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Searching For A New Michigan Basketball Coach Part II

With the Michigan Basketball Head Coach position open and free, yesterday I laid out the top candidates currently coaching.

Today I give you the candidates without current employment that are being or considered for the position. Like yesterday, below you'll find names, locations, background, who's supplying the rumor, my take on their abilities, the chances that coach ends up in Ann Arbor, and their potential impact on the program.

Now, more Maize n Candidates!

Rick Majerus, ESPN - Rumor Mongerer: Yours truly, ESPN Radio, MSM - How awesome would it be to have Tons of Fun on the bench in Ann Arbor? Majerus is everything Amaker wasn't. Firey. Insightful. Emotional. Fat. Capable of recognizing when his players are doing well and when they're not. Majerus was all over Amaker and Courtney Sims during a game he televised earlier this year. Just another reason why Maize n Brew is so enamoured with him, it's like he reads my mind. Majerus is not without significant drawbacks. You'll recall that not too long ago he accepted and summarily flaked on the USC HC job. Majerus also has diabetes and a history of heart problems. Despite that, he's a as good an Xs and Os guy as there is available. He's also top notch recruiter and managed to sell a Utah program to boosters who cared a hell of a lot more about beating BYU on field turf than in a field house.
Potential Impact: HUGE. And not just because he's fat. Majerus is basketball. I don't mean that in a larger than life kind of way (Ha! Another fat joke!), but when you hear his name you think final four, organized plays, and NCAA tournaments. He would immediately bring legitimacy to a program that desperately needs it. Majerus has a decent rep as a clean recruiter but differing opinions can be found. Majerus, despite his blinding whiteness and 400 lbs frame, can recruit anywhere and knows how to butter up alumni. If not for his health problems he'd be my first choice.
Chances: 25%. A big name like Majerus would require some heavy lifting by Martin. (Help! I can't Stop!) Any contract to lure him away from ESPN would be substantial, and facilities would likely be a non-starter. Plus, Majerus health problems likely is an automatic disqualifier.

Steve Lavin, ESPN - Rumor Mongerer: MSM - The former UCLA head coach has rocked the mic for ESPN over the past several years and seems to have escaped his reputation as a crappy ball coach. I put a call into Bruins Nation to inquire how Lavin was viewed by the Bruin faithful. His time at UCLA is referred to as a "Reign of Error." He is thought of as a conman, with the work ethic of a Teamster on disability. Finally, and I begged Nestor to left me quote him on this, is Nestor's take on Lavin:

Not only is [Lavin] a clueless idiot who doesn't know the difference between man and zone, he is a disingenous prick.

Not the most ringing endorsement. In his favor is the fact that Lavin was as good a recruiter as there was in the college game. Smooth as silk with players and parents, Lavin routinely brought in top of the barrel classes to UCLA. In 7 years he went to 5 sweet 16s. However, Lavin's teams were constantly criticized as underperforming, undeveloped squads. Leads were constantly squandered and inexplicable losses to teams like Ball State drove students and alumni crazy. It's arguable he was in the same situation Tubby Smith is in now.
Potential Impact: Medium. Lavin's time in the NCAA tournament, and his recruiting ability would play well to Tournament starved fans. However the long term cost, as Bruins Nation points out is pretty high. With Lavin's recruiting touch you can almost guarantee top notch classes, but with his coaching touch you can also guarantee inexplicable losses. However, what Lavin did best was win at the end of the year. Do that at Michigan, and people tend to forget your incompetence earlier in the year.
Chances: 20%. Lavin's past reputation is questionable enough it almost automatically disqualifies him, but we all know it's not that simple. He's a personable guy with a national face and a boatload of Tourney appearances. He ain't my favorite pick, but I'm sure he'll get a look from Martin.

Mike Montgomery, Former HC Golden State Warriors - Rumor Mongerer: Internets, MSM - Anyone who can turn Stanford into a national power where the Elite 8 every year wasn't out of the question. Sensational, clean recruiter with plenty of Xs and Os common sense. While at Stanford he led the Cardinal to 10 straight NCAA appearances and never lost his first round game. He left Stanford in 2004-2005 to become the next in a long list of ill-fated Golden State Warriors coaches. Montgomery was quickly relieved of his Association duties. He currently resides in California, sleeping on a bed of letters from Athletic Directors begging him to resurrect their programs. In his spare time he saves puppies from fires, researches a cure for cancer and serves as a peace negotiator in Sierra Leone.
Potential Impact: Planet Changing. Of all the coaches on any list, he's the one with the biggest impact. Squeaky clean. Been to the Association and survived it. A recruiting tongue so smooth it could convince a mother to give up her newborn for medical experimentation. He's a phenomenal on court coach with the ability to schmooze at the highest level. If given the opportunity, he could probably convince Martin and the alumni that the team needs solid gold hoops to practice on. Would immediately jump to the top of the Big Ten coaching heap.
Chances: 25%. At this point no one knows whether Montgomery is even looking. As Brian points out, he's been on the West Coast for 20 years and a move to the freezing cold of Ann Arbor might not be in the cards for him. In addition, the guy's 60. At a certain point he can say "screw it, I don't need another job." Still, Michigan is a prime name for him to craft a final college legacy with, so let's hope it's intriguing enough for him to consider.

Rudy Tomjanovich, Former Bad Ass Coach of the Houston Rockets - Rumor Mongerer: Internets, MSM - The former Michigan star and Association kingpin is currently the director of scouting for USA basketball. Tomjanovich left coaching for a while in 2003 during a bout with bladder cancer. He returned to the Association to temporarily coach the Los Angeles Lakers, but resigned (allegedly) due to health problems. It's widely assumed he simply hated the Lakers. Rudy's resume is the best in the pile with back-to-back NBA world championships in 1994 and 1995 and a gold medal from the 2000 Olympic Games. He's a Michigan alumni (though he never received a degree) who's jersey hangs in the rafters of Crisler. The boys over at make a solid pitch for the former Wolverine. While I'd wet my pants if Rudy wanted to come back to Ann Arbor, I thinks it's probably even more far fetched than the Tubby Smith candidacy. Tomjanovich does have serious health problems, and while his cancer is in remission and his job status allows him to seriously consider the position, he hasn't even hinted he's interested.
Potential Impact: Planet Altering. Michigan would go from laughing stock to NCAA championship threat in a season. He is that good a coach. Alumni wallets would fly to the basketball program like they were magnetically attracted. Cats and Dogs. Living together. Mass hysteria.
Chances: 5%. No one has any idea if he's interested. The lack of a college degree makes his candidacy even harder. We're also talking about NBA type money to lure him here. If Rudy wants a coaching job anywhere at any price, there are plenty of Association members that will happily divvy up whatever he wants to run their team. Longest of the long shots. But still a shot worth taking.