Monday, April 26, 2010

Round We Go: McDermott Leaves ISU For Creighton

With the news yesterday that Creighton's Dana Altman was going to be taking the Oregon job (he's now officially agreed to a seven year deal), the next opening on the coaching carousel became Creighton's job. And it took less than 24 hours for that job to get filled: Greg McDermott is leaving Iowa State to take the Creighton job. It's obviously a step down from the Big 12 to the Missouri Valley, but it's not a big surprise. McDermott had to know that the seat was going to start getting hot at Iowa State. He had managed to bring in a couple of quality players for short periods of time (e.g. Wesley Johnson, Craig Brackins), but never enough depth to win. In his four years at Iowa State he finished below .500 every season, and never better than 6-10 in Big 12 play.

It makes sense for McDermott to grab a pretty good job while he has the chance, and in a conference where he knows how to win. Before taking the Iowa State job he was coach of Creighton's intra-conference rival Northern Iowa, a team that he took Dancing three straight years before taking the Iowa State job. And Creighton is a team ready to win now, and that has a better shot of making the Tournament this coming year than Iowa State. I picked them to finish second in the MVC in 2010-11, and I have them as one of the first teams out of the Field of 65 right now.

Of course, this is now a big problem for Iowa State. They were in the middle of a rebuilding process that might have to start all over again, particularly if a couple of players transfer out. If I were them I'd make a run at Tom Lickliter, who has won and recruited well in the upper Midwest, and probably shouldn't have been fired by Iowa (I'm on record saying Iowa should have given Lickliter at least one more year to show improvement before they fired him). If not Lickliter, I don't see who else would be a good hire for Iowa State that they would have a shot of getting.

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