|Tony Barbee was not delivering on the $92.5 Million investment Auburn/credit:AuburnTigers.com|
Auburn is by no means a basketball powerhouse and fan support is very low right now. But here are five names which can help bring the basketball program back to a competitive level in the SEC.
1. Bob Hoffman, Mercer
Mercer won the A-Sun Tournament and tied for the regular season championship this year. But the Bears have enjoyed increasing success over his time in Macon. Hoffman has 61% winning percentage and 64% in conference. His ties to the state of Georgia will help with recruiting a critical area for Auburn's success.
2. Brad Brownell, Clemson
It seems hard to believe a basketball coach in the ACC would leave for the SEC but if Auburn throws some of their football money Brownell's way he will listen. As one of the lowest paid head coaches in the ACC with an above average record Brownell is due a raise. Can Clemson pay that considering what they just gave Dabo Swinney?
3. Ron Hunter, Georgia State
After toiling at IUPUI for many years, Hunter has Georgia State vying for a NCAA Tournament bid after winning the regular season title in the Sun Belt. More importantly, Hunter has connections in the talent hotbed of Atlanta where Auburn must succeed in recruiting to return the program to prominence.
4. Mike Young, Wofford
Young took over a struggling program and has taken it to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five seasons. This is while going head to head for a single bid in the Southern Conference with one of the most underrated coaches nationally, Bob McKillop at Davidson. All three of the Terriers NCAA appearances all-time are under Young.
5. Bruce Pearl
Pearl is the ultimate wild card for any program looking for a coach. He took Tennessee to six straight NCAA Tournaments but he has a NCAA "show cause" until August 23rd of this but that that doesn't preclude him from being hired; it simply means a hiring institution must "show cause" for why the sanctions against Pearl should not follow him to his new job. So what if Auburn goes under a one year post season ban for hiring Pearl? It is not as if they have been missing out on much as of late. Another plus for Pearl is he made a living off recruiting Georgia for players to build his post season teams.
If AD Jay Jacobs wants Pearl he may to fight off Boston College who is on the verge of firing Steve Donahue. Pearl is a Boston native.
Whomever Auburn hires must have recruiting ties to the South. Ties to the state of Georgia and specifically Atlanta would be a major plus.
Who do you think Auburn should hire?