To get a sense of just how in demand Fred Hoiberg is at the NBA level, think about it like this: Mark Jackson is coming off of a 51-win season as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, making it to the playoffs for a second consecutive season. They took the L.A. Clippers to seven games as a No. 6 seed before bowing out in the first round. And Jackson also just so happens to be loved by his organization’s superstar Steph Curry.
Oh, and most importantly, he is still employed by the Warriors.
Which is what makes it surprising that Tim Kawakami, a columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, penned something like this:
It could be about Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg—is Warriors management’s theoretical top choice willing to talk about coming to the Warriors?
Tell Lacob and general manager Bob Myers that Hoiberg or broadcaster Steve Kerr are live, interested options… and that might make Jackson’s departure a fait accompli.
Hoiberg is the favorite to get a job that hasn’t even been vacated by a man that has led a team to back-to-back Playoff appearances and is very well-liked by the face of the Warrior organization.
Must be nice to be wanted.
And for Iowa State fans, they might as well just get used to this. Given Hoiberg’s history with the NBA, the belief that he wants to be back at that level and the success that he has had with the Cyclones, this speculation isn’t going away anytime soon.
Here’s the part that might actually be scary: I’m not sure there is a more perfect fit for Hoiberg than in Golden State. Hoiberg’s had success because his teams get up and down the floor, spread the court, hit threes and capitalize on mismatches. He would have a lot of success with a roster like Golden State’s.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.
For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.
The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.
2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.
3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.
4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.
5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
- No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
- No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.
No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.
Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.
But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.
It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:
After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: