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Coaches that you think should be on Nebraska's list, if this trend continues

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Randy Bennett - St Mary's

 

In his 15 years as the head coach at Saint Mary’s, 3-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year Randy Bennett has developed a program that has brought a level of excitement, expectation and competitiveness never before seen on the picturesque Moraga, Calif. campus.

 

During his tenure, Bennett has become the school's men's basketball all-time wins leader (333 victories, going into 2016-17), guided SMC to 10 post-season appearances (5 NCAA and 5 NIT), led the Gaels to their first post-season victories and had a player drafted (Patrick Mills, 2009) into the NBA for the first time since 1984.  He has earned three WCC Coach of the Year honors and was named a USA Basketball assistant coach for the team that represented the USA at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships in Latvia.


With the team's 29 wins in 2015-16, Bennett guided the Gaels to its ninth-straight 20-win season.  The team won a program-most 20 home games and posted a 15-game home win streak.  In addition to league coach of the year honors, he was named the District 9 Coach of the Year by the NABC - only the second coach in program history to earn the honor.

 

During a six year span from 2008-2013, SMC won 25 or more games to join only four programs nationally (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Saint Mary's) to have achieved that feat.

 

Over the last nine years, Saint Mary's has an 234-71 overall record for a .767 winning percentage.

 

Bennett has led his teams to the post season 10 times, with five NCAA Tournament appearances (2005, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013) and the school's first NIT appearances (2009, 2011, 2014, 2015 & 2016). No other SMC coach has guided his squad to more than one post-season appearance.

 

En route to his school record for men's basketball wins in his career, Bennett averages 22.2 wins per season at Saint Mary's.  In 2015-16, his team won a program-record 29 games, earned its third WCC title in six seasons and advanced to the NIT quarterfinals for the second time.

 

After tying the then-school record for wins in 2004-05 and 2007-08, his 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2012-13 teams set a new mark with 28 victories, including the program's first post-season wins since 1959.  In 2010, Bennett led the Gaels to a Sweet 16 finish with wins over Richmond and Villanova, marking the school's first NCAA Tournament wins in 51 years.


In addition to team accomplishments, Bennett has had 18 different players earn All-WCC recognition, with a total of 26 first team and seven honorable mention selections. In 2011, Mickey McConnell, a two-time all-WCC selection, was named the WCC Player of the Year - SMC's sixth ever and first since 1999.

 

In 2012, Matthew Dellavedova gave the Gaels the first back-to-back WCC players of the year since 1962.  He also became the school's first-ever male first-team Academic All-America selection and was among five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's best point guard. He earned all-WCC honors three times and twice was a honorable mention All-America selection.


After going undrafted as a senior in 2013, he earned a spot on the Cleveland Cavaliers 15-man roster.  In 2015, he played in the NBA's Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend and played a significant role in helping the Cavaliers advance to the NBA Finals.


Additionally, Bennett has guided four players to WCC Defensive Player of the Year awards, Anthony Woodards (2003), Diamon Simpson (2008 and 2009) and Omar Samhan (2010). Patrick Mills was selected as the 2008 WCC Newcomer of the Year. Six of the last seven seasons (2006-2012), the Gaels have placed a member on the league's all-freshman team.

 

In 15 seasons, Bennett has guided the Gaels to a 333-151 (.688) overall record while compiling an 154-68 (.692) mark in WCC action. Bennett became the college's winningest coach when the Gaels defeated East Tennessee State in the semifinals of the Rainbow Classic on December 21, 2007, passing James Weaver (110-67), who held the record for 47 years.

 

Bennett became just the fourth head coach in school history to lead SMC to the NCAA Tournament when the Gaels garnered a No. 10 seed in 2005. In 2008, he became the only coach in the program's history to guide two teams to the NCAA Tournament when the Gaels again earned a 10-seed.  In 2012, the Gaels earned a program-best number seven seed in the NCAA Tournament.


Over the past 13 seasons, Bennett has guided the Gaels to 293 total wins, averaging 22.5 wins during that stretch.

 

The Gaels have compiled a 138-46 (.750) in regular-season WCC competition, and are just one of two teams in the WCC that have a winning record in conference play over that stretch.

