In this exclusive Q&A, we talk with Scout.com Recruiting Analysts Evan Daniels and Brian Snow about the NC State coaching job, other available head coaching positions, and more.
Evan Daniels Bio: After graduating in May 2007 from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, Daniels signed on with Scout.com, as a Basketball Recruiting Analyst. In September 2010, Daniels took the reigns as Scout.com's National Recruiting Analyst.
Prior to getting picked up full time at Scout.com, he worked for Prepstars and a multitude of sites on the Scout.com Network. Daniels also logged experience in television news, working as an intern at CBS affiliate WLKY and as the sports anchor at Western Kentucky University's student-run news station.
Daniels is a voting member of the McDonald's All-American committee.
Brian Snow Bio: Brian Snow began covering basketball recruiting in the state of Ohio after graduating from The Ohio State University in January of 2007.
After initially focusing on Ohio and the Midwest, Snow spent three years doing national work along with contributing to numerous sites for Rivals.com.
Snow joined Scout in November of 2010 to be a national recruiting analyst.
How do you believe the NC State coaching job is viewed nationally?
Evan Daniels: It's viewed as a pretty good job, but also a difficult job. Expectations are high at N.C. State and truth be told it can be hard place to recruit to, especially with North Carolina and Duke in their backyard.
There is a pretty good recruiting base to mine from, but what makes it tough is there are so many schools trying to recruit the area. With that said, Sidney Lowe was able to recruit to N.C. State, but he struggled to get the wings. But overall it's considered a solid job, but not an elite job.
Brian Snow: I think the job is viewed as a good one, but not a great one. I have talked to several coaches about the NC State job, and the biggest concern in their minds is that NC State might be the fourth or fifth-best job in the conference, and that scares a lot of them away.
Now there is a great commitment from administration, excellent facilities, a lot of money, a great recruiting base, and pretty good tradition, but also there are question marks attached to the NC State job, and they wonder if you can meet the expectations of fans.
While many know it is a good job, I don't know that too many coaches think it is a "great" job.
How does this job compare to some of the current and/or recently-filled job openings?
Evan Daniels: I think it's near the top. Georgia Tech may be a bit better but after that I think Arkansas and N.C. State are neck and neck. It's a high major job in the ACC, one of the premier conferences in the country.
Brian Snow: I would say the top three jobs are Arkansas, Georgia Tech, and NC State. How they compare probably depends on what part of the country you are from.
I know NC State fans don't feel this way, but some coaches would rather be the guy at Georgia Tech because of the Atlanta recruiting base as compared to competing with North Carolina and Duke as an in-state school.
Overall I think those three jobs are good jobs that coaches all will take a look at.
What type of a candidate should NC State pursue, given the state of their program?
Evan Daniels: In my opinion, N.C. State should seek out a young, energetic coach. I know some of the names at the top of there are well-established names at major programs. I think it's going to be tough to reel one of the guys in.
Sean Miller is a name that has come up a bunch, and I think if they had gone after him prior to his move to Arizona then they probably could have gotten him. Now it may be tough. I think going after a young, well-known coach at a high mid-level school may be the best option for N.C. State.
Brian Snow: For me I think the thought that you have to get a "big name" like a Rick Barnes or a Sean Miller is ridiculous. There are a lot of good coaches who don't make 2 million dollars already.
It is about finding a guy, whether he is an assistant coach or a head coach, who will be the face of a program and knows how to win. I mean there is no magic bullet theory to coaching, but there are qualified coaches at the mid-major level who would probably do a great job at NC State.
How important is finding the right fit with a college coach for your program as opposed to just hiring the best name?
Evan Daniels: Personally I think it's the most important factor. There are plenty of very good coaches that may not be good fits at certain schools.
I think Billy Gillispie and Kentucky is a perfect example. Gillispie is a terrific basketball coach, who has won a lot of basketball games. But for certain reasons he wasn't the best fit at Kentucky.
Finding a guy that fits the programs, knows the tradition and has familiarity with the recruiting base is important. Brian Snow: Finding the right fit is far and away the most important thing. Winning games is always more important than winning the press conference.
Who are some of the better mid-major coaches available?
Evan Daniels: Most people don't consider Xavier a mid-major, but for this purpose we'll say they are. Chris Mack has done a tremendous job at Xavier in a short time. Obviously he inherited a very good team, but he managed to do a lot with it, going to the Elite 8 in his first season. I think he's a guy to keep an eye.
Shaka Smart has a terrific reputation in the college basketball community and has VCU in the NCAA tournament after just one year.
Donnie Jones, of Central Florida, is another guy that has done a terrific job in just a few years as a head coach.
I could go on, as I think Randy Bennett, of Saint Mary's, is another that an Athletic Director would love grab.
Brian Snow: It depends on how you define the term mid-major. If you define Xavier as a mid-major, and coming from Cincinnati I wouldn't, Chris Mack would be on the list for sure.
Also I would put Shaka Smart of VCU, Brad Stevens from Butler. Ed Cooley from Fairfield, Geno Ford from Kent State, and Cuonzo Martin from Missouri State are all good coaches too and have already taken new jobs.
Ideally, who do you believe should be the #1 target for NC State and why?
Evan Daniels: I think N.C. State has some high hopes for their coaching search, as they should. It's a very good high-major job. I think they'll take some swings at some big names like Sean Miller, Mark Turgeon and others. If they get a bite, I expect they'll move.
If not, it wouldn't surprise me give Chris Mack a look. He's had early success and he knows the area of North Carolina quite well.
Brian Snow: I honestly don't know enough about NC State's particular situation, I have never lived in North Carolina, to say who would be the perfect fit.
Why do you believe so few high-major coaches leave for other high-major jobs?
Evan Daniels: For the most part there are a lot of high major jobs that are quite similar. Then you have the elite jobs like North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and others. Coaches for the most part don't usually make lateral moves. If they make a move they want it to be an upgrade.
You don't see many coaches go from coaching at Clemson to coaching at DePaul like Oliver Purnell did last season.
Brian Snow: Leaving a job for another job isn't easy. First of all you are attached to the kids you recruited and the kids you coach. Also these coaches are human beings, they have families who don't want to move, and a lot of coaches have a sense of loyalty. Beyond that, no matter what, if you change jobs it is a bit of a re-starting process. Coaches don't like re-starting, so why leave from one high-major to another?
What do you think of the roster that a new coach will inherit? Do you believe that is a potential plus for NC State, given all players stay/recruits enroll?
Evan Daniels: The incoming coach will inherit some pretty good talent. N.C. State's class last year was impressive. Guys like C.J. Leslie, Ryan Harrow and others like Richard Howell are players you can win with. So I don't think it's a case where a new coach starts from scratch. There's a good base to build from.
Brian Snow: No question that the guy coming in to NC State has some talent to work with. C.J. Leslie, Ryan Harrow, Lorenzo Brown, and Scott Wood give the new coach a young core of talent that can help. Now the incoming right recruits might or might not stay, and might or might not be good, but there is some talent to work with. It isn't like this job is a complete re-build, and that is a good thing.