Could WSU hoops hire come out of left field?

WHAT IF the next basketball coach at Washington State comes out of nowhere? Bill Moos is expected to make a change at the top of the program, and there are any number of "hot" coaching candidates around the nation. And in hoops, regional recruiting ties aren't nearly the requisite they are in football.

Take USC last year in hiring Andy Enfield, who came out of Florida Gulf Coast and without West Coast connections.

In perusing the hot coaching candidates out there, here are some of the most intriguing. All are either made it in, or were on the brink of, an NCAA Tournament bid this season.

Michael White: Louisiana Tech
One of the youngest head coaches in the country at 36, he's still got 10 years' worth of coaching experience with three at Tech and seven seasons on the Ole Miss staff. In his first head job, he's compiled a 72-29 record at Louisiana Tech including a pair of 27-win seasons. His system is built on a pressuring man-to-man defense and a fast-paced, dribble drive offense. He's been around big-time athletics all his life as his father, Kevin White, has served as athletic director at Notre Dame, Arizona State and Duke.

Marvin Menzies, New Mexico State
Menzies, 52, has been at New Mexico State since 2007 and is heading to the Big Dance for the fourth time in seven seasons. He interviewed with Colorado State for its coaching vacancy last year before withdrawing his name (often times code for when a school is about to name someone else). His contract runs through 2017 and includes a buyout equal to his $286,110 base salary. He is a former Louisville, USC, UNLV and San Diego State assistant, and a UCLA graduate. Given all that West Coast flavor, he's probably a border-line left fielder for this list.

Monte' Ross, Delaware
Ross has been at Delaware since 2006 and began his tenure with five trying, losing seasons. But he's gone 62-37 the last three years and at 25-9 this year, Delaware is going to the Big Dance for the first time since 1999. He's young (43), energetic and is regarded as an excellent recruiter and evaluator of off-the-radar talent, (one of his recruits became the program's all-time leading rebounder and shot-blocker, another the school's all-time leading scorer.) And he's gone outside Delaware's usual recruiting base to do it. Besides, the last Delaware coach to get a shot at the big time -- Mike Brey -- has done pretty well for himself at Notre Dame.

Steve Masiello, Manhattan
A former walk on at Kentucky under Rick Pitino, the 36-year old is taking Manhattan to its first NCAA tournament in 10 years. Masiello loves to press, play aggressive zone defense and run the ball on offense -- in other words, a lot like his mentor does. Manhattan ranks No. 12 nationally in steals, No. 9 in blocks and No. 11 in forcing turnovers. Four years ago, Manhattan went 6-25 and Masiello came on board. He's gone 60-38 at the school in three years and before that served six years on Pitino's staff. By the way, his team will match up against Pitino and Louisville in the first round of the tournament.

Tommy Amaker, Harvard
He's only 44 but has been around the block – his first head coaching job was in 1997 and he's been a head coach for 17 seasons. He struggled at times at Seton Hall and Michigan, the latter being a place where he did clean up a mess, though. Harvard on his watch has reached never-before-seen heights and will be entering their third-straight NCAA tournament. Prior to Amaker, Harvard's last Big Dance appearance was in 1946.

Brad Underwood: Stephen F. Austin
In his first season, Underwood, 49, has led SFA to a 31-2 record. One might look at SFA and say, well sure, they went 27-5 and 20-12 the two seasons before that so he came into a tailor-made situation. But not so fast. Underwood had to replace three senior starters this year, with two of them being the team's top scorers. The long-time assistant coach comes from the Frank Martin coaching tree.

Rob Jeter: Wisconsin-Milwaukee
In his ninth season, the 44-year old Jeter has led his team to three 20-win seasons in the past five years and three post-season berths in the last four. This will be UWM's first appearance in the NCAA tourney since 2006. Jeter is seen as an excellent recruiter, one who heavily utilizes social media. A firm believer in man-to-man defense, his coaching mentor is Wisconsin's Bo Ryan.

Donnie Tyndall: Southern Mississippi
In his second year at Southern Miss, Tyndall, 43, guided his team to a 26-5 record, built in large part on his match-up zone defense. In his first year at the helm, he took over a team that was the youngest in the country and led them to a 27-10 record and a trip to the NIT Quarterfinals. He spent six years as the head coach at Moorehead State before arriving at Southern Miss and has a 198-105 career record.

Mike Brennan, American
In his first year as a head coach, he's led American to a 20-12 mark and a 5-5 record against RPI Top 150 teams. Brennan (42) is a disciple of legendary Princeton coach Pete Carril and runs a motion offense. Arguing against him would be that another Carril protégé, OSU's Craig Robinson, saw decidedly mixed results in the Pac-12 with his version of the Princeton offense.

Derek Kellogg, UMass
After John Calipari resigned, UMass was rarely heard from over the next decade and went through two coaches. Kellogg then came on and spent his first three seasons building -- and failing to crack .500 in any of those years. But he's since gone 22-11, 21-11 and now 24-8 this season. Next week, the 40-year old will take UMass dancing for the first time since 1998.

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