Lobby Talk From The Final Four

ATLANTA – Not much buzz for the first official day of the Final Four. Nolan Richardson was seen in the lobby of the downtown Hilton but Stan Heath is the new sheriff in Fayetteville. Catch up on some of the gossip from the 2002 Final Four as we go inside the lobby.

Plenty Looking, But Few Openings To Be Had

Per usual, the lobby of the coach's hotel was buzzing with college assistants trying to keep up with the latest scuttlebutt on the coaching front. For the most part, "hot rumors" cooled early in Atlanta.

Assistants are finding it slim pickings as far as moving and shaking for jobs. Maybe the Stan Heath to Arkansas move will precipitate the hiring of Jimmy Christian, a Kent State assistant, as the head coach. Should that happen, expect plenty of Christian's friends to start calling out favors.

This may or may not be old news, but UConn assistant coach Dave Leitao is a candidate for as many as three jobs right now. Our lobby lurkers say Leitao has a shot at Midwest openings at DePaul and Bradley. Mine as well toss his name out there for West Virginia as we hear he's in the mix with the Mountaineers as well.

Maryland assistant coach Dave Dickerson has been mentioned with Byron Samuels as a candidate for the Radford position. However, on Thursday, we heard Dickerson's named mentioned in conjunction with the College of Charleston vacancy. Toss in Virginia assistant coach Tom Herrion and the ever-present name of Winthrop's Gregg Marshall and you have a trio of candidates for the spot.

Should Herrion get the position, here's a vote for Scott Sheppard to move up the ladder and hit the road for the Wahoos. "Shep" has been a Gillen assistant for three years and the former Hargrave Military Academy head coach has what it takes to be a good recruiter. Gillen has a history of promoting within so that's good news for Sheppard.


Villanova was well represented with sightings of Jay Wright, Fred Hill and Brett Gunning. However, noticeably absent from the fray was Joe Jones. The high-energy king is back home in Philly waiting patiently (?) with his wife as the couple is expecting their first child.


For the last month, college coaches have been scrambling around trying to find out what spring events have been "certified." Well, we know David and Dana Pump have their event NCAA approved and ready to roll. So does Hal Pastner of the Kingwood Classic and Mike Kunstadt's Texas events are also good to go.

Lost in the scramble to check with compliance officers about spring events has been the talk of what the summer recruiting scene will look like. Today, talk of a major shoe company had people wondering just what July would look like.

Our sources indicate that several higher ups in the adidas family are tossing around the idea of not having their July events (ie. ABCD Camp and the Big Time) NCAA certified. The reason being is that adidas may try and force the hands of the college coaches. Some adidas insiders feel the college coaches aren't standing up to the NCAA and by not allowing the colleges into their events would be sending a clear message: you can't play both sides of the fence anymore.

Everyone on the inside of college basketball knows how valuable the spring traveling team events are to the coaches and the kids. This year, the NCAA has limited these evaluations and who knows what they have in store for the future. Adidas merely wants the coaches to get involved in the fight.

We'll listen to any and every argument about the summer recruiting scene and applaud adidas' line of thinking but if they opt to go down that path it's likely the big loser would be the kids since they wouldn't be receiving exposure at the highest level.


The nation's finest ticket distributor's (aka scalpers) are in town this weekend. So far, we hear it'll be $400 bucks for upstairs single tickets. The wholesale value of tickets downstairs is $1,000 and that means the seats will fetch $1,500 in the "free market."

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