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Villanova Basketball’s Impact on the Coaching Carousel

The Jay Wright coaching tree continues to grow.

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Happy Thursday Nova Nation! The coaching carousel has already begun to spin, and we’re seeing coaching changes left and right at every level of college basketball. Usually there are two ways a coaching search goes. The first is pretty simple, a school knows who they want and that coach wants to be there. Done and done. The second is what we’ve started to see play out where the bigger school openings poach a candidate from a mid-major, who in turn poaches from another school, until finally someone that isn’t a head coach gets hired down the line.

Being a college coach can earn you a seven figure salary, so obviously there’s a lot of competition for these positions. Everyone wants to have the best resume possible, and right now it looks like a REALLY GOOD bullet point is “member of Jay Wright’s coaching staff”. For the past two consecutive seasons, Wright’s next in command has made the jump to a D1 Head Coach position. First it was Baker Dunleavy to Quinnipiac, followed last year by Ashley Howard heading downtown to La Salle. This season we’ve already seen three current and former staff members of Jay Wright’s have their names (and his) linked to open positions.

Let’s start with the most tangible of these rumors, Billy Lange to St. Joe’s. Lange has been a huge part of Philadelphia basketball, coaching at Philly U, La Salle, Villanova, and currently for the 76ers. He joined Jay Wright’s first staff at Villanova as an assistant from 2001-2004. He rejoined the staff for two seasons prior to heading to the pros in 2013. Mike Jensen first reported that he’s emerged not only as the favorite for the job, but that the school is actively recruiting him:

If Lange lands the job, Jay Wright is going to be in quite the pickle. He really doesn’t like coaching against former assistants because of how close he is with them. At the same time, he LOVES Big 5 basketball and would never give it up no matter what. It seems that after so many years of being under Wright’s thumb, the rest of Philly has figured out that the best chance to beat him is with his own guys.

Another blast from the past is current Iowa Assistant Andrew Francis. Francis’ started on Wright’s staff before heading to Sienna under Fran McCaffery. He would follow Fran to Iowa, and now is starting to get looks as a head coach. In the article below, he’s been linked with the South Dakota State job that opened when their head coach left for UNLV.

And that leaves us with Kyle Neptune, the only coach left on staff that was an assistant for both the 2016 and 2018 National Championships. Neptune’s been Wright’s assistant for six seasons now, eight all together when you include his two years as video coordinator before heading to Niagra and then Hofstra. He’s now been linked to several coaching searches, including Fordham (not technically open), George Washington, and was even thrown out as a long shot for St. Joe’s. Neptune has been a successful recruiter, and his tenure with Villanova spans the greatest stretch in program history. At this point it’s not a matter of if he’ll get a head coaching job, but when.

In other “news”, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had an impressive All-Star appearance, Ryan Arcidiacono has proven he belongs in the NBA, and NFL scouts were impressed at Villanova’s pro day. Enjoy!

Villanova Basketball Adjacent

South Dakota State basketball: As Otzelberger heads to UNLV, 11 possible replacements | Argus Leader
If national reports are correct, the Jackrabbits are in the market for a new men's basketball coach. Here are some possibilities. Another former Wright assistant is a candidate.

2019 NFL Draft: Takeaways, standouts from Villanova Pro Day | NFL Spin Zone
After the Villanova Pro Day on March 25, taking a look at the biggest takeaways and standouts in attendance ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft.

McDonald’s All-American Game

2019 McDonald's All-American Game: Cole Anthony named MVP, UK signee Tyrese Maxey shows flashes |
A look at the best highlights from the 2019 McDonald's All-American Game

CBB Recruiting 2019: Ranking 10 Best Classes After McDonald's All-American Game | Bleacher Report
The 2019 McDonald's All-American Game was full of superstar talent. The nation's 18 highest-rated college basketball recruits ― plus six more ― gathered for the All-Star showcase in Atlanta...

2019 McDonald's All-Americans Choose Preferred NBA Skill Sets | Basketball Society
Asked some players in the 2019 McDonald's All-American class which NBA skill sets they would choose between from Harden's handles, Curry's shot, and more.

McDonald's All-American Game Recap | 247 Sports
ATLANTA -- Led by Cole Anthony, the East Team knocked off the West Team 115-100 in the 42ndannual McDonald’s All-American game.

2019 McDonald's All-American Game: Report Cards for Every Player | Bleacher Report
The 2019 edition of the McDonald's All-American Game didn't feature much offensive organization or defense, as usual. But it nevertheless provides a great chance to see the guys who will become the nation's most touted freshmen come November...

NBA Wildcats

Has Bulls guard Ryan Arcidiacono shown enough to earn a roster spot next season? | Chicago Sun Times
Arcidiacono played in his 75th game Wednesday, leading all Bulls players. But has he shown enough to earn a roster spot for next season?

Zion Williamson tops Yahoo Sports mock draft | Yahoo! Sports
The Duke star is one of four Blue Devils projected to go in the first round of the NBA draft.

Big 5

Penn baseball blows four-run lead late to fall to Villanova | The Daily Pennsylvanian
Quakers failed to score five runs for just the fourth time this season

Report: St. Joe's Targeting Billy Lange as Phil Martelli's Replacement | Crossing Broad
Mike has been covering college hoops in Philly for a long time, so I would trust his sources on this one.

Sources: St. Joseph’s targeting Sixers assistant Billy Lange as next head coach | The Inquirer
An official announcement on Hawk Hill is expected this week.

College Basketball and March Madness

March Madness 2019: Sweet 16 expert bold predictions |
Our Sweet 16 roundtable tackles a number of topics, including Virginia vs. Oregon, which team Duke should least want to see and more.

How Will the End of One-and-Done Reshape College Hoops? | OZY
College basketball coaches and analysts are increasingly preparing for high school stars turning pro too early for their own — and the game’s — good.

Building a college football team using 2019 NCAA Tournament players |
We’ve seen these guys dominate on the court, but what if they suited up on the gridiron?