At NC State I don't have to describe to you the geography of the situation. Let's be honest, you're the third-best basketball program in a 20-mile radius, and that's a very tough thing to live up to.
When you're constantly being judged next to Duke and Carolina when Duke and Carolina have Hall of Fame coaches, that's a tough gig for anybody.
I would argue that it is the worst, good-paying job in college basketball.
You take NC State and move it to a different part of the country, move the facilities and passionate fanbase and everything else with it, then yeah, it's a good job.
If Khloe Kardashian just walks around by herself all the time, she's probably okay. Nobody makes fun of her. She's not a super model, but she's fine. But the problem for her is that she's sisters with two Kardashian's that are hotter than her, and so she's constantly made fun of and constantly judged harshly.
I'm not comparing NC State to Khloe Kardashian exactly, but I think you're in a bad spot when you're constantly third in a small group.
It's a tough deal, and that's why they had a hard time hiring a coach last time and I suspect why they'll have a hard time hiring a coach this time.
Initially he was leveraging to get more money because that's what John [Calipari] does. Once he got there and realized the facilities and everything else, he was genuinely impressed. I don't know if he was close to actually pulling the trigger, but he was definitely considering it.
Here's the deal... what he realized was that he had just at Memphis basically enrolled an entire prep school, a whole team of academic risks, of guys that would never be able to play at NC State. That team he had, with all those Laurinburg kids, not only would he not be able to get half those kids in at NC State, he'd still would have had a team that played second fiddle to Duke that year.
Why would you want to go fight that battle? You're comfortable at a place like Memphis... you're building at a place like Memphis, you can practically enroll anybody. Why do you want to go heads up against K and Roy? Now, I think John is clearly the guy who could have done it because he can go up against anybody, but when John, who never backs away from a challenge, backed away from that challenge, it should tell you something.
When you're constantly judged to those two programs, you're going to have a tough time measuring up. I don't know if any established and secure coach at a BCS program would come close to touching that NC State job.
At NC State you can easily break into the tough half of the ACC. You've got a probably top four or five job in the ACC in terms of stuff, if you just look at it in a vacuum.
For whatever reason, the fans have a tough time acknowledging that even if you hire the right coach who does great things he will probably still finish second behind Duke and Carolina, which would be the case if you move Memphis or Tennessee there... whatever school.
The expectations, combined with the reality of the job, don't mesh very well.
In a vacuum, it's a terrific job. Given the location and what the fans expect, it's a very, very difficult challenge.
If you remember how difficult it was to get a hire last time, there's no reason to think it will be any easier this time around.
If you want to sit around San Francisco and keep talking about when they won national championships too. At Army, they used to win football national championships. The world has changed.
When Duke has to replace K that will be an opportunity for them to slip and maybe NC State to step up.
Anytime a job opens the initial list of candidates is hilarious... the last three years, 29 BCS schools have had to hire new coaches. The number of those schools that have hired a secure and accomplished coach from another BCS program... is one, Indiana when they hired Tom Crean away from Marquette. No one else has done it. Arizona got turned down by everybody and at the time overpay for Xavier's coach.
I wouldn't even start with the Jamie Dixon stuff or Rick Barnes stuff. You're just wasting time and actually turning it into another PR nightmare. I'd start realistic.
Go look for a guy who has been at a place and had success but would like a fresh start. I'm not saying these are the guys but they fit that criteria, a Jeff Capel or a Scott Drew. Or go find an up-and-comer who just wouldn't turn down that kind of money, that would be maybe a Gregg Marshall at Wichita State.
Swing big at first if you want, just to satisfy your own desires, but the reality is you're probably going to be looking at a Gregg Marshall at Wichita State. That's a very realistic situation.
Some fans over the weekend hit me with Anthony Grant at Alabama. Anthony wouldn't do it, I don't believe.
Chris Mack at Xavier? Sean Miller at Xavier recognizes how good the job is at Xavier because you're going to dominate your league every year and make good money. You've got a fanbase happy winning A-10 championships. Sean Miller turned down Arizona before they came back and overpaid him and he took that job. If Sean Miller would turn down Arizona, why wouldn't Chris Mack turn down NC State? Also, Chris is a graduate of Xavier. I just don't think Chris Mack would take that job either.
I think Gregg Marshall at Wichita State is a pretty legitimate candidate for you and would probably be about as good as it would happen.
I'm not just saying that about NC State. In this era of college basketball where everybody is making money, it's very hard. You better be Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, or UCLA, if you want to go plug another BCS program's accomplished and secure coach.
God Bless them, I don't know if anyone deserves success as much as NC State fans do because they clearly want it so badly, but I think the breakdown between my way of thinking and theirs is they think that yelling and screaming they can be just as good as Carolina or Duke... I don't think they understand that passion they consider a positive is actually a negative in the eyes of the guys they are trying to hire.
I don't come up with these opinions on my own. I talk to people they either tried to hire before or might try to hire in the future. This is the sentiment across the board.
If you go there and do really, really good things and about hit your ceiling, you're probably not doing what Roy did or what K did at which point, you're a little bit of a disappointment. That's a very tough thing to walk into.
You better not have any other great options before you walk into that hornet's nest.