Welcome back to another edition of Possession Arrow.
After 13 seasons, Thad Matta is out as Head Coach at The Ohio State University.
Matta joined the Buckeyes in 2004 after spending three seasons with the Xavier Musketeers. While at Ohio State, he finished with a record of 337 wins and 123 losses, including four Big Ten Tournament titles, and his Buckeye teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 16 (or later) five different times, including a Final Four appearance in 2011-12 season and losing the National Championship game to Billy Donovan and Florida during the 2006-07 season. Thad took a program that former coach Jim O'Brien (for lack of better words), ran into the ground with NCAA scandals and sanctions.
Matta left an incredible mark on the Buckeye program. But enough with the past, it's time to look to the future.
Following any changes we may experience in life, people will often ask themselves this question. "Where do we go from here?". In this issue, I will give you some potential names to watch as candidates for this opening, plus a couple of "dark-horse" candidates as well.
Chris Mack, University of Xavier
Chris Holtmann, University of Butler
Mick Cronin, University of Cincinnati
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State University
Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder (formally University of Florida)
This is a very dark horse candidate for the job. If Ohio State wants to shoot for the stars, this is the way to go. His body of work speaks for itself, leading Florida to multiple national championships. However, he is in a great situation with the Thunder and superstar Russell Westbrook. If Gene Smith wants to get Donovan back into the college game? He is going to need to write the blank check and let Donovan fill the amount in.
Tom Crean (formally Indiana University)
Don't forget about these guys either...
Shaka Smart, Texas
Chris Jent, Ohio State Assistant Coach
Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech
Jeff Boals, Stony Brook Head Coach (former long time Matta assistant)
Long shot candidates to consider
Sean Miller, Arizona Wildcats
Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics
Tony Bennett, University of Virginia
Bob Huggins, University of West Virginia
Fred Hoiberg, Chicago Bulls (former Iowa State head coach)
In the end, we can sit here and debate all day whether or not they should've made this move immediately after the season, when Indiana coach Archie Miller was right in their laps. All we can say now is if Gene Smith wants to resurrect the basketball program to what it was in the mid 2000s with Matta? He must and I mean MUST hit on this hire.