Mike Dunlap, St. John's assistant coach extraordinaire, the experienced tactician in Coach Steve Lavin's ear, the cheese in the macaroni*, if you will, has been courted by a few schools this offseason to fill head coaching jobs. Wyoming took a long look at Dunlap before hiring former coach Larry Shyatt, who was assisting with the Florida Gators.
Utah might have looked at Dunlap, but hired former NBA head coach (and current New Jersey Nets assistant) Larry Krystkowiak to fill their vacancy.
And the Fresno State Bulldogs were on Mike Dunlap's radar - he said he would listen if they wanted to talk. Where is he now in the process? Read on, below the fold.
Now, rumors are getting hot and heavy that Fresno State is after Jeff Boals, an Ohio State Buckeyes assistant coach under Thad Matta known for recruiting and coaching big men. In a few days, we'll know more; it's after the Final Four, so contacts should have been made between many coaching candidates and many Athletic Directors, and the shaking out should settle.
But for St. John's this is great news. Sure, Mike Dunlap should have his own shop, his own autonomy. Every man (and woman, for that matter) should have a chance to see what he can do under his own name. But with a taskmaster in the fold to help guide the green freshmen, St. John's basketball can dream of a surprise trip to the NCAAs, of fast development from center Norvel Pelle, and guard Nurideen Lindsey.
Not that those players wouldn't develop under Steve Lavin and Rico Hines and Tony Chiles and Moe Hicks; but rather, having the full brain trust, with a year under their belts in their roles makes for a well-organized development under the tutelage of the brightest minds in the biz.
UPDATED: Mike Dunlap says he's no longer interested in the Fresno State job, per Adam Zagoria.
*Possible future Lavinism?