OSU coaching search set to De Carolis Time

OREGON STATE A.D. Bob De Carolis without putting a specific timetable on it May 5 hinted the head backetball coaching search would be wrapped up in two weeks. But based on comments from some candidates, De Carolis might tell time differently than the rest of us.

UA assistant Damon Stoudamire has been reported by several media outlets as the leading candidate for Oregon State's head coaching vacancy but he hasn't talked much with OSU, according to a Thursday night report in the Arizona Daily Star.

"To be honest with you, there hasn't been a whole lot of dialogue… I think that if it moves forward, if there's something to talk about, I could probably tell you a little bit more, but at the moment I can't really tell you nothing, because there's nothing to tell," he told the paper.

Ten days after De Carolis announced Craig Robinson was fired and that his search would begin immediately and there have been no substantive discussions with Stoudamire?. Terry Porter, who has expressed strong interest in the job, said a couple days ago he hasn't heard from De Carolis. Lester Conner has been told he can't be considered because he doesn't have an OSU degree.

It's been reported in the Portland Tribune formal interviews start today, with the application process now over, and a hire will probably come in another week. It took 10 days to complete the applications part of it?

It's Bob's World, we're just living in it. And that world is set to De Carolis Time.

Ben Howland dropped out this week, saying he would no longer be a candidate for the job. You might be able to just take that at face value. But usually a candidate pulling himself out of the running is because the school let him know he won't be the guy. Regardless, Howland is out.

And that might not be a bad thing. The media has mostly spun it as an OSU failure – the biggest coaching name out there who doesn't land/get the job is always spun that way. But there are a couple reasons why Howland may have never been the best choice at OSU.

The first is that his slow-down, defensive-minded system will no longer find the success today as it did earlier at Pitt and in the earlier part of his UCLA tenure. The second is that Howland isn't known as a recruiter, has a number of AAU programs in California that he's not on good terms with and was seen as distant by many of his UCLA players.

The recruiting angle is the perhaps the most important. The general consensus is that Robinson was a good recruiter but fell short in the X's and O's.

I don't know if I completely agree with that. I think the kinds of recruits Stoudamire would get would surpass Robinson's and it wouldn't be close.

Stoudamire's negatives are that he's never been a head coach and hasn't been an assistant all that long either. There would be surely be a learning curve but Stoudamire has played and coached under nearly 20 coaches all told. My guess is he's picked up more than enough in that time. He can also hire some savvy assistants in the areas he needs most.

But recruiting trumps all when it comes to winning in hoops. Coaches who land 2-3 stars suddenly become coaching geniuses, even when their coaching knowledge and skills say otherwise. And a young, cool coaching type that has starred in the NBA is, in my view, going to clean up on the recruiting trail.

Anyone should be able to recruit reasonably well to OSU -- Say what you will about Gill, the Beavers' new practice facility can go shiny thing for shiny thing with anyone's in the Pac-12. But Stoudamire could really draw some jaws when it comes time for recruits to sign.

It's purely a bonus Stoudamire is from Oregon, (he still owns a home in Portland) and starred for the Trail Blazers.

Clearly, De Carolis doesn't see it that way, or Stoudamire would have been announced on Wednesday after the required seven-day posting of the job was fulfilled.

Other candidates making the media speculation rounds include Cal assistant Travis DeCuire and ASU assistant Eric Musselman.

Just my take, but Stoudamire would be the best pick over both those two-time NBA head coaches and the others mentioned.

Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting.

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