Nebraska’s Doc Sadler wore out his welcome this season at Nebraska. Another losing record, coupled with an ineffective and uncompetitive conference games led to his demise. With the Huskers basketball team slipping into oblivion, a change of scenery was necessary for the program.
Nebraska basketball has a long way to go to get back to the top. Where they go and how much they are willing to pay is up to athletic director Tom Osborne. Nebraska cannot afford to go cheaply here, as the Huskers do not necessarily need, but would like to not see their basketball program, for lack of a better phrase, suck.
The first candidate that Nebraska should look for is Shaka Smart at Virginia Commonwealth. He led the program on a magical run to the NCAA final four last year, and is poised to make a splash again this season. Smart likes his team to push the ball offensively, while playing an agressive style of defense. If the Huskers can get him, that would an A+ hire.
Ben Howland from UCLA has been mentioned for the job, but after what has transpired there, I’m not sure the Huskers would really want him. I think someone like Scott Spinelli, who worked for Barry Collier at Nebraska (before Doc Sadler) would be a better hire.
Dana Altman and Greg Marshall have been mentioned for the job, but I cannot see either leaving their current positions for the Huskers job. Nebraska basketball is not like its football program. No tradition, no history. Nebraska cannot afford to let players like Mike Gesell, the top player in the state, go to Iowa of all schools. Iowa! They have as much basketball tradition as Nebraska does (EDIT: My apologies on initial research failing. Iowa’s track record is a heck of lot better than I thought. I blame this on my youth, as I really have never remembered Iowa being good, but that is still no excuse. After more research, Iowa’s history puts Nebraska to shame.)
Nebraska is going to have options, but unless they are really going to make a serious offer, don’t expect too many big name coaches on rise to even think about the Huskers. Let’s hope Dr. Osborne can find the right man, just like head football coach Bo Pelini.
Follow Paul Troupe on Twitter @gamin4HIM