Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All Eyes on Bill and Steve

RushTheCourt.net ranks Bill Courtney and Steve Donahue as among the biggest coaching move stories in the country. RTC writes:

RTC’s Five Biggest Coaching Moves This Offseason

College basketball is finally back and as always one of the most interesting subplots of the new season is all of the coaches at their respective new schools. It seemed like this year had more coaching changes than normal, so here are the five coaching moves we’re keeping an eye on as well as a few of the ones that didn’t make the cut.

Steve Donahue at Boston College

Donahue Will No Doubt Find the ACC Challenging

  • Resume: 10 seasons as head coach at Cornell (146-138).
  • Postseason history: Three straight Ivy League Championships (2008-10); Three trips to the NCAA Tournament (2008-10), including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2010.
  • How he got to Boston College: Donahue became one of the nations “It” coaches when the Big Red stormed onto the scene in March Madness, making and breaking brackets everywhere in their run to the Sweet 16. Actually, Donahue probably first garnered attention when Cornell nearly knocked off No. 1 Kansas in January 2010. Boston College, on the other hand, was nudging down the pecking order of the ACC and Al Skinner eventually became the scapegoat for the Eagles lack of success (two losing seasons in the last five). Skinner was fired after the end of the season, and Donahue got the job April 6.
  • Signature style: An up-tempo attack that is dependent on the three-ball. Cornell was the top three-point shooting team in the nation last year, hitting from downtown at a 43.3% clip.
  • Likelihood of success: Depends on what you label success. Will the Eagles duplicate Cornell’s run of three straight Ivy League titles in the ACC? Probably not. But Boston College’s rough play always felt out of place in the ACC, and a more open style should make the Eagles competitive against the Dukes and North Carolinas. There’s no reason to believe that Donahue can’t bring BC back to the level it was at when Jared Dudley and Craig Smith played in Chestnut Hill.
  • Will endear himself if: He can make basketball exciting at Boston College again. BC has always been an awkward match with its ACC brethren, and the school still feels more like a Big East program. Because of the Donahue’s lovable underdog history, he should have a decent-sized grace period before people start to expect results.
  • Will be on the hot seat if: His attempt to change BC’s style fails. Sometimes people don’t like change (just ask Rich Rodriguez at Michigan). If the local writers in Boston start throwing out terms like soft, then it might be that Donahue and Boston College just aren’t the right fit.

Others to Watch: These guys don’t have the same sizzle as the coaches in our top five, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on their programs throughout the season...

  • Bill Courtney at Cornell - Can Courtney possibly keep up what Steve Donahue began in Ithaca? Most prognosticators say no, choosing Harvard or Princeton to win the Ivy this year.

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