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Providence is knocking

George Mason Basketball: Providence is knocking

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Providence is knocking

After weeks of speculation on Coach Larranaga and the recent head coaching job opening at his alma mater Providence I think it's time to share some perspective on the subject. After the Final Four run of 2006 many schools were pursuing the old ball coach, even NC State. I wasn't worried then about Coach L leaving and not really that worried now either. Today in Andy Katz blog he confirms that Providence has indeed been in contact with Mason:
"Providence athletic director Bob Driscoll asked for permission to talk to George Mason coach Jim Larranaga, GMU athletic director Tom O'Connor confirmed to Larranaga is a Providence College graduate. It's unclear whether or not Larranaga will meet with Driscoll."
O'Connor seems confident that Larranaga will stay in Fairfax considering his investment in the community with organizations such as the Washington Speakers Bureau. I agree but I think he will stay for other reasons, such as potential job security. Definitely not as much pressure in the CAA as there would be in the Big East. The top half of the Big East is stacked with talented teams and I don't think Coach L cares about a pay increase that much to have the face those kind of teams on a weekly basis. He would have his work cut out for him at Providence just trying to stay in the middle of the pack in the standings. Larranaga is starting to get more respect in the DC Metro area and has even started to pull recruits away from local powers Georgetown and Maryland. Larranaga might have pulled in his most highly rated prospect ever to come to Mason when point guard Andre Cornelius verballed back in September. Cornelius is also the highest rated player coming into the CAA next season, why leave with that on your plate?

Mason has been in contention for the CAA title on a regular basis lately and frankly Larranaga is a Godsend to fans compared to some of past coaches here in Fairfax. Speaking of past Mason head coaches, did you know Roy Williams almost wore green and gold? If Coach L was younger I would be worried about him bolting for a chance like this at bigger conference but for now I think we are safe.



Blogger Matt Scanlon said...

Why would Coach L want to be known as the Benedict Arnold of George Mason?

I suspect he'll stay.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Brannman. know it's good for you. said...

Coach L. is very happy at Mason, and beloved by our university president. It would be very surprising, at 58, to see him depart for any jobs. I think we'll be seeing Larranaga on the Mason sidelines for another 5-10 years, unless maybe, a chance to get an ACC gig comes up before he's ready to retire (referencing his early days at UVA).

6:33 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Him leaving Mason wouldn't make him Benedict Arnold, we switch jobs in our 9-5's, why is a coach a traitor if he does the same? If he pulled a Nick Saban and said he would stay and then leaves, I would take issue with that, but him just leaving isn't wrong to me.

I want him to stay but wouldn't wish ill will on him if he left, what he contributed to in 2006 gives him saint status in my eyes, no matter what he decides to do.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Matt Scanlon said...

Yea I wasn't very clear: people get attached.

There are New Yorkers who are still mad at the Dodgers for leaving (despite giving them years of entertainment for free).

There are New Englanders who are mad at Adam Vinatieri for going to the Colts.

It goes on and on.

I certainly wouldn't hold any ill will to Coach L, but if he did leave GMU at the moment everyone is expecting us to become the Gonzaga of the East, there would be a bitter aftertaste for many people.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Matt Scanlon said...

Biggest traitor in all of sports: Gordon Bombay.

(Who coaches against their childhood team? Seriously.)

8:46 PM  

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