With Tom Crean’s official notice of termination delivered earlier this evening, Georgia can now start looking forward to the future of its men’s basketball program.
On one hand, UGA is coming off of a horrid 6-26 season. Despite the program’s recent troubles, Athens still sits 70 miles from one of the largest bases of high-school basketball talent in the country. UGA is coming off of a football national title, and it has one of the most profitable athletic departments in the country. Plenty of potential candidates will have interest in the job.
Soures close to the situation told DawgSports that Colorado State head coach Niko Medved is among the candidates that Georgia is considering for the job.
Murray State coach Matt McMahon, former UGA assistant and player Jonas Hayes, Cleveland St coach Dennis Gates, and UT-Chattanooga head coach Lamont Paris have been connected to the job by multiple outlets, and they are among the candidates that sources confirmed this evening.
DawgSports has learned that Hayes has already interviewed for the job, confirming a report by Dawgs247 earlier this evening. Sources close to the situation confirmed that UGA has discussed trying to bring Hayes back to Athens if he isn’t chosen for the job. Hayes has deep ties to AAU and high-school programs across the state, and he would be a valuable to a new staff’s recruiting efforts in Atlanta.
Sources have also told DawgSports that McMahon and his wife Mary have done research on Athens in recent weeks, contacting local schools. The couple has two daughters and a son under age 12. McMahon’s Murray State team will be in the NCAA Tournament next week after going 30-2 and not dropping a game to a conference opponent in the regular season or conference tournament.
As of this hour, it is believed that Gates is one of UGA’s top candidates for the job. Gates spent eight years as an assistant under Leonard Hamilton at FSU. His Cleveland State team went 20-10 this year before losing in the Horizon league tournament. Many analysts think the Vikings will receive an NIT bid.
Cincinnati’s Wes Miller, North Texas head coach Grant McCasland, and Furman’s Bob Richey are also among candidates to watch.
Sportsline released odds on UGA’s next coach on Thursday evening. They are as follows.
- Jonas Hayes +300
- Matt McMahon +400
- Dennis Gates +400
- Frank Martin +700
- Rob Lanier +800
- Ben Howland +1000
- Andy Kennedy +1500
- Ed Cooley +2000
Sources close to the situation have told DawgSports to expect the search for a new coach to move quickly. We will have updates for you as more information becomes available.