Top Candidates to Replace John Thompson III

The original version of this post is HERE, and it has now been updated to reflect various moves on the coaching carousel this offseason.

In no particular order of preference:

King Rice - Assistant at Illinois St, Providence, and Vanderbilt before taking over at Monmouth. Has built Monmouth up over time, even now in a stronger MAAC league. Team plays fast and loose. Does carry some baggage from his past. Currently tied to Duquesne opening - and that should put things into perspective for the woe is me group of fans - this IS a good job and that can attract a good candidate. Reportedly has told Monmouth he'll be back next season.

Jamion Christian - Head man at Mt. St. Mary's. Only 34 years old. Has made the tournament twice in five years out of the Northeast Conference. Grew up in Quinton, VA. Played at Mt. St. Mary's and assistant stops at William & Mary and VCU. Teams plays an energetic and frenzied style. Perhaps his timing for this job could come next year if III is retained - Mt. St. Mary's did not have any seniors of note on this year's tournament team.

Archie Miller - Likely has head set on a bigger gig, and if Steve Alford bolts for Indiana he could be in consideration for the UCLA opening. However, wwould he take a job in the Pac-12 where he'd have to coach/recruit against his brother? Dayton isn't getting any better, time to jump might be now.

Shaka Smart - No harm to at least kick the tires to see where his head is. One more down year at Texas and those boosters will be clamoring for a change, he might want to make a move before it's forced and Georgetown would be a perfect fit.

Danny Hurley - Once a Rutgers assistant in the late 90's then onto St Benedict's and then Wagner before URI. Teams play incredibly hard. Has recruited well at URI. Edgy personality to deal with.

Tommy Amaker - Doesn't feel like it, but he has already been at Harvard for 10 years after stops at Seton Hall and Michigan. Likely a divisive candidate if it ever came to it. Would recruit well and another academic fit but on-court coaching could leave a lot to be desired (personally would not endorse it). A Falls Church, VA native.

Nathan Davis - A Bethesda, MD native and head coach at Bucknell. 43 years old. Spent 6 years at his alma-mater Randolph Macon before taking over at Bucknell. Previous assistant at Bucknell, Navy and Colgate. Academic fit. His teams play an uptempo style. Question would be (as with most in Ivy/Patriot league) - construction of staff and ability to recruit. 29-7 in Patriot League in 2 years with an NCAA appearance this year. Like Christian, he returns most of his roster for next season - and could be an appealing candidate a year from now.

Earl Grant - College of Charleston head man and Gregg Marshall disciple. 40 years old. Coached under Marshall for 6 years as an assistant at Winthrop and Wichita St before a stint at Clemson. Has taken COC from 3 CAA wins to 8 to 14 and played rival to Kevin Keatts (sigh) UNCW. Teams have played slow but they do defend.

Patrick Ewing - Best player in school history. 14 years as an NBA assistant. The Van Gundy coaching tree has had great success. Mike Malone, Thibs and Steve Clifford are well thought of, why not Patrick's turn? Also, Big John might love him more than his own sons. Has said recently he would listen.

I have excluded any assistant coaches without past HC experience (Ewing excluded) - given more time to reflect and what has ensued this year - it does feel as if someone who has run their program has to be the guy.

But, if you did look at assistants - I would offer up: Kenny Johnson (L'Ville), Chris Caputo (Miami), Mike Pegues (Xavier) - none ready for their own job beyond the low-mid major level but are all ace recruiters in the DMV. Perhaps there are more outside the box ideas (Monty Williams?) or guys looking for change (there always are ie Brad Underwood, just hard to peg down from the outside)

Thoughts? Any other possible viable options you can think of?

Stay Casual, my friends.