Franks Haith and Martin, stress at Missouri and K-State, and it's all related
So, apparently this is really happening.
Missouri is hiring Frank Haith as its head basketball coach, and aside from a 43-69 record in ACC games at Miami, Haith’s most impressive accomplishment may be generating an initial reaction so overwhelmingly negative that it should make Frank Martin never again bring up what people thought when he got hired at Kansas State.
More on Martin in a second. I’ll explain my Tweet last night saying the Miami job opening up now is great timing for him.
But first, wow. Frank Haith?
I’m like most of you. I think Missouri could have and should have done better. This is not what I had in mind when I wrote that Mizzou could upgrade after Mike Anderson left for Arkansas.
Mizzou athletics director Alden swung for the fences with Matt Painter, but we couldn’t have known he’d shorten up like this on his second try.
Not that this is necessarily doomed. We can all have fun on Twitter, but there is nuance here that can’t be summed up in 140 characters. His Miami teams often overachieved. He’s been a finalist for national coach of the year. His players graduate. As an assistant at Texas, he was the lead recruiter on stars like LaMarcus Aldridge and Daniel Gibson.
These are all good things.
Miami is a terrible place to coach basketball, and Missouri is a pretty good one, so the hope would be that Haith can use those advantages to build something better than what he’s leaving.
He better, too, because it’s his job and perhaps Alden’s on the line, and at least on the surface, this is one of the more baffling hires in recent college basketball history.
Now, about Martin…
Miami is home for him. It’s where much of his family and many of his friends are. It’s where he often recruits. Some who know Martin and some who follow the K-State program have always thought that would be the job to take him away. It makes sense on a few different levels.
What I meant by “great timing” is that KSU is likely to struggle next season. Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly are gone, and there isn’t an expected gem in the recruiting class to make up for it.
Future indicators aren’t strong, including D.C. Assault coach Curtis Malone saying in this story that the pipeline has dried up as kids notice many players aren’t sticking around at K-State.
“Most of the kids will have a question: Why did they leave?” Malone said in the story.
So if you play the dominoes forward, Martin could be in for some rough seasons at K-State and here comes an opportunity to go home, where many college basketball insiders say he would dominate the South Florida recruiting scene. He can re-evaluate his time at KSU, decide if there is anything he could’ve done better, and make those improvements with a fresh start.
Absolutely great timing for him, if that’s how it plays out.
There is still so much to sort through, but at least at first glance, this looks like an event that could shake two of our three local programs.