Friday, March 28, 2014


Column: Familiar name would be nice fit for coaching vacancy


No officials from Marquette University, my alma mater, have asked for my opinion since basketball coach Buzz Williams left for the browner pastures of Virginia Tech. And really, why should they? Don’t forget, they have access to my transcript.

Then again, I’ve never been one to wait to be asked for my opinion, so I’ll offer it here.

I’ve grown weary of relentless self-promoters, so insecure as to need to be reminded constantly of their greatness. I also have had it up to here with guys who for so long have had their backsides kissed that they start to believe what’s best for the coach should be best for everyone within a million miles in every direction.

I’m in the mood for a man with such a deep knowledge of and feel for the game of basketball that he carries no insecurities, a coach who sees plays developing sooner than everyone else in the building, a basketball mind so brilliant he sees no need to stroke the egos of others so that they in turn talk him up as a coaching superstar, rising star, future star, take your pick.

I want a guy who can walk into a living room with a confident presence, stare everyone he talks to in the eye and communicate directly.

I’m in the mood for a coach who is so sure of what he’s looking at during a game that he maintains his composure through tough moments and forever has his mind looking forward to the next play.

If that guy just so happens to be one of the greatest college basketball players ever, well, that doesn’t hurt either.

When you read a sentence that doesn’t fit Danny Manning, just stop me. Of this much I am confident: You haven’t read one yet.

Manning’s Tulsa team finished in a four-way tie for first place in Conference USA and won the conference tourney to earn the school’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 2003. Six of the team’s seven leading scorers were sophomores. That’s impressive.

Williams was among the nation’s 10 highest-paid college basketball coaches this past season. Marquette’s basketball budget reportedly ranks second only to Duke. Chicago and Milwaukee are nearby fertile recruiting grounds and the school shares an arena that’s a short walk from campus with the Milwaukee Bucks. Given all those resources, Manning could thrive.

As long as deputy athletic director Mike Broeker has a heavy hand in the decision, I’m confident Marquette will land an excellent basketball coach and a good fit.

From my viewpoint, Manning would be both for the Jesuit university that in 1981 granted me a sympathy degree, for which I am eternally grateful.


Mark Lindrud 4 years ago

I don't think Danny is ready to move yet. He seems the type that wants to build where he's at, but Marquette would be a great fit though.

Joe Ross 4 years ago

Re-Headlining of this article: "For the Sake of Marquette Fans, Manning should Coach at KU". (I think I read an article the other day that sounded something like "For Our Sakes, Embiid should stay at KU.")


Joe Ross 4 years ago

*Manning should Coach at Marquette.

Robert Brown 4 years ago

Is Marquette really that much of a better job than Tulsa? I get the fertile recruiting ground, but both programs are going through a change due to Connference Realignment. It is not clear which program will be in a better position. The Big East is not the power conference, it once was while Tulsa moves up to the AAC which isn't a bad conference. Cincinnati, UCONN, SMU, Temple are strong or historically strong programs. While the Big East still has powers Villanova and Georgetown, the conference is populated with small private universities that do not have much of a national profile. Creighton will take a step back and DePaul and St. John's have struggled to recapture their glory years.

Joe Joseph 4 years ago

Marquette definitely is a step up from Tulsa. However, returning so many players will give Tulsa a chance to be pretty good the next two years. If Tulsa continues to win, Manning could have even more options if/when he decides to make a progressive coaching move.

Mark Lindrud 4 years ago

Big step up Robert, but a few more years at Tulsa could get him a bigger job. It would be fun to watch Danny build Tulsa up since I was born and raised there.

Aaron Paisley 4 years ago

If Tulsa was staying in C-USA, then Marquette would be a big step up, but with Tulsa moving to the American Conference it may not be a step up competition wise even with Louisville leaving for the ACC. Marquette does have more history and tradition than Tulsa, but Danny's not a candidate for the Marquette job, my money is on Ben Howland at this point.

Robert Brown 4 years ago

My point is that Marquette is also no longer playing Louisville or Memphis or Cincinnati on a regular basis and the Big East could possibly be relegated to the level of the A-10. The AAC is step up for Tulsa. I think it is at least on par with the Big East. The AAC has Memphis, UCONN, Cincinnati, and Temple which are all traditional powers

Aaron Paisley 4 years ago

The AAC is losing Louisville and Rutgers and adding East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa. Louisville is the only team in the league currently that is a consistent Final Four caliber team. UConn with Kevin Ollie cannot claim that status anymore because Kevin Ollie is not Jim Calhoun and he needs to reestablish UConn as a threat first.

As of right now, pending who Marquette hires, each league will only have one HC a piece (Larry Brown at SMU and JT3 at Georgetown) entering next season that have led a program to a Final Four as a head coach.

The AAC is taking a big hit in the quality of its basketball next season and will be left with 3 teams that are tournament regulars out 11 teams compared to 4 or 5 teams in the Big East that tournament regulars.

Robert Brown 4 years ago

AAC still has Memphis, Temple, Cincinnati and UCONN, the later in the Sweet 16. The Big East jhas Georgetown, Villanova and probably Marquette as the premiere programs. Creighton won the league, but they are an ex-MVC team who loses its superstar next year. To me that is close to parity between the two leagues.

Robert Brock 4 years ago

Danny needs to stay at Tulsa and build that program up to speed before taking the next step.

Tony Bandle 4 years ago


Self----initially to KU-----to Tulsa-----eventually back to KU.

Manning-----initially to KU------to Tulsa-----eventually back to KU.

It's in the stars. Just as Illinois was a nice intermediate stop for Bill, Marquette would be a nice intermediate stop for about three years.

Danny spends three more years at Tulsa, three/four years at Marquette till 2021, that gives Bill seven more years at KU for a 18 year career at 58...seems about right!!

Robert Brown 4 years ago

Danny Manning in only four years younger than Bill Self. And you are taking a huge leap of faith that Manning will be uber-successful. Unless Bill Self leaves in less than five years, it probably doesn't make sense for Manning to replace Self.

I hope we don't set a criteria that future coaches need to have some KU roots. That is completely unnecessary.

Robert Brown 4 years ago

Neither of these coaches had a strong tie to KU. Self spent a year here as a grad assistant.

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