An Indiana Basketball Fan's Coaching Wish List

There hasn't been any word out of Indiana that Coach Woodson's job is jeopardy. However, if it were, these are the coaches this Hoosier would love to see in Bloomington.

Feb 24, 2024; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Mike Woodson reacts to
Feb 24, 2024; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Mike Woodson reacts to / Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

It was 1986. The irony isn't lost on me that I saw Robert Montgomery "Bobby" Knight in -- of all places -- a Bob Evans in Merrillville, Indiana. He was in the region to see a basketball player named Jerome Harmon from my hometown, Gary, Indiana. I mustered the courage to go to his table and ask to shake his hand. Even my dad, who was incredibly hard to impress, was star-struck by seeing Coach Knight.

While Coach Knight was not perfect, he was an institution in Indiana. It seems the basketball program has been trying to forge an identity since he left.

While no one has said Mike Woodson's job is in jeopardy, this season has cratered like no one has expected. Poor fundamentals, equally poor roster construction, and players being forced into the lineup are all contributing factors for this season's failures.

If Indiana fires Woodson, Scott Dolson must go big

The only time Indiana legitimately swung for the fences was hiring Kelvin Sampson away from Oklahoma. If Athletic Director Scott Dolson has to make another hire, he must swing for the fences. If he can get a sitting head coach with a National Championship, that's what he has to do.

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That's exactly where this wish list starts.

Scott Drew, Baylor:

There is absolutely no logical reason for Scott Drew to leave Baylor. He built that basketball program from the ground up, winning a National Championship in 2020-21. However, just because there's no reason for him to leave doesn't mean he won't. Though Drew was born in Kansas City, he's an adopted Hoosier.

He served on his father's staff at Valparaiso, before assuming the Beacon's head coaching job for a year. He took over Baylor when it was an absolute mess and built one of the premier college basketball programs in the country.

Micah Shrewsberry, Notre Dame:

If you look at this year in South Bend, you are looking at this wrong. Notre Dame is one of the youngest teams in the ACC, playing against talented, older teams like Duke and North Carolina. Ask Woodson how tough Penn State was to play while Shrewsberry was head coach.

Shrewsberry is an Indiana native with ties to Indianapolis. He gets the new landscape of college basketball and can relate to today's players.

Brad Stevens, President of Basketball Operations, Boston Celtics:

This might seem outlandish, but Stevens is another Hoosier native that took a team to a Final Four. Stevens might not want to coach or return to the college level again. However, he makes the wish list with what he did at Butler. There is a lack of chemistry with this team, and Stevens' Butler teams were all about chemistry.

Jay Wright, Former Villanova Head Coach:

Wright might enjoy retirement so much that he's done coaching. However, he won at Villanova with no stars other than Jalen Brunson. Indiana lacks identity. Wright would give the Hoosiers an identity and build a culture. Of anyone on the wish list, Wright is at the top.

All of the things Indiana has lacked this year, toughness, defense, fundamentals, are all hallmarks of a Jay Wright coached team. In addition, those two National Championship rings gives him a lot of cache.

Time will tell if Dolson decides to part ways with Woodson. If he does, he needs to bring a big name with an even more extensive resume to Bloomington to excite a fan base starved for a winner.