 

In addition to being tough against WCC opponents, Bennett's Gaels are even tougher at home. In the last 12 years, SMC has a 179-29 (.861) in McKeon Pavilion, which includes a 141-18 (.887) mark over the last nine seasons. He has led SMC to at least the semifinals of the WCC Tournament in 14 of his 15 seasons, which include WCC Tournament final appearances in 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016. The 2010 team won the school's first WCC Tournament since 1997 and the 2012 squad gave the Gaels both the regular-season and tournament titles in the same season.

 

Under Bennett's tutelage, the Gaels have posted seven second place finishes in the WCC (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 & 2014) and won the 2011 & 2016 regular-season co-championships and the 2012 outright title.

 

Combined with his 15 years as the head coach at SMC, Bennett has more than 30 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level. After serving as an assistant coach for 16 years at San Diego (1985-96), Pepperdine (1996-99) and Saint Louis (1999-01), 
Bennett was hired as the 27th head coach at Saint Mary's in April 10, 2001. His tremendous wealth of knowledge and coaching expertise helped SMC to its first NCAA tournament berth in nine years and he was rewarded with a new six-year contract in April of 2005.  In the fall of 2011, he signed a new 10-year contract.

 

Prior to Saint Mary's, Bennett was the top assistant at Saint Louis University for two years under Lorenzo Romar. Taking over after a season in which the Billikens were sub .500, Romar and Bennett coached Saint Louis to an NCAA Tournament berth after winning the Conference USA Tournament with four consecutive wins in four consecutive days, holding all opponents under 60 points. Saint Louis was the first team in NCAA history to accomplish this feat. Included was an upset of then-no. 1 ranked Cincinnati.


Bennett's on-court duties at Saint Louis included coordinating the conference-best field goal defense, working daily with individual players and teaching team concepts. Off the court, Bennett served as the program's recruiting coordinator, organized practice schedules, and scouting.

 

Before working with Romar at Saint Louis, Bennett was also his top assistant at Pepperdine University from 1996-99, where he helped rebuild the Waves' program. The 11-win turnaround following the 1996-97 season was the second biggest improvement in the nation from the year prior. Two years after taking over a program that finished last in the WCC, the Waves finished second in 1998 and 1999 and advanced to the NIT following a 19-12 finish to the 1998-99 regular season. As recruiting coordinator at Pepperdine, Bennett helped attract a top-20 nationally-ranked class in 2007, which included talented players such as 2001 all-WCC honorees Kelvin Gibbs, Cal transfer Jelani Gardner and Arizona State transfer Tommie Prince. In 1998, Bennett coordinated the successful recruitment of 2001 all-WCC honoree Brandon Armstrong out of Vallejo High School. Armstrong went on to be the first WCC player to be drafted in the first round since Steve Nash and the first player since Dennis Johnson to depart school early to go to the NBA. He was also responsible for coordinating the program's defense, which was ranked no. 1 in the WCC in 1997 and 1998. 

 

Bennett worked with individual players on a daily basis, teaching team concepts and coordinating and evaluating practices.
Bennett began his coaching career with a one-year stint as an assistant coach at the University of San Diego. He then moved to the University of Idaho for two-years, before returning to San Diego for another eight seasons as the Toreros top assistant. Bennett started at San Diego under Hank Egan before returning as an assistant coach for Brad Holland. During his time at San Diego, the Toreros amassed a 122-102 (.598) overall record.

 

Bennett serve as recruiting coordinator for the Toreros and worked daily with individual players, taught team concepts, coordinated and executed practice and assisted with the coordination of the preseason conditioning program. In his two-year stint at Idaho, Bennett worked under former Chicago Bulls and USC Trojans head coach Tim Floyd from 1987-88. The Vandals finished the 1988 season 19-11 and placed second in the Big Sky Conference.

