Here are a six quick thoughts on basketball coaches:
— My favorite coach on the University of Dayton staff the past several years has been Billy Schmidt. The Flyers associate head coach is a hard worker, he’s good at what he does and, best of all, he’s just flat out a good man.
— Anthony Grant has his fingerprints all over this post-season. The Alabama coach — and former Dayton Flyers player and team captain — has his Crimson Tide in the NIT title game tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Before coming to Tuscaloosa two years ago, he was the head coach of VCU, which is everyone’s Cinderella story this year and meets Butler in one of Saturday’s Final Four games in Houston. Grant coached several of the players on that team and recruited even more of them, including the seniors Joey Rodriguez, Jamie Skeen, Brandon Rozzell and junior Bradford Burgess.
By the way, Grant’s top assistant at Alabama is Dan Hipsher, the former Dayton Flyers assistant coach on Don Donoher’s staff.
— I doubt any college coach in the history of the game has sky-rocketed his reputation and his marketability more than VCU’s Shaka Smart has in the past 16 days. The former UD assistant has taken his much-maligned VCU team and guided it past five straight power conference teams: USC (Pac-10), Georgetown (Big East), Purdue (Big Ten), Florida State (ACC) and Kansas (Big 12).
He’s made several well-noted, astute coaching moves along the way and his team has dispatched of the five by an average winning margin of 12 points.
By the way one of his assistants is Kyle Getter, the former Miamisburg High basketball standout who was previously on the UD and Wright State staffs.
— When he was at Wright State, Brad Brownell could never get a game against UD’s Brian Gregory. Now that he’s at Clemson and Gregory’s at Georgia Tech, their ACC schedule will put them going against each other once or twice every regular season.
— This season, WSU’s Billy Donlon was able to do what his better-known coaching counterparts — Florida’s Billy Donovan, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan, Pitt’s Jamie Dixon and old Dominion’s Blaine Taylor — could not in the NCAA Tournament. He beat Butler.
— One of my Columbus friends tells me Ohio State is making a big push to help OSU assistant coach Jeff Boals land the vacant UD coaching job.
Boals, from Magnolia, Ohio, played at Ohio University, then served as some form of assistant at OU, University of Charleston (a Division II school in West Virginia), Robert Morris and Akron, where he made a splash as a recruiter.Tweet