DECKER: Stay Away From These Five!

Bloomington – Who should we? Who shouldn't we?! Today, instead of taking a glass half full approach, I'm going to look at this IU coaching search process like it's a glass half empty. I'll take a positive and turn it into a negative. Instead of picking who Indiana should hire, here are five they shouldn't...

Bloomington – Who should we? Who shouldn't we?!

Today, instead of taking a glass half full approach, I'm going to look at this IU coaching search process like it's a glass half empty. I'll take a positive and turn it into a negative.

Instead of picking who Indiana should hire, here are five they shouldn't …

John Calipari – Image might not be everything, but it's something to consider with IU's coaching search this time around. That's enough to disqualify the Memphis coach as a candidate for the IU vacancy.

While Calipari hasn't landed in trouble with the NCAA, he hasn't been too far removed from it. After his final season at UMass, the Minutemen were stripped of their 1996 NCAA tourney victories because of star player Marcus Camby's dalliances with an agent and prostitutes. At Memphis, university officials investigated a claim that former player Shawme Williams received $50,000 from an attorney two years ago.

Memphis' players have also run afoul of the law as well. According to Foxsports.com, half of the members of this year's team have been in trouble with the law since they arrived on campus. While no one can dispute the fact Calipari wins, that's about the only characteristic he possesses that IU is looking for.

Scott Skiles – Two of IU's top priorities SHOULD be a proven recruiter who will abide by the NCAA rules. Skiles' coaching career has been spent entirely at the NBA level, so IU officials would have to take his word that he'd be successful and do things the right way at the collegiate level. We all know what happened last time Hoosier officials took someone's word on how they'd conduct their recruiting business. Honestly, if IU even goes as far as interviewing Skiles is doesn't say much for the criteria that's been laid down by the search committee.

If IU is so inclined to go the NBA route it would make a great deal more sense to pursue Randy Wittman, someone who was interested in talking about the position two years ago. While he has the same "NBA coach" label and issues Skiles does, he at least has an IU background which should ease some of the fears about how he'd conduct business.

Kevin Stallings – Rest assured, if IU hires the Vandy coach it won't go over well.

While there's a 10-member committee conducting this search, Stallings would be viewed by most IU fans as two things: a. the hand-picked choice of IU AD Rick Greenspan, whose popularity among Hoosier fans is at an all-time low; and b. a Purdue man, since he was both a player and long-time assistant coach in West Lafayette before Greenspan hired him to take over at Illinois State.

While Stallings has made a couple of Sweet 16s in his eight seasons in the SEC, he didn't post his first winning conference record until 2007 and his record has been far from exemplary. He's only been to the NCAA tourney three times in his eight years, far from the sort of track record one would expect from IU's next head basketball coach.

Stallings might be a good man, but he'd be a terrible choice.

Rick Pitino – As far as big-name candidates go, they don't get much bigger than Louisville Coach Rick Pitino. The 55-year-old is the only coach who has led three different programs to the Final Four (Providence, Kentucky and Louisville) and he's been the most talked-about candidate during the last week.

But he's not a good fit for IU. He's a New York City product who's better suited for not only a big-time program, but a big city atmosphere as well. That's one of the reasons he decided to leave Kentucky a decade ago when he was the most loved man in the Bluegrass State. If he thought the city of Lexington (population 275,000) was too small for his liking, wait until he gets a load of Bloomington, which is about one-quarter that size.

If Indiana's decision-makers are spending as much time pursuing Pitino as some have suggested, it will likely prove to be wasted time. Move on.

Mark Few – The Gonzaga coach hasn't been nearly as hot a name as he was two years ago when he had the Zags ranked in the nation's top 10 and challenging for a Final Four berth, but ESPN's Andy Katz recently listed him in a group of six coaches he considered most likely to take over in Bloomington.

Bad idea. First of all, he's a West Coast guy who has zero ties to the Midwest or the state of Indiana. Assuming the selection committee has some pre-defined characteristics it is looking for in its next coach (that might be a big if), those are a couple that have to be near the top of the list.

Secondly, it's been widely speculated that IU made overtures to Few two years ago, and he obviously stayed at Gonzaga. Assuming that's true, then he shouldn't get a second crack at the IU position. If Few didn't want Indiana the first time around, then Indiana shouldn't want him this time.

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