Who might replace Bill Carmody at Northwestern?

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There are financial advantages to letting Bill Carmody finish out his contract at Northwestern, as there won’t be a buyout. NU needs to put more money into its next coach and the program as a whole when that coach takes over. Even if Carmody makes the Big Dance next season, the school has to help him out by upgrading facilities and re-examining admission standards.

Without a buyout to deal with, NU can put all its money into the program after next season, be it with Carmody or another coach.

If the Cats fall short of expectations again next season and Carmody isn’t resigned, NU will have had time to thoroughly evaluate coaching options and have a succession plan in place.

Guest post by Kevin Trahan of bigtenorbust.com, purplewildcats.com and the Daily Northwestern.

Some possible replacements:

Tavaras Hardy:

A current Northwestern assistant and former player who has done a good job developing talent and recruiting Chicago. He knows the program well and there wouldn’t be much player turnover.

Chris Collins:

Collins was a star at Duke and is now an assistant on the Blue Devils’ staff. He is a highly regarded assistant and will likely land a head coaching job sometime soon. He’s also a native of Northbrook, Illinois, which is close to Evanston, so he knows the Chicago basketball landscape.

Ben Jacobson:

Jacobson is the head coach at Northern Iowa and has taken the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament twice in six years, including a Sweet Sixteen run in which UNI upset No. 1 Kansas. He’s done a good job developing talent at UNI and has a personality that ranges between Carmody and fiery NU football coach Pat Fitzgerald.

Bryce Drew:

Drew led Valparaiso to the Horizon League regular season title this season in his first year as head coach. He was an assistant at Valparaiso during the 2005-2006 season at the same time current NU assistant Ivan Vujic was an assistant there.

All of these coaches have their pros and cons, but none of them would be able to have the same success as Carmody next season. And with so much talent coming back — at least by Northwestern standards — it doesn’t make sense to bring in someone new next year.

Carmody has had plenty of second chances in his time at NU, but in the interest of the program, he deserves one more. Let him know that it’s tournament or bust next season and if he fails to make the Big Dance once again, let him go with minimal losses and a rebuilding plan in place. There’s no reason to do that now and set the program into downswing, especially when next year is actually looking up.

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