Thursday, April 2, 2015

Gregg Marshall Passes on Alabama; Steve Prohm Could Be in the Mix

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall checked out Alabama but has decided to stay put with the Shockers.

Marshall will sign a new seven-year deal with the Shockers worth $3.3 million per season, CBS Sports reported.

Tide athletic director Bill Battle confirmed the Marshall news in a statement:

"I received word tonight that coach Gregg Marshall has chosen to remain the head basketball coach at Wichita State. I fully respect his decision and wish him and his family all the best. My objective in this search is focused on one goal: to get the best person available to lead the Alabama men's basketball program. I remain determined to bring to our program a proven head coach with impressive credentials, one who understands and values our program, wants to lead our program, and is excited about what can be accomplished at the University of Alabama."

Now, Alabama will look at other candidates and the list could include Richard Pitino and Steve Prohm.

Here's what says about Prohm and Pitino as potential candidates:

Richard Pitino, Minnesota

Three years into his head coaching career, the son of Rick Pitino has been contacted by Alabama about the position, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. He has a 61-42 overall record after two years at Minnesota and the 2012-13 season at FIU. He led a depleted Golden Panther program to an 18-14 record and within two points of an NCAA Tournament appearance. That led to the opportunity with the Big Ten program.

Pitino, 32, led the Gophers to a NIT championship in Year 1, but the team struggled last season. An 18-15 record included a 10th-place finish in the Big Ten, and a 3-6 mark in the last month of the season.

Why he'd fit: Pitino is young, but has the fire and energy of his father. He's well connected in the coaching business and has the charisma to bring enthusiasm back to the Alabama program.

Why he wouldn't fit: Well, he's young. Pitino has yet to coach a team to the NCAA Tournament.

Steve Prohm, Murray State

His name was on the early list of up-and-comers connected to the Alabama job for a few obvious reasons. First, he's an Alabama graduate. Second, he was once a student assistant and student manager. Prohm knows Alabama.

He also knows a little about winning. In four seasons under Prohm, the Racers are 104-29 and he's twice been named Ohio Valley Conference coach of the year. Murray State went 31-2 in 2011-12 with a 4-point loss to Tennessee Tech on Feb. 9 as the only regular-season blemish. The Racers rose as high as No. 9 in the AP poll. As a No. 6 seed, Murray State won the program's third NCAA Tournament game in the opening round before falling to Marquette in the Round of 32.

A last-second 3-pointer from Belmont stunned Murray State in the OVC championship game this March.

The catch? Prohm just agreed to a new contract at Murray State. The salary of $500,000 could is nearly a quarter of what Anthony Grant was paid last season.

Why he'd fit: He also has that fire. Watching Prohm coach, it's obvious he loves what he does and brings real energy to it. And he's won a tournament game.

Why he wouldn't fit: Prohm has yet to coach in a Power-5 conference, even as an assistant. Before taking the Murray State job in 2011, he was an assistant at Centenary, Southeastern Louisiana and Tulane.

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Anonymous said...

Prohm should be their choice now, but the question is, will he take the job? On the service he obviously should. Alabama is his alma mater and he would likely triple or quadruple his salary, plus not making the NCAA tournament after going undefeated in the OVC and losing the OVC title game on a last second 3 pointer has to sting. He knows that the OVC is a 1 bid league 95% of the time, while the SEC is almost always a 4-6 bid league. But he did just sign an extension at Murray and he is married to a girl that is from Murray. if he doesn't go now, he may never leave, ala Rick Byrd of Belmont and McKillop at Davidson.

Anonymous said...

Prohm would be a tremendous hire given the state of the program. He also knows how to win at a place like Alabama. He also can take lesser talent and coach them up...he has proven that. If they don't try to hire him they are nuts. They need someone willing to build a program because that is essentially what is needed after AG. Pitino is getting play in this due to his dad and CM Newton. I sincerely hope they don't make that mistake.

Anonymous said...

I love Prohm, and he is a winner, but how does he know how to win at a place like Bama when Murray is the only place he has been a HC? Also, when is Murray ever the lesser talented program when they play another OVC school? They recruit very well for a school from a mid/low major conference. Canaan is doing well in the NBA, and Cam Payne will too.

Anonymous said...

Richard Pitino has done nothing to deserve to be mentioned for all of these jobs. He has been a mediocre at best head coach and if his name wasn't Pitino he wouldn't even be a head coach yet.

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