There was an article in today’s Metro (I think it’s the first since the day after the season ended) in which Andre Levingston talks about his expectations of the role of coach for next year. He says that the coach will have to be more involved in scouting and selecting the players for the team. Which I think is a very, very good thing and a step in the right direction. On the downside, lots of involvement may reduce the chances of Berry returning. If you look at what he said after the season ended as well as his body language in the finals weeks of the season you’ve got to think that the odds are that he’s not coming back. Here are my picks for who the Rainmen should pursue to coach the team next year in no particular order:
Les Berry: The Rainmen got noticably better defensively under him and his offense would work if he had a pre-season training camp to actually put it in place. He’s a local guy and the players seemed to like him. If you can bring back a quality coach you need to do it for numerous reasons.
Jan van Breda Kolff: The current coach of the Nashville Broncs in the ABA. He’s spent a lot of time in the NCAA DI ranks coaching Cornell, Vanderbilt, St. Bonaventure and Pepperdine. He got embroiled in an eligibility scandal which was not his fault in 2003 and has bounced around a number of assistant coaching gigs before landing with the Broncs. He has the pedigree and the experience (he played briefly in the NBA in addition to his coaching credentials) and he seems very unhappy with the Nashville situation. If he’s going to be in the minors you’ve got to think he’d want to be with a team with full-time players.
Paul Afif: He coached the Dallas PBL team and the ABA’s Texas Tycoons last year and he has a keen eye for talent. He was supposed to be coaching Buffalo’s PBL entry this year but he just sort of disapeared. He’s a young guy with lots of coaching upside who seems to know what he’s doing. He has an excellent reputation and success at this level both in the wins column and in the quest to get guys to “the next level.”
I think Tim Kendricks should also get a look, and they should at least consider offering Strick an assistant coaching position. That guy can’t play forever and he’s loved by teammates and fans.
The article also mentions that both Eric and Tyronne McNeal will be in Halifax for the summer working on the Rainmen camps. It’s good to know that both guys are still with the organization and after his flashes of potential at the end of the season I really want McNeal back. Eric would have been staying in shape and playing summer ball no matter what, but this allows the team to make sure McNeal continues making progress over the summer.