I watched TDP's presser yesterday afternoon and must say that while I have not been anti-TDP in the past, he's losing his support from me. He seemed totally unprepared for the press conference and given his track record in recent coaching searches, I have zero confidence that he will find a coach that can carry Clemson to another level in basketball. He spoke to the AD at DePaul and knew that negotiations were occuring, then said today that he was blindsided by OP leaving?
"No one hates losing Oliver Purnell more than I. We're on solid foundation. We're going to do a national search. We're going to go with a person who we think can build on this foundation. Coach Bradley has agreed to be the interim head coach. Coach Bradley will have an opportunity to interview for the job. I told him this morning there are no guarantees. But he will have a bona fide oppoertunity to interview. But... it will be a very thorough search."
Yeah I bet, TDP setting us up to hire Bradley as HC?
On whether there was a counteroffer by CU.
"When Oliver called me, he had already made his mind up. Their AD called me but when he called me late last night he had already made his mind up."
OP went on to say that it happened at about 1:30 am last night, it was on the internet and we posted it within 30 minutes. OP having his mind made up already is quite interesting and in contradiction to what LW reported today, but TDP did say that we made some offer that was cost-of-living based in comparison to DePaul's.
I dont see why anyone in this world would pay OP 2 million per year with his postseason track record, but thats another issue. DePaul picked up the relatively large compensation package that OP was owed, it was not the 250K buyout thats been reported. OP was due to get alot of deferred money.
What is an issue is why, when TDP was the man who hired OP, and this hire being TDP's "best proven" hire so far, that he didnt fight for him more. I've got mixed feelings on what has happened the last 24 hours, but this is TDP's guy, and not fighting for him is quite interesting.
Now the team is coming apart, Devin Booker was already considering a transfer due to lack of PT before Purnell left, and now his commitment to the program is still in the air. It wasn't helped by the fact that Oliver did not contact his players before leaving and apparently still hasnt spoken to them. A classless move in my opinion.
Demontez Stitt: "I talked to coach Purnell on the phone for about 15 minutes a couple of days ago and there were no signs of him leaving. We just talked about him at the final four, his thoughts on the upcoming year and… there were just no signs. It was more shocking to me, because I had just talked to him on Friday. He called me while I was on my way home. Everything we talked about was next year, next year, so and then this… it was all over everywhere in the media that he had left. I was shocked when I heard this. I just saw no signs of him wanting to leave or not wanting to be here. But I'm glad he gave me an opportunity to play here. He's really helped the program get on the rise.
It's a business. Coaches leave. Things happen. I sort of understand what he's doing. It's not up to me to say if he was right or wrong. Hopefully he made the right decision. I think it's early to say whether everybody is going to stay, but I'm pretty sure most of the guys are going to stay. Nobody has talked about leaving. Everybody seemed alright working out. I'm probably the most shocked because I just talked to him. It just seemed like everything was fine."
Now we must also keep locks on Marcus Thornton, who told the AJC today that he is considering requesting a release from his LOI for next season. We have already lost potential JUCO PF Ricardo Ratliffe for next season, who said today that "Clemson is out of it for me". We must also bring in a coach who can keep our lead with 2011 2G Damien Leonard, a key piece needed for us in the future.
Who might that be? Well here are candidates mentioned so far:
Ron Bradley - Current Interim Coach, who will interview for the job. Won 289 games at Radford and Eastern Nazarene. Not a great recruiter, which I think is the primary focus for this search. Please God no.
Shaka Smart - the man behind the recruitment of the current crop of freshmen during his time here from 06-08, who left for Florida and this season as head coach at VCU where he went 27-9. Same story as Shyatt if you ask me.
I honestly would not be surprised if we ended up with one of those two, knowing TDP.
Brad Stevens - A pipedream I believe, but TDP said that he would be called of course. His father did his residency in Greenville SC and he was born there. His resume hardly needs to be covered.
Reggie Theus - 41-23 at New Mexico State, sucks in the NBA with Sacramento. Former Pitino assistant when the Cardinals reached the Final Four. He did interview at DePaul before OP.
Mike Davis - Former Indiana coach, following Knight, where he took them to the Championship game. Now at UAB where he's had 3-straight 20-win seasons.
Gregg Marshall - Winthrop and Wichita State, I think he wouldnt be an awful hire, though I'd prefer a higher profile candidate. Track record recruitingwise is a bit unknown.
Ken McDonald - 46-21 at Western KY, following Darrin Horn. Went to the NCAAs last year but took alot of flak for not making it this year. A former Barnes assistant here and at Texas.
Billy Gillispee - Former Kentucky head coach, who did good jobs at A&M and UTEP.
Kansas assistant Joe Dooley - 7 years at KU
Ohio head coach John Groce - former NC State and Ohio State assistant, lost to Tennessee in the NCAA 2nd round this year.
I have heard there may be communication with Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, though thats just vague rumor.