Three-Point Play: SEC searches, Texas Tech, Harlond Beverly
In today’s edition of the Three-Point Play, National Eric Bossi discusses some of the latest college coaching carousel movement, which team should benefit the most on the recruiting trail from their Final Four run and why Harlond Beverly’s star is on the rise.
1. The SEC's coaching carousel has been the most interesting
I have to say it, monitoring the SEC’s coaching carousel this spring has been quite entertaining. The continued emphasis on basketball in the football wonderland is impressive and should be very encouraging to fans of the conference.
Over the course of a few days, we saw Texas A&M add Buzz Williams, Vanderbilt add Jerry Stackhouse and now Arkansas has added Eric Musselman. The new blood makes the conference all that much more interesting.
In Williams, I feel pretty strongly that A&M has made the single best hire of this season’s coaching carousel. He rallies his guys, he rallies fanbases, he is a tireless worker and oh yeah, he wins too. With the resources he’ll have at his disposal, I’d be pretty surprised if he doesn’t crush it down in College Station.
In Stackhouse, Vanderbilt has made the most intriguing hire of the offseason. Stack is one of the toughest dudes I have ever seen play basketball and from him launching a summer program, spending summers coaching high school players at the NBPA Top 100 Camp and his work as a G League coach, it’s clear this isn’t just a flight of fancy. Will it work? I don’t know. But what does Vanderbilt have to lose right now? I like the idea of going outside the box for a coach and that creative thinking is going to end up paying dividends.
It looked early last week like Musselman was a lock for the Arkansas job. Then things cooled and the Razorbacks looked elsewhere. By the end of the weekend, though, it was back to Musselman. I don’t think you will find anybody that questions whether or not the man can coach. He’s also done a great job of putting rosters together by hitting it big in the transfer market. At the same time he’s had roster and coaching turnover there are some in his line of work with mixed feelings about him. I’m really curious to see what direction he goes with his staff and I’m curious to see what happens with Kyree Walker. The 2020 guard is most likely going to end up in 2019 and has been linked closely to Musselman, can he be the beginning of things in Fayetteville?
2. Texas Tech will reap rewards from Final Four run
I know I’m not exactly going out on a limb here, but Chris Beard and Texas Tech should experience the most long term benefit of their Final Four run.
After all, Michigan State and Tom Izzo don’t exactly need much help or exposure. Tony Bennett and Virginia benefit from the coverage the ACC gets and Bennett’s recruiting philosophy and the types of kids he’s going to get and win with isn’t going to change. As for Auburn, well Bruce Pearl is Bruce Pearl. A big personality who has long been a very successful recruiter.
As much as Beard and the Red Raiders have been talked about over the past two seasons, though, this year’s run has really afforded them the opportunity to build their brand and reach out to a new generation of kid. In a state loaded with talent, they’ve got back to back homegrown developed pros in Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver. I can’t imagine that the state’s best players aren’t taking serious notice.
I’m sure that Beard is going to stick to his philosophy and they’ll still use the transfer market to keep experience on hand. But, the trend of getting guys like four-star Kevin McCullar and potential five-star Jahmius Ramsey from in state is something I expect to become commonplace and the bottom line is that across the country, Texas Tech is now being seen in a new light that shouldn’t be changing as long as Beard is there.
3. Harlond Beverly is a dude
I spent a lot of time late last week watching the Geico Nationals on television. It was one of the most loaded, competitive and best played end of year high school tournaments I’ve ever watched. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG was a very deserving champ and went through a gauntlet. But, the guy who stood out most to me – especially since our focus here is recruiting – was Montverde (Fla.) Academy’s Harlond Beverly.
The senior guard hails from Michigan and is in my opinion the best available guard in the country not named Cole Anthony, despite there being a few other guards ahead of him in the current rankings who remain open. Beverly is explosive, he can shoot with range, he does things pretty efficiently and he knows how to shine and get his while playing with other big time talent. That’s not as easy as it sounds and guys who don’t pout about touches or sharing the spotlight always seem to do well. I once had a coach tell me that guys are either ditch diggers or dudes, Beverly is most certainly a dude.
Beverly took an official visit to Indiana recently, Kansas has made him a major priority and so has Georgia, Michigan is circling, Miami wants him and many others are trying to get a sniff. The more I see of him, I see a potential impact player anywhere in America and I have a feeling the race for his services is about to get very intense.