Several college basketball programs are already changing firing and hiring coaches, and this is the time of the year when recruits who signed during the early signing period can be released from their letter of intent — following dismissal of the coach they signed to play under. It isn’t a given, but most colleges will generally grant the release of signed prospects.
While the coaching carousel isn’t in full swing just yet, already some relatively high-profile positions are open at Illinois, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Nebraska, UAB, SMU, and elsewhere.
The primary candidates to be “poached” by other programs are big men, as they are typically in the shortest supply for recruiters. There aren’t any obvious stars signed to the aforementioned group of schools, but there is a few top-100 big men that are affected by the coaching movement in 7-0 Blaise Mbargorba (SMU), 6-9 Tyrone Haughton (South Carolina) and 6-8 Gavin Ware (Mississippi State). Those three prospects had numerous high-major scholarship offers and there’s little doubt that other programs have their feelers out at the present time.
During this situation, prospects wait for a new coach to be hired to be asked for their release, and could remain signed to the school.
Another interesting situation is at Rhode Island, where Danny Hurley was hired on Tuesday. Jordan Hare is verbally committed to the Rams, and a borderline top-100 recruit. He never signed with coach Jim Baron, and will likely have to be re-recruited to Rhode Island as a top priority for Hurley. Baron’s staff recruited Michigan well, where Hare is from, and it remains to be seen who will be on Hurley’s coaching staff at Rhode Island. To be sure, though, he was a good recruiter during his brief time at Wagner.
If Hurley cannot retain Hare at Rhode Island, he could be one of the biggest wilcard recruits as the regular signing period kicks off.