Mike Young

College of Charleston coaching search takes another turn

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With there being reports that the College of Charleston had two finalists for its head coaching vacancy picked out, alum and former great Anthony Johnson and current Wofford head coach Mike Young, the conclusion of the search seemed to be approaching. Pick one of the two, negotiate a contract and then announce a press conference. That simple, right? Apparently not.

According to Andrew Miller of the Charleston Post and Courier both Johnson and Young have removed their names from consideration, meaning that the school and its search committee have to go back to the drawing board. Wednesday afternoon there was a report that Johnson was the choice, but in a statement Johnson mentioned family reasons as to why he won’t be taking over at his alma mater.

With Johnson, who interviewed for the position in 2012 before the school hired the since-fired Doug Wojcik, and a successful coach in Young no longer considering the position the question now is who can the College of Charleston call. And even more importantly, what quality option can the school call who will be willing to take the job?

Also having interviewed for the opening are four coaches who are currently assistants at high-major programs: Earl Grant (Clemson), Bobby Lutz (NC State), Karl Hobbs (UConn) and Ritchie McKay (Virginia). Of the four three have Division I head coaching experience, with Hobbs leading George Washington to three NCAA tournament appearances (2005, 2006 and 2007) and Lutz having led Charlotte to five NCAA tournament appearances (1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005).

McKay, who also spent time at Colorado State, Portland State, Oregon State and Liberty, led New Mexico to the NCAA tournament in 2005.

Does Charleston give any of those four a call? It would make sense to do so given the fact that they’ve all been interviewed, but with the search having reached this point what are the chances any would be willing to take the job? With classes now in session (the first day was August 19) the clock is ticking on the administration to end the search.

Yet given how things have gone to this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to how long it will take the College of Charleston to do so.

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.