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Our Bet On The Next Man In Vegas

In Las Vegas, as you know by now, Bill
Bayno has been booted but good,
and Vegas has received
a four year probation
. A few facts:

  • the booster in question, a Las Vegas dentist named David Chapman, is a
    personal friend of Bayno's.
  • Chapman admits giving Odom the money but says he only did it after Odom
    decided against Vegas (which leads to the obvious question: why?)
  • Chapman says that Odom lied about the dates he received money so he could
    play at Rhode Island.

So whatever happened, whether it was overreaction or a chance for the
University to dump
an unpopular coach,
he's gone, leading to the (next) obvious question, again: what
next?  Max Good, formerly the head man at Maine Central Institute, and so a
guy you'd assume is well connected in recruiting circles,  is taking over,
but he's 59, and while he coached at Eastern Kentucky, it says a lot about his
college career that his high school career was more well known. How many of you
knew he coached in college previously? We didn't.

Anyway, our guess is that the Rebels need an established coach, a relative
straight arrow, and someone who cared about academics would be nice, but someone
who has built (or rebuilt)  a great program would be better.  We can
think of two guys like that who are unemployed right now. One adores the city
and had talked before of coaching there.  The other loves the West for the
hunting and fishing opportunities.  Both have won national titles and are
above reproach when it comes to NCAA regulations. And who are they?

The envelope please...John Thompson, formerly of Georgetown, and Bob Knight
of Hoosier fame.

Thompson is bound to be getting bored doing radio.  He's a lifer and
he's out. That can't be easy.

Knight's purist brand of hoops and his, shall we say, rigid sense of
propriety, might not go over well in Vegas. Then again, they just might. 
Considering what's happened there before, if the worst Knight did was what
happened at IU, that might be attractive to Las Vegas, but Knight might see
himself as the piano player in a whorehouse.  Vegas would, however, cover
their cheating butt, which come to think of it is pretty much what the piano
player does anyway.  Never mind.

Now it occurs to us that there's one other guy who might fit in well here, a
guy who has also won big, who clearly enjoys adulation. And while Vegas
culturally might not take to the blunt, square personalities of Thompson and
Knight, they might take to a splashy, dapper guy who knows how to shoot the
cuffs if he needs to.  A guy who would love the indoor fireworks and who
would absolutely relish the chance to be in such a big spotlight. A guy who
could recruit like hell and make Vegas a marquee program again. A guy who could
make the fans forget about Tark - and Massimino and Bayno.  A guy whose
current job can't be satisfying his very healthy ego. Getting warm yet?

Ok, here you go. While Knight would be an odd fit and struggle to recruit,
Thompson could recruit and would relish the nightlife.  Plus he's single
now, too, and our guess is Vegas is a great town in which to be single. 
But he's abrasive and doesn't let anyone kiss his ass.

No, what UNLV, and Las Vegas itself crave is cheesy royalty.  Elvis.
Sammy Davis, Jr. 

Rick Pitino fits this job like a glove.  He could clean up in California
recruiting, challenge Arizona regionally, and strut on stage like a peacock.
He'd be the biggest hit in Las Vegas since Elvis. After his flop (so far) in
Boston, he could sweep into Vegas like the Allies into Paris.