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Beyond the arc: Rim-shots, Becky Hammon, Lady Raiders coach search begins

News and notes from around the hardwood

New Colorado State Coach?

Now that Larry Eustachy is out at Colorado State, it’s time for them to find a new coach. It has become apparent that Becky Hammon is a top candidate for the job. Hammon, a current assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, is also a Colorado State alum.

Athletic Director Joe Parker made it pretty clear to reporters that he will consider all worthy choices and wouldn’t limit the search to just male candidates. “I’ve thought a lot about that,” Parker said. “It’s the most frequently asked question I get, and recommended candidate. I’m not closing the door on any thought.” Hammon would be Division I men’s basketball’s first female head coach.

Rim-shots

In a late development, the school announced that Lamont Smith resigned late last night. In a news release obtained by USA Today Sports, the school said, “We appreciate Coach Smith’s contributions to Torero Athletics and to the men’s basketball program since he joined us three years ago.” The release went on to say, “This situation has been difficult for all concerned and our prayers continue to remain with everyone.”

Cousy Award Finalists

The Big 12 is home to three of the five finalists for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Devonte Graham (Kansas), Trae Young (Oklahoma), and Javon Carter (West Virginia) will compete for the award named after former Boston Celtic and Hall of Famer Bob Cousy.

The annual honor recognizes the top point guards in Division I men’s basketball. The other two finalists are Joel Berry II (North Carolina) and Jalen Brunson (Villanova). The winner will be announced at the ESPN College Basketball Awards on April 6. Fans are encouraged to visit www.HoophallAwards.com to cast their votes March 2-23.

Big 12 Men’s Tournament

The early round is complete with Texas outlasting Iowa State 68-64 and Oklahoma State dominating Oklahoma 71-60 in Bedlam III. The big question now is will Oklahoma get into the NCAA Tournament or will their season become known as one of the greatest implosions in NCAA men’s basketball history. We will find out on Selection Sunday.

See the bracket here for the rest of the Big 12 Men’s Tournament.

Lady Raiders

The season for the Lady Raiders (7-23, 1-17) ended their season with a 49-74 loss to Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 women’s basketball tournament. Lyndsey Whilby and Brittany Brewer led the way with 11 points each while Jada Terry had the team lead with 12 rebounds. Many changes to come with the Lady Raiders with the primary change coming in leadership with a new head coach. Much still to come.

Lady Raiders, part 2

As mentioned above, the end of the season for the Lady Raiders means the search for a new head coach will move into full speed ahead. Much gratitude should be given to Shimmy Gray-Miller and the rest of the staff for keeping the team from completely mailing it in after losing their coach two games into conference season. While the current staff held the team together, there’s almost no way they will be retained.

Ryan Hyatt with Raiderland posted an article concerning the coaching search. Hyatt noted that It’s As Much Who Is “Out” Right Now As Who Is “In”.

The “out” that Hyatt is referring are the candidates, or in this case, candidate groups he doesn’t feel Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt will pursue. One group would obviously be any coach on the current staff. The other group would be any candidate with past playing experience at Tech. These two groups would of course eliminate Sheryl Swoopes and current UTA head coach Krista Gerlich from consideration.

Hyatt stated that he didn’t think Hocutt would be interested in using the ex-player route because it just didn’t work last time. Personally, I disagree with using that criteria to eliminate Gerlich. Candy Whitaker was only 77-93 in six seasons at UMKC leading up to being hired at Tech.

Gerlich is 76-74 after five seasons at UTA which includes going just 4-25 her first season. That’s 72-49 the last four. By the way, Gerlich was also 168-53 in seven seasons at West Texas A&M.

Hyatt also highlighted three candidates in particular who he thought could be high on the list. Those coaches, with a lot of experience, are University of Arkansas-Little Rock head coach Joe Foley, Florida State Associate HC Lance White, and Aaron Johnston from South Dakota State. Each one of these coaches have a wealth of experience and two of them have interesting Tech ties.

Tech men’s basketball head coach Chris Beard knows Foley very well because of Beard’s time at Arkansas-Little Rock and he has a lot of respect for him. White is known as one of the best assistant coaches in the country and he was at Tech during the prime-time of Lady Raider basketball. Johnston has no connection to Tech but he has a crazy record of 438-148 in 18 years at SDSU.

Hyatt said, “We here at Raiderland believe that Texas Tech will be able to move quickly and have a head coach well in place, as soon as the next hire is done with their current season.” So, now we wait. We wait for teams to end their season. End their season the way we so desperately want the Lady Raiders to once again have the opportunity to end their season; in the NCAA Tournament.