Things seem really bad in the MSU basketball world right now. This week has basically been a complete disaster. Deville Smith leaves the program, Renardo Sidney signs with an agent (this is actually the best thing to happen all week), Steve Prohm signs an extension with Murray State, Frank Martin signs with South Carolina (upping the ante for State), Arnett Moultrie declares for the NBA draft, Bryce Drew takes his name out of consideration for MSU (we didn't even know he was under consideration before Wednesday), and then 5-star forward Devonta Pollard says he's not interested in Mississippi State anymore.
Wow, can things get any worse? Or, does Scott Stricklin have everything under control and we don't know it? Is it possible that he has not been impressed with any of these candidates, and so that is why we are two weeks into a coaching search without a clue as to who might be the next leader of our basketball program? I don't know if that's possible. I'm like 80-90% of our fanbase, I'm feeling pretty uneasy right now.
So, the way I see it, Strick's got two choices. #1: Just save a little face and hire Kenny Payne or Sean Woods to get it over with. #2: Up the price tag and get a good coach in here.
For choice #1: This will be because we've been turned down at every corner. Woods has already said he'd love to have the job, and I believe he's making less than $100K at Valley so he's like a safety net. If he's hired, it would basically mean all the folks that said firing Stansbury would be a mistake because we can't get anyone better - they'd be right.
For choice #2: I recall Alabama's coaching search after they fired Mike Shula. They went through several candidates, they even hired RichRod for a few hours. It seemed like no one really wanted to jump on it - the search took over a month....at the time they were offering around $2 million. Then, they had enough and brought out the big guns: $4 million a year for Nick Saban. Five years later they have two national championships. Pete Carroll - he was the 4th choice for USC in 2001; but they upped the ante after a few candidates turned them down and they got two national championships and seven PAC-10 championships.
I know Mississippi State basketball is not Alabama or USC football, but we can get up to $2 million per year, I'm sure of it. South Carolina just dedicated that much to a new basketball coach - when have they ever cared about basketball? State can do it. There is no reason to be turned down by mid-major coaches making less than $500K a year. MSU is in the SEC, we have a basketball-only practice facility, we have recruits, Ole Miss sucks, there is no reason why you'd stay at a school for $3-500K when you could get $1.5-2mil at MSU.
It's time to bring in the big time donors. It's time to put some big numbers in front of some big coaches. If we're going to swing and miss, we might as well get a really big cut in - let's not get cheated as they say in baseball. Swing for the fences, throw $2 mil + at a coach and see what he says. If we still can't get anyone, then we might as well just scrap the basketball program.