Normally by this point in the offseason the vacant head coaching positions in college basketball are filled. However currently there are three positions that have yet to be filled: Florida A&M, Mississippi Valley State and Oregon State. Of those three jobs the Oregon State position has received the most attention, which is obvious when considering the Beavers being a member of the Pac-12.
So who’s in line to replace Craig Robinson? That’s still up in the air, although it has been reported by multiple outlets that one coach being considered is current Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins. Hopkins is a native of southern California, a fertile recruiting ground that’s an important area for many of the programs in the Pac-12. However there are other names that have been discussed, with Arizona assistant Damon Stoudamire being one.
John Canzano of The Oregonian gave odds on five possibilities, with Hopkins, Stoudamire and Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle all receiving 5-to-1 odds. And here are his thoughts on Hopkins:
My thought: Feels like a longshot to leave Syracuse, but if you can get him, you get him. His connection to California is interesting. First heard his name in this race a week ago, but dismissed it as rumor. He’s real now.
Also mentioned in the article are two former Pac-12 assistants, Eric Musselman (who was a member of Herb Sendek’s staff at Arizona State this past season) and Travis DeCuire (was Mike Montgomery’s associate head coach at Cal).
According to Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune, Hopkins, DeCuire and Tinkle are the finalists for the position.
Whoever lands the job at Oregon State will have a tough task ahead of them, considering the program’s lack of success since the days when Gary Payton was running the point in Corvallis. And the timeline of this ongoing process won’t help matters from a recruiting standpoint either, as the new head coach will have missed out on the spring’s lone open evaluation period.
Will Oregon State be able to land the head coach capable of raising the program’s profile within the Pac-12? The hope amongst the fan base is that athletic director Bob De Carolis will be able to just that.