The recent firing of Darrin Horn came as no surprise to many folks who have followed the Gamecock basketball team this season. ’Coaching Search’ dramas are always compelling, so here are a few potential prospects to become the next men’s basketball coach in Columbia.
Gregg Marshall – Wichita State
The fan favorite here. Marshall built the Winthrop team into a power before taking the vacancy at Wichita State. In four years, he has improved each year and led the Shockers to a respectful 5th seed in the dance this year. Having grown up in Greenwood, SC, Marshall has strong ties to the state and has always expressed interest in one day becoming the head coach at USC. Look for Marshall to get a strong look from Eric Hyman as he is the clear-cut favorite to become the next head coach in Columbia. I would go so far to say Gregg Marshall is 1A, 1B, and 1C.
Kevin Stallings – Vanderbilt
This was an intriguing name that floated around a bit last week. Stallings has done a solid job at Vanderbilt having turned them into a strong SEC contender. There have been some talk that Stallings believes he can turn around the USC program and has put a few feelers out there expressing interest. However, coming off an SEC Championship and 2nd round NCAA trip, this sounds a lot more like someone is fishing for a raise. Simply put, Kevin Stallings will NOT be the next head coach at South Carolina.
Shaka Smart – VCU
One of the most popular names in the up-and-coming coaching community. His name surfaces every time there is a new coaching search. He is young and fiery and was called a “Superstar” by his mentor, Oliver Purnell in an interview last week. Any man that can take VCU to the Final Four will quickly earn that respect. Though a few teams (NC State in particular) made a strong move for Smart last year and struck out foolishly. If he goes anywhere, I see him taking the Illinois vacancy left by Bruce Weber.
Frank Martin – Kansas State
Another interesting name floating around is Kansas State’s Frank Martin. Martin has sustained success after Huggins’ departure making the tournament in 4 out of 5 seasons. Behind Marshall, I believe Martin has the second best chance of ultimately landing the job as of today. I think this has more to do with the fact that AD Eric Hyman has carried on this search in a very quiet fashion and there is not a clear-cut # 2 option as of now.
Some other names to note:
John Cooper – East Tennessee
John Groce – Ohio
Tommy Amaker – Harvard