 

Bennett earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of California at San Diego in 1986, where he played basketball from 1983-85 and served as team captain. Prior to UCSD he attended Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., where he played basketball for his father from 1980-82. At Mesa, Bennett helped his team to a 31-4 record and an Arizona Junior College championship and no. 10 national ranking in the 1980-81 season. In the 1981-82 season Bennett was the team captain and led the team to a 25-6 record and second-straight Arizona Junior College championship. Randy married Darlene (Darby) in the summer of 1998, and lives in Moraga with their two sons Chase and Cade.


http://m.smcgaels.com/mobile/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=1504493&db_oem_id=21400

Edited by Nebrasketballer

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I've been on the Tim Miles train as much as anyone. He has been my favorite coach in regards to teams that I cheer for (I am very young so that list of coaches isn't very long).  But his seat definitely is getting warm. All the reasonable fans think he deserves another year barring a disaster this year. Well a loss like we just had yesterday is a good way for a season to start spiraling out of control. Hopefully Miles and staff can convince the kids they are the team that beat dayton and played three top 10 teams evenly for a half+. Not the team that showed up yesterday.

 

Hoping we right the ship.

Edited by khoock

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36 minutes ago, colhusker said:

Agree but there in lies the problem, Div 1 basketball programs should have several kids that can hit an outside shot.

Here isn't the problem I see... players feed off of each other.  Both negatively and positively.  If we had that one dead eye shooter that could stop the bleeding, I bet you Jack, Tai, Gill, maybe even Jacobson start shooting it better.  I noticed it with GW yesterday.  They made a shot, made a shot, banked a 3 and pretty soon everyone was making things.  Confidence comes and goes for an individual, but that can also affect the team.  We need that one guy to knock down 3-5 shots and get everyone going.  Right now it's like no one wants to shoot because they know it isn't going in.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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1 hour ago, HuskerFever said:

 

Hoiberg was making $2.6M at Iowa State. He's making $5M/year (5 year contract totaling $25M total) at the Chicago Bulls. Miles is making $2.0M/year through 2020.

 

Either pay up or shut up.

 

Pay up or accept your status. Go big or stay home. It's either got to be a splash hire, or you hire another mid-level guy who will need five years to build a program only to find out that he can't win enough here. If the next hire is going to be more of the same, you might as well give Miles a couple more years.

 

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If Eichorst didn't throw out a blank check for football and go with a splash hire...he sure as hell isn't doing it for the basketball program. Which is what we have going against us with these big names we're throwing out there.


Sad but probably true. I would rather get rid of Eichorst first.

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6 minutes ago, OmahaHusker said:

If Eichorst didn't throw out a blank check for football and go with a splash hire...he sure as hell isn't doing it for the basketball program. Which is what we have going against us with these big names we're throwing out there.

 

His two big hires so far, Larranaga and Riley, were both established head coaches with occasional big years in their early 60s. Would he stay with that pattern? Would someone like, say, Bruce Weber excite anybody?

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19 minutes ago, Dead Dog Alley said:

 

His two big hires so far, Larranaga and Riley, were both established head coaches with occasional big years in their early 60s. Would he stay with that pattern? Would someone like, say, Bruce Weber excite anybody?

 

Didn't he just hire Amy Willams? She looks pretty good at 60!  

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23 minutes ago, Dead Dog Alley said:

 

His two big hires so far, Larranaga and Riley, were both established head coaches with occasional big years in their early 60s. Would he stay with that pattern? Would someone like, say, Bruce Weber excite anybody?

 

No. (and FWIW I like Bruce Weber).  Coaching merry-go-rounds seldom work out.  We have to get out of that pattern.  As disappointing as the loss was yesterday I think it would be a mistake to get rid of Miles at this point. 

 

That said I do have concerns that he has "lost" some of his players.  I don't think it is irreparable but the interaction between Miles and Watson that I saw yesterday was not good.   You can't let the players control the program but if Glynn Watson is unhappy here then we have a problem that needs to be addressed.

 

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This was written on the LJS web page after Sipples article, I think it hits a lot of what most of us are thinking:

 

John Anthony Brodston · 
Works at UNICEF
Sooner or later UNL will have a decent team. It depends on getting a couple of players who were lightly regarded by other programs who turn into Big Medicine. Or they hire a coach like Rick Pitino who will give you good results and then five years of NCAA sanctions. Neither Gregg Marshall nor any other established coach is coming to Lincoln, Nebraska. Miles will probably be gone soon. He will go the way of Sadler and the current AD at Butler. Hopefully his replacement will not listen to the microcephalics in the Booster Club who told Miles to go out and say things like "We are the only show in town!" The new coach will have the distinctly unpleasant task of holding his own in a very tough league as well as having to operate in the blue glow from Omaha that is lighting up Nebraska and Western Iowa.

