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Expansion & Basketball - What We'd Do

Is ACC expansion really five years old?  Time does fly.  There are a number of interesting points in this article from the Washington Post, but the point about basketball - "The Big East...has strengthened its standing as a big-time football conference and fortified the depth of its basketball programs to an extent the ACC has yet to realize" - is worth looking at.

If there is a problem for ACC basketball currently, it's that outside of 15-501, the coaching, generally speaking, stinks.

We'll give Oliver Purnell credit - he's building a very solid program at Clemson, a place where basketball has traditionally struggled.  The expansion schools are all doing better than we expected:  Seth Greenberg is doing a solid job at Virginia Tech; Al Skinner is a guy who knows how to build at B.C., and Frank Haith appears to be doing a great job at Miami, although it should be said that his program, while improving, is still fragile.

Beyond that?  Gary Williams is slipping, Dave Leitao hasn't made a particular impression at Virginia, other than as a guy who is somewhat rigid and occasionally pulls a Bob Knight sideline impression, Sidney Lowe has had one good year and one disastrous one, Dino Gaudio is a guy who has an opportunity but who would probably have been a lifetime assistant had Skip Prosser not tragically died, Paul Hewitt has one Final Four trip to show for his time in Atlanta but nothing else, and this season is basically do or die for Leonard Hamilton at FSU.

If we were in charge, we'd can the following guys and start over:  Williams, Hewitt, and Hamilton.  We'd tell Leitao and Lowe they were on notice.  Then we'd send someone out to talk to potential replacements.  Coaching is where it all starts, and the ACC needs to have strong programs in the Atlanta and D.C./Baltimore markets.  We're not saying these are the guys we'd hire, but try to imagine the ACC if Billy Donovan was in Atlanta and John Calipari was in College Park.  That would be four top 10 teams on a regular basis, and the other conference members trying to keep up.