Texas A&M basketball has identified their one and only candidate for their head coaching vacancy, and Buzz Williams is the right man for the job.
Scott Woodward will have the unenviable task of picking the new Texas A&M basketball head coach for the first time since taking over as the Athletic Director. There are plenty of typical candidates to choose from given the success of many mid-major programs the last couple of years.
In A&M’s recent history, these coaches would be fine hires. Billy Gillispie made a ton of sense. Mark Turgeon replacing him made sense. Billy Kennedy replacing Turgeon made sense. However, with where those three coaches took the program, finding a guy who will be in it for the long haul may require aspiring to hire a bigger name.
This is why Virginia Tech’s Buzz Williams and Houston’s Kelvin Sampson made the most sense to me. However, Williams is apparently the one and only target for Woodward. Jon Rothstein reported there is no secondary candidate the Aggies are targeting.
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Even without the Hokies tournament run to the Sweet 16, Williams’ resumé would be enough reason to hire him. He’s been successful at both of his two head coaching stops. He led Marquette to the tournament in five of his six seasons and advanced to the Elite 8 in 2013. He led Virginia Tech to three consecutive tournament appearances after his first season.
However, the Hokies’ performance against No. 1 overall seed Duke in the Sweet 16 put the nail in the coffin for me that Williams is the right man for the Aggies job. Any other hire will feel like a disappointment, at least initially.
Virginia Tech played Duke tough all game long. Despite only shooting 40 percent from the field and the Blue Devils shooting 55 percent, the game was close the entire time. Virginia Tech had the lead at half.
Williams’ offense moves the ball around (three different players had five assists), it’s imaginative. They attack. They protect the basketball. They fight for rebounds. They play hard defense.
Literally everything you could ask for from a basketball team Williams has gotten from his. Just look at the KenPom rankings from this season. Virginia Tech is No. 12. They are one of the most complete teams in the country. If hired, one can expect Williams to have the Aggies competitive very soon.