With it becoming increasingly likely that Tom Izzo takes the Cavaliers head coaching job, those at Michigan State must be wondering who can replace their legendary coach if he decides to leave. With that in mind, here are some potential candidates:
Montgomery has been an assistant coach under Izzo for the past nine seasons and was promoted to associate head coach before the 2007 season. He played at MSU, and has been in charge of the perimeter players during his time as coach, helping produce players like Kalin Lucas and Mateen Cleaves. His experience with the program, and comfort level with the players, makes him the early front-runner if Izzo does decide to leave.
Anderson was recruited heavily by Oregon to leave Missouri, but turned down the Ducks and their offer to stay in Columbia. While Missouri has more talent than Oregon, making it more desirable for Anderson to continue coaching there, Michigan State’s talent exceeds that of Mizzou. If MSU called, it may be hard for Anderson not to listen – especially with the tenous state of the Big 12 these days.
Drew has put Baylor on the basketball map these past few seasons, and done a remarkable job reviving that program. Drew led Baylor to the Elite Eight this past year, and despite the loss of star forward Ekpe Udoh to the Draft, Baylor is expected to be very good again this season. While it is unlikely that Drew will leave, similarly to Anderson with the uncertainty in the Big 12, this may be the time to jump ship.
Yes, Stevens just agreed to a 12-year deal with Butler, and I don’t think he will leave, but MSU would have to do its due diligence and at least call Stevens about the head coaching vacancy. Stevens led the biggest Cinderella story in years and his stock as a coach will never be higher than it is right now. Plus, offers from places like Michigan State don’t come along very often.
The New Mexico head coach has led the Mountain West squad to two straight titles, and is again a hot name in coaching circles. Alford is a Big 10 guy, having coached at Iowa and played for Indiana, so MSU shouldn’t faze him. However, saying that, Alford’s temper and sometimes erratic behavior don’t make him likely for this job, but his track record of success is impressive and MSU has surely noticed.
The head coach at Murray State has heard his name thrown around a little bit but never seriously. He has led the Racers to an improved record in every year on the job, including a 30-4 regular season. He is a defensive-minded coach who gets the most out of his players, and led Murray State to a first round upset of Vanderbilt and a two-point defeat against Butler in the second round.
What do you think? Who is Michigan State’s next head coach?
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