Bill Carmody’s seat is warm. Warmer than he has ever felt it before and warmer than a seat typically gets for coaches at Northwestern. After yet another year in which his team failed to miss the NCAA Tournament, Carmody is taking heat.
And he certainly deserves it.
This year’s team underachieved. It failed in the clutch so many times throughout the season and couldn’t come up big in big moments and that’s a reflection of the coach. Carmody’s level-headed approach to his job is impressive, but there’s also something to be said for igniting a fire under your time to provide a spark.
However, this isn’t a call to fire Carmody. There is certainly validity to the argument for it — 12 seasons without an NCAA Tournament appearance would do it — but the timing isn’t right. A few years ago? Sure. But not now.
Right now, Carmody has one year left on his contract and it comes in a season when he has more talent returning than ever before. There’s not John Shurna, but Drew Crawford will be the senior star next year.
Reggie Hearn, Alex Marcotullio and Dave Sobolewski will both be much more experienced than they were at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season and JerShon Cobb showed signs of having a breakout year in 2012-2013.
The Cats get back Tre Demps, who many people thought would be a star before he got injured early in the year, and they’ll have TCU transfer Nikola Cerina, who can provide more mobility and talent inside than NU has had in quite a while.
Add all of that to a solid recruiting class, and this team may be the most talented Carmody has had. Give him one more year to win with this team. If he can, let him come back; if he can’t, move on.
Really, nobody has a better chance to win at NU next year than Carmody does. When a coach is fired there is always player and staff turnover and most coaches endure rough transitions. Why turn next year into a rebuilding year when it doesn’t have to be.