After a tremendous effort in Thursday's first-round overtime loss to Villanova, Robert Morris head coach, Mike Rice plans to meet with Seton Hall officials tomorrow according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The source also said if Rice, 41, were offered the job at Seton Hall, there is "absolutely no doubt" he would make the jump from Robert Morris -- a Northeast Conference school -- to Big East member Seton Hall.
Could Cornell's Steve Donahue actually become a candidate for Seton Hall's opening following the Big Red run? Mark Blaudschun of Boston.com believes so:
Wanda Foote became friendly with the Cornell assistants and told them about her son, who went to Donahue and told him about Foote. Donahue, who has been coaching at Cornell for 10 years and is sure to be on the short list of schools looking for new coaches (Seton Hall?) endured six straight losing seasons before the class led by Foote, Wittman, and Dale turned the Big Red into the new powerhouse in the Ivy League.
I like Donahue as a coach, but I just don't see it working with the Pirates. It took six straight losing seasons before he assembled the current class which has dominated the Ivy League conference. Frankly, the Pirates have the talent to win now and need a coach to instill discipline, not necessarily come in and start rebuilding. Not to mention, I just don't see the Cornell style of play translating seamlessly to the roster in South Orange.
University of Richmond coach Chris Mooney may be the kind of remodeler that Seton Hall desires, writes John O'Connor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Mooney, 37 and a Princeton graduate who previously was head coach at the Air Force Academy, may be the kind of remodeler Seton Hall desires. When his UR contract was extended last March, Mooney said, "The biggest thing is I think we've brought in both good players and good kids who have been good students . . . Overall, the program, the foundation, is very strong right now."
Mooney is familiar with Seton Hall's Northeast recruiting base and runs a system (Princeton-style offense, match-up defense) that may allow an underdog to achieve in the highly competitive Big East. Also, Mooney's Spiders began gaining traction in the A-10 by becoming one of the league's best defensive teams. Seton Hall this season allowed an average of 75.4 points, 15th among 16 Big East members.
J.P. Pelzman still believes that Fran McCaffery is the leading candidate for the job:
Siena coach Fran McCaffery has emerged as the top candidate in the early stages of Seton Hall's search for a head men's basketball coach to replace Bobby Gonzalez, who was fired last week. He had not formally been contacted yet as of Monday, however, according to sources.
Despite reports that Seton Hall will spend up to $700K for the position, early indications were that SHU would be unwilling to match McCaffery's salary demands as he will likely be able to draw a larger salary elsewhere.
Jerry Carino provides his updated A and B lists: A List:
Fran McCaffery, Siena
Joe Dooley, Kansas assistant
Tom Pecora, Hofstra