Preface: This has nothing to do with Rick Ray. I will support him 100% as the coach of Mississippi State basketball. But this has to be said.
Is an assistant coach off a 16-15 basketball team the best Scott Stricklin could do for Mississippi State? Uh, no. No way.
I was asked today what would I have done if I was Scott Stricklin? Who would I have gone to? Who would come to MSU? My answer: money talks. Here's what I know: Rick Ray will be paid $1 million to coach MSU. Are we serious here? What conference are we in again, CUSA?
Go to Gregg Marshall or any other proven coach, say 'here's $1.8, $2 million to coach our basketball program'. Get it done. It appears as though we were only willing to offer $1 million. There's no way I'm buying that Steve Prohm - a coach that went 31-2 this year - walked away from a chance to make $1.5 or $1.8 mil to make $300K at Murray State. But I will buy that he would walk away from $1 million. Think about it...go into the SEC, to a program that just ran off its all-time winningest coach who had 6 NCAA Tournament appearances to scrap the bottom of the SEC salary bucket or stay at Murray State where they love you?
This is the bottom line - MSU fans want to win. We are a good bit off the mark in football with Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Arkansas, and now Texas A&M (not to mention the monsters in the East), so basketball is our chance to be somebody. That's why State fans get antsy when we haven't been to the big dance in three years. So, if you're Stricklin don't you go out and get a guy you KNOW is going to win? Don't you ante up and pay a proven coach $2 million.
Rick Ray may be the next great coach, I sure hope he is. But Stricklin has me scratching my head a little bit. I don't want to be negative, I just want MSU to strive for the best. Hopefully I'm just a nutcase and completely off base.