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Turns out it’s 50/50 if that coaching hire was smart

Apr 2, 2012, 10:30 AM EST

bruce-weber AP

Kansas State’s hiring of Bruce Weber wasn’t hailed as a coaching coup by some Wildcats fans and at least one notable alum.

That’s to be expected. Most coaching hires are a crapshoot.

This breakdown from Drew Cannon at Basketball Prospectus shows that schools can hire a coach without any experience, a little or a lot and it rarely serves as an indicator of success. Basically, you got a 50/50 shot of it working out.

So what about Weber? One of the biggest criticisms Illinois fans usually had was he didn’t fully tap into Chicago-area recruiting. His Illini squads had decent talent, but should’ve had more. Or so the thinking goes. How will he fare at Manhattan, Kan., a placed with decidedly less area talent?

From the article:

Coaches with previous major-conference head-coaching experience recruited better (54-17-28) than those without (22-45-36), despite (as discussed above) performing no better.

Previous major-conference head coaches do show more success in recruiting going forward, and successful recruiters show more success on the floor. That said, there isn’t any significant difference between the overall success rates of coaches from any background. So, interestingly, this means that the typical mid-major hire brings more to the table in other departments (because something is obviously balancing out their relative lack of recruiting success).

If Weber’s recruiting stays consistent to what it was at Illinois , then K-State did well with its new hire. That’s a thought that might make Jacob Pullen a little less angry.

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