Yesterday was Black Monday, how was Georgia impacted by the events of this day?
Readers may be wondering “What’s Black Monday?” and the second thought is “Please do not make this a race thing.” The good news is that this article has nothing to do with race (let Clay Travis and Jason Whitlock do that), the bad news is that coaches lost their jobs this weekend and yesterday due to poor performance. Black Monday is typically a day where many Athletic Directors choose to pull the plug on coaches’ tenures and it kick starts transfer season. Coaches that are rebuilding are aggressively trying to land Spring 2016 recruits and convince recruits that will sign in the Fall for the 2017 Class that things are on the up-swing.
More firings, hirings and transfers are on the way. Many programs want to hire a splashy coach quickly to get the coach in the CBS/TNT/TruTV/TBS studio during the NCAA Tournament to promote their program and new vision.
Tulane fired Ed Conroy at Halftime of a Quarterfinal Game in the AAC Tournament in Orlando. Conroy’s team found out about it from someone mentioning it casually on the sideline. This became an instant news story as Tulane was more than prepared to fire Conroy less than an hour after handshake lines. Tulane has not been to an NCAA Tournament since 1995 and the Green Wave have failed to make the NIT since 2000. Tulane was in the 2013 CIT and 2014 CBI.
Tulane was a member of the fading Conference USA until joining the American Athletic Conference (AAC). Joining the likes of Cincinnati, UConn, Memphis, Temple, SMU, Houston and Tulsa has provided Tulane with an opportunity to face major competition and gain greater exposure. Tulane has an opportunity through this conference to become significant on an athletic basis. Tulane’s academic reputation has fallen a bit in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but the institution still is very well-regarded and certainly is the most prominent institution of higher learning in the State of Louisiana.
Tulane has a new Football Coach in former Georgia Southern Head Football Coach Willie Fritz and will have a new Basketball Coach along with the recently built Yulman Stadium that is a bit of throwback to years past in Deep South College Football. Tulane is starting over from scratch and trying to build a foundation in a conference that they believe will provide them with a springboard.
Do not expect that Tulane is going to get a new College Basketball arena as they play at the historic Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse. It’s an old arena that debuted back in 1933, renovations have taken place over the past two years. It is not seen as a detriment by Athletic Director Troy Dannen.
The Conroy era ran into the confluence of not being able to reach a postseason tournament over the past two seasons and a brand new Athletic Director.
Tulane needed a change and it is understandable. The new coach may have some greater expectations than one would think.
How will Tulane’s situation change impact UGA?
- Will Philip Pearson be considered for this vacancy? Pearson knows the recruiting territory, has coached at a major program and is ready to take the next step in his career.
- The more longshot consideration: Malik Morgan may be an eligible graduate transfer. Consider that Juwan Parker’s status is still up in the air.
Trent Johnson was fired by TCU and his reign of futility in Fort Worth came to an end. Trent Johnson is Mark Fox’s best friend and he is a mentor to him as well. Johnson had a good run at Stanford and left for LSU in a suspicious fashion. He bolted for TCU in a move that looked like he was trying to prevent being fired. TCU was a fixture at the bottom of the Big XII under Johnson. Some program has to be at the bottom of this extremely difficult conference. TCU was not content to be cellar dwellers. TCU has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998 and has not been to the NIT since 2005.
What does TCU’s vacancy mean for Georgia?
- Power Forward Chris Washburn is a possible graduate transfer that may choose to join a program that has a chance at a postseason rather than continue with a rebuilding TCU program.
- If Philip Pearson gets a Head Coaching job somewhere, would Mark Fox bring Trent Johnson into the program and reunite the two coaches again?
Travis Ford was barely holding on in Stillwater and even though he was making NCAA Tournaments, it was just a matter of time for him to finally be fired. Oklahoma State is a program with an extremely proud Men’s Basketball program going back to Henry Iba. Travis Ford has had his share of talent at Oklahoma State, but this season’s team was rather depleted and is a reflection of the program.
How will Oklahoma State’s vacancy impact Georgia?
- Depends upon the new coach they hire: Would an underused Georgia student-athlete transfer to get more playing time or for a particular coach?
- Mark Fox is not a consideration for Oklahoma State, but Buzz Williams is supposedly at the top of their list. If Williams leaves Blacksburg, Georgia will likely face a less able recruiter representing Virginia Tech on the I-85 corridor.
Johnny Dawkins was fired after one NCAA Tournament appearance in eight seasons. Stanford is a prominent program in the Pac-12.
This is another case of Duke assistant that has failed in his effort to stand out on his own. Dawkins was not able to build off NIT Championships twice. He made it to the NCAA Tournament as a #10 seed in the season that his squad made the Sweet 16. Breaking away from the Mike Montgomery coaching tree has not turned out so well for Stanford. Will Stanford return to the Mike Montgomery coaching tree OR will they pave a different path?
How does the Stanford vacancy impact Georgia?
There is only one way the Stanford vacancy impacts UGA: If Stanford calls Mark Fox to gauge his interest in the job. Mark Fox’s mentor and best friend, Trent Johnson, as referenced earlier coached at Stanford. Fox’s biggest coaching influences: Tex Winter, Roy Williams, Tom Asbury, Trent Johnson and Mike Montgomery.
Trent Johnson was an assistant under Mike Montgomery in the late 1990s and as a Head Coach at Nevada had Mark Fox as an assistant in his staff.
Mark Fox has said ‘no’ promptly to every program that has inquired into his interest, which is important to keep in mind.