Does Illinois basketball have any chance at luring Gregg Marshall away from Wichita State? Based on his most recent comments, one would assume there’s at least a small opportunity for the Fighting Illini to pull off a home run hire.
Marshall is clearly very happy with his current situation, but when asked about the college basketball coaching landscape on Thursday, he reiterated his willingness to entertain other job offers. For whatever it’s worth, the following statement was made a day in advance of the Shockers’ NCAA Tournament game against Dayton.
"Ultimately, maybe I'll take [another job]. But right now, we're very, very happy where we are. ... We're very content. But at the same time, we don't bury our head in the sand. I've said that before. We listen. Maybe there will be a time for us to make a move, but I don't know when that's going to be."
From the outside looking in, you’ve got to wonder if that ‘right time’ is fast approaching. While Wichita State is in the middle of a remarkable six-year stretch, they’ve consistently been the victim of low seeding and tough bracket draws. This year, for example, the Shockers are the No. 5 overall team in the KenPom rankings, yet the selection committee awarded them with a laughable No. 10 seed. How much more of that can Marshall take?
Marshall’s current salary at Wichita State is $3.3 million per year. Illinois has a reported $25 million at their disposal, meaning financial logistics shouldn’t be a hindrance this time around. Rather, a bigger concern would be that the vacancy in Champaign got knocked down a peg thanks to Indiana’s decision to fire Tom Crean. Marshall will likely get a call from the Hoosiers, and assuming he’s actually interested in a fresh start, that’s a better job.
But perhaps someone should start by simply providing Marshall with a list of openings.
"There's been no discussion of any of these jobs. In fact, I don't even know what jobs are open, to be honest."
Somebody please inform Marshall that Illinois is, in fact, looking for a new head coach. Feel free to forward him the university’s official job application, too. Thanks.