Having covered the initial three names floating around, we now move on to the "Seems like he would probably be a candidate" candidates...
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State Head Coach
Career Record: 274-138 (80-55 at Wichita State, 194-83 at Winthrop). Last two years at WSU: 52-18.
Accomplishments: Built an outstanding program at WInthrop, which culminated a defeat of Notre Dame and advancement to the NCAA Tournament's Round of 32 in 2007. Went 79-19 in his final three seasons there. Took a couple of years to get rolling at Wichita State (18-37 from 2007-09) but now has the Shockers looking good. They almost snagged an at-large tournament bid this year, instead settling for the NIT, where they romped over Nebraska and find themselves in the Final Four.
Before He Was a Head Coach: After brief stints as a lowly assistant at Randoph-Macon (his alma mater) and Belmont Abbey, Marshall served eight seasons (1988-96) during John Kresse's stellar tenure at College of Charleston, snagging the Winthrop job in 1988.
Ties to the Midwest: He coaches in Wichita. That's about it. Before leading the Shockers, most of his career centered in the southeast. (Does this make him a reasonably viable N.C. State candidate?)
Ties to Missouri: Well ... with Winthrop, he beat Mizzou, 51-46, at Hearnes in late-1998. Does that count?
Does He See Mizzou As a Destination Job? Obviously it's good that his alma mater is a small school; that's one bullet dodged. He might be the type to want to head back toward the south one day, though. Above everything else, however, he's a loyal guy -- he was successful at Winthrop for ten years (presumably seeing advances from other schools along the way), and he doesn't necessarily seem in a hurry to leave WSU. If he does end up here, he will likely view is as a long-haul decision.
Can He Recruit? Good question. In four seasons, he's secured commitments from four players -- seven were unrated by Rivals.com (including both last year and all four this year), three were two-star guys, and four were theree-star guys. Like Scott Sutton, he is establishing solid recruiting ties to Kansas City, for whatever that's worth, but while he can clearly polish a diamond in the rough as well as anybody, he would certainly find it difficult if he only found diamonds in the rough. His biggest question mark is the same as Sutton's, but there's no questioning his ability to maximize the talent on hand.
This Year's Recruits (i.e. Players Who Might or Might Not Come With Him): PG Evan Wessel (NR, 6'4, 190, Wichita -- committed, not yet signed), SG Tekele Cotton (NR, 6'1, 165, Mableton, GA -- committed, not yet signed), SF Jake White (NR, 6'7, Chaska, MN -- committed, not yet signed), C Carl Hall (NR, 6'8, 215, Niceville, FL -- signed), SG Arlon Harper (NR, 6'2, 170, College Park, GA -- interest from WSU, Charleston, Winthrop), SF C.J. Blackwell (***, 6'5, 225, Woodland Hills, CA -- interest from WSU, Auburn, Florida State, Wisconsin).
Wichita State's Ken Pomeroy Stats
Ken Pom Rankings
|WSU Offense||WSU Defense|
|Off. Reb. %||78.3
Statistical Tendencies: Like Brian Gregory, Marshall would represent as clean a stylistic break from the Fastest 40 Minutes as possible. His teams play slow and struggle occasionally with ball control, but holy moly do they rebound the heck out of the ball, especially on defense. Placing an offense in the Top 90 in both offense and defense in the Missouri Valley is a solid accomplishment, and I think it would translate to Top 50 in both at Mizzou. It would just be a little bit of style shock for a while ... especially watching Mike Anderson recruits in this system.
Would He Come Here? I think so. But if Mizzou and, say, N.C. State (to choose a random southern team) were to both go after him and offer basically the same money? Can't say he wouldn't choose the southern team. Unless he's really fallen for KC barbecue already, anyway...
Thoughts: I like Gregg Marshall quite a bit. Really, he's Scott Sutton with more proven upside and program-building ability. But if we're looking for someone with midwestern ties ... he doesn't have them. To some, that's important; to others, not so much. What absolutely does matter, though, is recruiting, and we won't know he can (or can't) do it at this level until he proves it one way or the other. He's my favorite of the mid-majors so far, but ... none of them have the combination of Marshall's coaching and Gregory's recruiting just yet...