to Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall in Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year voting. Hinson’s Salukis finished in a tie for fourth with a 9-9 league record after being picked for eighth. The Salukis finished last a year ago, Hinson’s first at the school.

Former KU head coach Larry Brown is in his second season leading SMU, which has rocketed to national relevance this year. Brown coached the Mustangs to a No. 18 ranking and a 23-7 record, and a likely NCAA tournament appearance would be the school’s first since 1993. Former KU assistant Tim Jankovich is an assistant under Brown at SMU.

Colorado, coached by ex-Jayhawk Tad Boyle, firmed up its chances of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament with a three-point victory vs. USC in the Pac-12 tourney. Boyle's Buffaloes scored a more significant three-point victory at home in December against KU. The Buffaloes (22-10) have rebounded well from the midseason loss of their leading scorer, Spencer Dinwiddie, out for the season with a torn ACL.

Second-year UAB coach Jerod Haase had a 7-9 record in Conference USA play and took an overall record of 18-12 into Wednesday’s conference tournament loss vs. Charlotte. Haase gained national attention when he earned a 63-59 victory against his college coach, Roy Williams of North Carolina, in Birmingham on Dec. 1. Working for Williams at 15th-ranked North Carolina are Steve Robinson, his assistant at KU, former KU guard C.B. McGrath, and Brad Frederick, son of the late Bob Frederick, who hired Williams at Kansas. Brad Frederick is in his first season at North Carolina. He had been an assistant at Vanderbilt, which is 15-16 under Kevin Stallings, Williams’ ex-assistant at KU.

In his first season as head coach at Florida Gulf Coast, Joe Dooley, an assistant to Self at KU for 10 seasons, coached his team to a share of the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season title. The Eagles’ chance at a second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance died when they lost to Mercer in the conference tourney title game.

Former Jayhawk guard Mark Turgeon will lead the 17-14 Maryland Terrapins in their ACC tournament opener today against Florida State.

And it was announced last December that former KU sharp-shooter Jeff Boschee would be promoted to interim head coach at Missouri Southern on July 1, when 25th-year head coach Robert Corn retires. Boschee has been on Corn’s staff for four years, the past year as associate head coach. Nick Bradford, a teammate of Boschee’s at Kansas, is in his first year as an assistant at Missouri Southern, which competes in the Div. II MIAA.


Jim Erickson 7 years, 8 months ago

Great article! Unbelievable to think what has become "normal" to Jayhawk Nation. We are living through an era of 10 consecutive Big 12 titles which is a number higher than the number of home court losses over the past 12 years. Coaches leave our program and ignite others. We are watching the nations high school player of the year (Wiggens) and are waiting for the next one (Alexander) to come to the program. Some draft sites debate which KU Jayhawk will be the number one pick in the draft. The list could go on...

This type of success probably won't stick around forever, but the foreseeable future looks pretty dang good!

Jim Erickson 7 years, 8 months ago

Also, to be realistic, at some point in the next 40 years Bill Self will leave the program, possibly to become President... Could the next head coach be a KU alum? Jacque Vaughn, Mark Turgeon, Danny Manning, C.B. McGrath, Jeff Boshee, Jarrod Haase, Rex Walters, Tad Boyle... I'm likely missing others, but there are some definite names to say the least.

Some of those guys may be several years away from being qualified but others maybe ready sooner.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 8 months ago

If Turg is even considered for this job, I'll get sick. Because an era of above average existence would be on the horizon. I appreciate him as a player, but I find him to be incredibly arrogant and just a so so coach. He definitely can coach defense and his teams are incredibly tough, but he can't recruit on an elite level and his teams always struggle to score.
When Bill Self leaves, I want someone from his inner circle. Whether they are an alum or not. I want someone who was working side by side with him on a daily basis, who knows, first hand, what it takes to be elite at an elite program.
I also pray we would never sell our souls to bring in the next Calipari. Even if we were to experience similiar success. We see where that coaching philosophy leads eventually.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 8 months ago

Don't you all think that it's a slamdunk that after Bill leaves in about five years, Danny Manning will be his successor? Do you think it was a coincidence that Danny's first coaching gig was one of Bill's coaching alma maters?

Danny will have had over almost two decades of assistant and head coaching experience, just his name association to KU will be of value and his cache of NBA experience, National Champion MVP and "Big Man Coaching Magician" makes him the ideal successor to HCBS!!!

Waylon Cook 7 years, 8 months ago

I love Danny like no other but we need to see how he performs in the AAC next year.

Andrew Horigan 7 years, 8 months ago

I think along with Danny, Jacque Vaughn would also be a great hire. I'm hoping Orlando can turn things around next season, from what I've heard, even though their record isn't great, the fans and management love him, and he really connects with the younger players. But if Danny can turn his Tulsa team into an NCAA tourney team, I have no doubt he can continue KU's dominance after Self.

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