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53 minutes ago, Dead Dog Alley said:

 

His two big hires so far, Larranaga and Riley, were both established head coaches with occasional big years in their early 60s. Would he stay with that pattern? Would someone like, say, Bruce Weber excite anybody?

 

Gross.  I would take Tim Miles 100 times over Bruce Weber

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I have a lot of respect for Randy Bennett, but I am not sure his recruiting connections are comparable to Riley or Larranga.  Larranga had a lot of east coast connections which allowed him to bring good talent to Miami.  Otherwise, I could see Bennett fitting the Eichorst profile.

 

I still could see Tommy Amaker.  Jeff Capel is a maybe (I am not sure the Tiny Gallon controversy may disqualify Capel).  

 

Not being realistic, but I would love Mark Few.   

 

 

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1 hour ago, Silverbacked1 said:

This was written on the LJS web page after Sipples article, I think it hits a lot of what most of us are thinking:

 

 
John Anthony Brodston · 
Works at UNICEF
Sooner or later UNL will have a decent team. It depends on getting a couple of players who were lightly regarded by other programs who turn into Big Medicine. Or they hire a coach like Rick Pitino who will give you good results and then five years of NCAA sanctions. Neither Gregg Marshall nor any other established coach is coming to Lincoln, Nebraska. Miles will probably be gone soon. He will go the way of Sadler and the current AD at Butler. Hopefully his replacement will not listen to the microcephalics in the Booster Club who told Miles to go out and say things like "We are the only show in town!" The new coach will have the distinctly unpleasant task of holding his own in a very tough league as well as having to operate in the blue glow from Omaha that is lighting up Nebraska and Western Iowa.

He pretty much hit the nail on the head. No big time coach will come here.

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2 hours ago, hskr4life said:

Here isn't the problem I see... players feed off of each other.  Both negatively and positively.  If we had that one dead eye shooter that could stop the bleeding, I bet you Jack, Tai, Gill, maybe even Jacobson start shooting it better.  I noticed it with GW yesterday.  They made a shot, made a shot, banked a 3 and pretty soon everyone was making things.  Confidence comes and goes for an individual, but that can also affect the team.  We need that one guy to knock down 3-5 shots and get everyone going.  Right now it's like no one wants to shoot because they know it isn't going in.

 

Just my 2 cents.

Like when Roby was wide open and passed it out to Tai.

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3 hours ago, Dead Dog Alley said:

 

His two big hires so far, Larranaga and Riley, were both established head coaches with occasional big years in their early 60s. Would he stay with that pattern? Would someone like, say, Bruce Weber excite anybody?

Heck no on Weber

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Our last 3 coaches, were a guy who brought in local kids, and failed.  Next, was a guy who tried to bring in marginal players and coach them up, and failed.  Finally, we have a guy who is bringing in talented players.  It hasn't brought us much luck, yet.

 

We have a choice.  We can look for the next great thing, or we can keep Miles and see if we can make something of the players he is bringing in.

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I'm still hoping Miles can get this ship corrected. If this team plays well and improves in conference play, I'd like to give Miles another year. 

 

If that that doesn't happen, I would pull a complete dick move and offer Chris Collins $1 million more than he's making at Northwestern and expand the recruiting budget if he's willing to accept. 

 

We're Nebraska though, you know we would botch another hire in a second. 

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2 hours ago, Ron Mexico said:

The bigger question is who would actually want to come here coach? Nebraska is the school where basketball coaching careers go to die. It is beyond depressing.

 

What are you talking about???

 

You've got a high-profile 20-47 coach in the Conference USA, a guy who stopped coaching and now tells other coaches what to do, and a guy who got suspended from a military academy school and is now an assistant coach at a Pennsylvania high school.

 

Sounds like a great track record that other ambitious prospective coaches would want to follow.

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