Quick notes from today’s press conference, we will have a more editorial take later.
Praised Jim in prepared statement about the role he played in elevating the national profile. It’s the same thing we’ve heard several times when something “press conference worthy” happens around the Athletic department.
He tied that into his desire to see Whitesell continue to bring attention and a community connection to the school through athletics.
The big knock going around social media was the process, and not the result. Although there are a hand full of people not happy about the hire most people like Whitesell and want him to have chance.
Alnutt nipped this in the bud by first addressing the process.
There was a full department staff meeting on the 27th in the morning. At that time nobody knew Oats was working out a deal with Alabama. Then, a few hours later, Oats approached Alnutt to drop the bomb.
Oats and Alnutt then gathered and told the players. They stressed to them that they understood how tough this was and asked them to be patient while the school found the right person to move forward.
Given the fact Buffalo lost a lot of recruits but no players entered the transfer portal it looks as if, hopefully, the message got across.
Alnutt already had 40 names prepared, he said all AD’s have lists. He used the search firm to vet all the candidates. And quickly got the 40 down to 12, some of whom were interviewed on the phone and then finally six many of whom were contacted in Minneapolis.
He went by the following criteria.
here is the criteria listed (I’m leaving out some of the obvious qualifiers like “integrity”)
- Potential to be a longer term commitment as Buffalo’s coach
- A prove player developer
- Someone who wants to continue UB’s style of play
- Connected in the basketball world, specifically with recruiting
- Some familiarity for the region and a fit for Buffalo
- Familiarity with the MAC
- A coach who has dealt with mid major challenges, like tight resources.
He than had a meeting with all nine returning players, as a group and individuals, gathering their thoughts and feedback.
At the beginning of the process Alnutt told the players to be patient and that he would have a coach would be picked before the final four
He started out with the tact that almost every successful “new head coach” conference starts with. An anecdote about getting the job. In this case he talked about getting the job as UB’s assistant.
Whitesell promised some pronounced movement on coach hiring in the next week to 10 days
His strongest statements came around maintaining the style of play at UB. Fans will be treated to more “Guard and Run” hoops next seasons under Whitesell.
Said hes ready to hit the gym with the returning players tomorrow, hire new staff and recruit within the next two weeks.
Message to fans - “Thank you”. Talked about how the fans have given us one of the best home court advantages in the league.
That’s all I really took note of, feel free to watch the whole conference yourself and share your thoughts.