On Saturday, a report came out with some names getting interviews for the Pitt basketball head coaching job. One name not in that list, however, was revealed by ESPN later in the day to very much be in the mix: Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings.
Vandy’s Kevin Stallings is in mix for the Pittsburgh job, sources told ESPN. Todd Turner has search — and Turner hired Stallings at Vandy.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 27, 2016
The Stallings thing is sort of out of the blue here. Like former head coach Jamie Dixon, he had been at one place for a very long time as the Vanderbilt head coach from 1999 until the present. While there, Stallings has had mixed success, making seven NCAA Tournaments, including two Sweet 16s. In five of his 17 years with the Commodores, his teams failed to even reach the NIT. He also previously coached at Illinois State, leading them to two NCAA Tournaments in six years.
Despite a history with some success, Stallings also has had trouble lately. Prior to only making the NCAA Tournament as a First Four team this year, Vandy had missed the tournament in the three years before that one. Stallings, like Dixon, has really failed to get much postseason traction lately.
The other interesting thing here is that Stallings was the same coach who refused to release current Pitt player Sheldon Jeter, who transferred from Vanderbilt, from his scholarship. Jeter appealed that decision but was denied. Seems like there's bad blood there and it's going to be very interesting to see where Jeter fits in all of this should Stallings get the job here.
Complicating the situation is that Stallings' future with Vanderbilt seems to be unclear. There was a report that he will not be back next season, but Vanderbilt says (albeit in the typical 'he's our guy right now' way) that is not true.
What do you think - should Stallings be in the mix here?