The Fred Hill era is over at Rutgers University. Interesting how the AD called Hill "Freddy" in his statement as if they are good buddies and everything is OK. At last the leaks to the newspapers by both sides will stop.
If Fred Hill, or should I say Freddy Hill, accepted $850,000 to walk away from $1.8 million I would be stunned. Often in settlement cases they agree on a figure to be released to interested parties with the actual amount not disclosed based on embarrassment to either party. Yes the amount could be known based on various reporting factors. But when you have contributions from outside sources you never know. Fred might have gotten an additional amount they are not talking about.
Well what happens from here? Does Rutgers have a coach waiting in the wings? Are they now talking to a few people? Will they please Bob Hurley by hiring Mike Rice, a great guy who took Robert Morris from lousy to very good during his brief tenure there? Would that make Hurley send alot of players Rutgers way and if he did would that be enough to make them a yearly NCAA contender? As much as I admire and respect Coach Hurley, I doubt it.
How about all the Hoop Group connections including a strong one from one of the great people in basketball Rob Kennedy? Rob Kennedy feels Rice is the perfect guy for the job based on his experience at various universities and time as a Hoop Group Director. Well the departing staff at Rutgers were sort of a Hoop Group connection as well. Many even joked even if Rutgers did not win many games, they would still run the best camps in the country lol.
Well besides all of that I really like Mike Rice as a future coach at Rutgers or anywhere else. But I also like Jim O'Brien and Fran Fraschilla as well.
People can say what they wish about Jim O'Brien but as a person who knows him via recruiting and other basketball activity in New York and New Jersey I will tell people this guy is Class with a capital "C." Still remember how he raised his daughters after a family tragedy years ago. Still remember how he turned Boston College into a eastern power. Also remember how kids loved playing for him. And what happened at Ohio State was a crime that Ohio State paid for dearly. People with little true knowledge can say what they wish about a person who is a proven winner. But those who understand a little better realize that Jim O'Brien would be a very good if not great Head Coach for Rutgers.
Lets talk Fran Fraschilla. I laugh when I think about what folks say about him. I laugh when I read the vicious lies others people make up about him. I laugh at how people get it twisted when it comes to the type of person he is. I laugh because many have it very wrong. Fran is an OUTSTANDING CANDIDATE for the Rutgers Head Coaching position. In fact, he might be the only person who could go head to head against Steve Lavin in a living room based on recognition and competitive factors. But let us go beyond that. Fran is a outstanding coach who would not accept losing and would recruit as if his life was on the line. I for one am shocked he would consider coaching in the east again. I have not spoken to him in years but understand from others that he was happy living out west. Well if Rutgers hires Fran, a new day stars right away because this guy will win quicker than any other candidate. Everyone I know loves Fran and appreciates how he came from a small D3 CUNY school to where he was and is now. I also know Darren Savino is very close to him. I wonder if he would keep him on the RU Staff? They have named Savino coach until a permanent coach is named. UMMMMMMMM?
Downside of Hiring any of the 3 mentioned
The one thing I have to ask about is Frans treatment of staff ala Bobby Gonzalez. I am not sure if staff ran from him or was it Bobby G during his days at Manhattan. I will have to ask Tony Chiles about this when I see him. Someone left Manhattan to go to Iona and I do not know if it was during the Gonzo or Fran era. But even if it was Fran, he is older and wiser now and I am sure it would not be the same way now. Again he would make Rutgers competitive from day 1.
O'Brien has been far away from the college game and that could hurt him recruiting wise. I also think FALSE info and perceptions about him could b a factor. But if Rutgers does homework they will see he is a good person. As good as he is, he would take his time building RU into a Big East contender.
Mike Rice has the entire package as well. Young and dynamic to say the least. But will hiring him be just another Hoop Group guy bringing other camp guys to a Big East program? Rice would need the right staff to get it done at Rutgers. In no way should he bring his entire Robert Morris Staff. This is the big league and takes some connections, wheeling and dealing to get it done.
I really like all 3 candidates. But I love Fran as the coach of Rutgers at this time based on what they have been through and need. Rutgers needs some serious healing based on alot of years of turmoil and poor basketball performance. Rutgers needs to fill the RAC and make the games interesting again. If not Fran, I hope whoever it is they do a great job because the tri state area needs Rutgers to be good.
Lastly. Not sure this would happen but Eddie Jordan would be a HOME RUN as well. people forget he coached at Rutgers in the past. He would be great with the right staff as well. maybe bring Phil Sellers as Coordinator of Basketball operations or something similar.
I think both Jeff Robinson and Jeremy Hazell will return to school if there are no hidden factors (grades, etc.).
Next season should be great with all the new coaches including Willard. I really hope SHU sells out every game and against Rutgers gets 15,000
I hope Rutgers averages 8000 this upcoming season. The right new coach and this will happen.
St. Johns with the Hollywood guy will definitely see a attendance bump.