Texas fired head coach Rick Barnes on Saturday, ending days of speculation surrounding his future. This immediately becomes the top job on the market, but what type of candidate will the Longhorns target?
Departed: Barnes. After 17 years and a 402-180 (.691) record in Austin, Texas, Barnes was given an ultimatum about staff changes following an up-and-down season and balked. Barnes' seat was red-hot going into 2013-14, and he saved himself with a 24-11 season and the recruitment of top prospect Myles Turner. But the Longhorns underachieved this season, making the tournament as a No. 11 seed and losing to Butler in the round of 64.
Program situation: The perception is that this program is a sleeping giant. Football will always be king in Austin, but there are resources in place to make the Longhorns a perennial top-10 hoops program. Barnes made the tournament 16 times in 17 years, but reached the Final Four only once (2003). In the near future, Turner may jump to the NBA, but talented players like guard Isaiah Taylor and big man Cameron Ridley should be back.
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State: Like Alabama, Texas has deep enough pockets to make it very difficult for Marshall to stay at Wichita. Unlike Alabama, Texas has tradition and a track record to suggest Marshall could win consistently, and at a high level, in Austin. The 52-year-old Marshall is 204-76 (.729) in eight seasons with the Shockers, and has lost just 21 games over the past four years.