With the Michigan job suddenly and unexpectedly open, who are the immediate candidates?
The Detroit News has a list up that’s probably reasonable at least as a starting point.
Best case scenario: Billy Donovan jumps before OKC pushes.
Not happening option: Jay Wright. Why would he?
Highly unlikely options: Brad Stevens and Chris Beard.
Probably too risky: Juwann Howard. It would be intriguing but he has no head coaching experience and no coaching experience in college whatsoever.
Possibly might work out better than expected: LaVall Jordan of Butler, and Beilein assistants Luke Yaklich and Saddi Washington.
Not happening but everyone has to mention it anyway: Rick Pitino.
It’s the first time in a while we haven’t seen a list with a Duke guy on it. It wouldn’t surprise us to see Mike Brey pop up but we suspect he’s pretty happy at Notre Dame. We can’t imagine that Tommy Amaker would come up, since he’s already been there, but we could see Johnny Dawkins getting a call.
He would never consider it if his son Aubrey, who started at Michigan, hadn’t declared for the NBA Draft. Leaving your son for the school he left would be...well strange. Who could understand that dynamic?
But without him on the team would Dawkins consider it? He might. And he’d be great.
It might be worth it to check in on Thad Matta. If he’s healthy enough to coach you really couldn’t go wrong with him.
This time of year it would also be smart to see who the most highly regarded assistants are. They have to get a break sometime and most assistants would jump at the chance. And every coach in the world other than Beileien has spent time as an assistant.
It would be a major jump and therefore a major risk, but in our opinion, anyone who is hiring should at least talk to Duke assistant Jon Scheyer. In Michigan’s case, he’s a Midwesterner and he’s an absolute winner. He’s young and there are no guarantees, but he’s smart as hell and people expect him to be legitimately great one day. Whoever hires him has a chance of looking as smart as Tom Butters did a few years after he hired Coach K at Duke in 1980.
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