View Full Version : Matta happy at Ohio State...

02-24-2006, 05:51 PM

Haven't we heard this before? :)

02-24-2006, 05:58 PM

Haven't we heard this before? :)

Of course Xavier fans heard this from Matta before, but when he said it at Xavier the job offer he had on the table was a large jump in $$ and prestige and a better conference than the A-10. Now, the other job on the table would be for less money, less facilities, and give up the best recruiting class in the country. Somehow I think he's going to stay at OSU.

02-24-2006, 06:05 PM
I agree. No impugnity to Xavier, but the situation is vastly different. Plus, even if he was happy at Xavier and wanted to stay isn't the same as saying I'll never leave if a certain offer came my way. It would make no sense to make this switch and I believe the only reason his name has come up is because he is from Indiana, just like people used to suggest Bob Stoops when the Ohio State job was open because he was from Ohio. Wishful thinking from where I'm sitting.

max venable
02-24-2006, 07:29 PM
Another story about it... http://ohiostate.scout.com/2/502513.html

Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta had spent 10 minutes or so dutifully answering questions about Saturday’s pivotal Big Ten game against Michigan (1:30 p.m., CBS regional broadcast) at Value City Arena.

But the topic eventually came around to Matta’s desire – or lack thereof – to be considered for the soon-to-be-vacant head coaching job at Indiana.

When asked if he would return next year – when he is set to welcome a bumper crop of top signees, including the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in 7-0 Greg Oden – Matta replied, "I hope so. Honestly, I hope like heck I'm going to be here. Absolutely."

That is the closest Matta has come to saying he is not in the running for the IU job. Mike Davis stepped down from that post last week, but is finishing out the season with the Hoosiers.

Matta is in the second year of an eight-year contract that would pay him no less than $11 million if he stays through the 2011-2012 season. As part of that contract, he is precluded from even discussing his candidacy for other coaching positions.

“I don’t have the liberty to talk about other jobs,” he said. “I thought you guys would pick up on that.”

But Matta, a native of Hoopeston, Ill., on the Indiana-Illinois border, has talked about his status at least in passing with OSU athletic director Gene Smith.

"All I can say is that Gene and I are on the same page,” Matta said. “I love that about him, the communication and the openness. It's amazing how he came to me and we talked and we know exactly where both guys are.”

Matta, who came to OSU from Xavier in July 2004, said he remained committed to building the OSU program. The Buckeyes are 20-4 overall and tied with Iowa for the Big Ten lead at 9-4 heading into Saturday’s game against UM.

“I've said this before, I'm as happy as I've ever been, at Ohio State,” Matta said. “Our goal coming in here was to build this program into a top-25 program and we're on the verge of doing that.

“We’ve put a lot of work into all phases of this program and to see it come together is very gratifying. We have reached a pinnacle this season, but I don’t think any of our players or our staff are satisfied with where we are.”

Matta was asked if he was surprised to have so much success so quickly at Ohio State, where he is now 40-16 in two years using players almost exclusively recruited to the school by his predecessor Jim O’Brien.

“We had a four-year plan and we thought it would maybe be three or four years before we would have things headed in the right direction,” Matta said. “This is nothing but a tribute to our players and the job they’ve done.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction. It goes to them. They are the ones doing the job and the ones that have put us in this position. I am also grateful to the fans and the excitement they have generated in the time we’ve been here.”

He shared his thoughts as he took the job.

"I didn't know what to expect," he said. "I think I was pleasantly surprised to go 20-12 last year and we are elated to be 20-4 this year. I didn't know what to expect this year. I didn't know the Big Ten would be as good as it is. I had no idea it would be the number one conference in the country."

With Wednesday’s win at Michigan State, Matta joined Gonzaga’s Mark Few as the only Division I-A coaches to log 20 or more wins in their first six seasons as head coaches.

“No, it’s not me,” Matta said, continuing the same theme. “I’ve always said the players I have coached deserve the credit. That is the hard part in leaving somewhere because you are leaving the guys who helped you to better yourself.

"I have been blessed to coach some tremendous players and some tremendous teams. Those are the guys who deserve the credit. Because of that, I have vowed to never forget those guys and what they have done.”

Of course, OSU is awaiting word from the NCAA on penalties connected to alleged recruiting infractions during O'Brien's tenure. The nature of those penalties -- including the unlikely possibility of a second season of a postseason ban for Ohio State -- could ultimately factor in Matta's decision to pursue another job.

This is GREAT news for Buckeye fans. I think with Matta at the helm the Bucks will be a Top 25 team for a long, long time.

max venable
03-09-2006, 12:20 PM
Interesting aritcle:

There's only 1 real choice for Indiana: Thad Matta

The right man for the Indiana University basketball coaching job will be taking the floor Friday in a Big Ten Tournament game. And his name, counter to conventional wisdom, is not Steve Alford.

If IU athletic director Rick Greenspan is committed to bringing in a guy with the best proven record of producing winners and recruiting this state, he will throw the sun and moon (and another celestial body to be named later) at Ohio State's Thad Matta.
OK, so he's not a member of The Family. Is this basketball, or organized crime? If Matta wins and recruits, he could be John Gotti's love child, for all I care.

Granted, the chances the Hoosiers could grab Matta away from Ohio State are slim, very slim. Unless the NCAA throws the book at Ohio State, it's hard to see him leaving after recruiting the new age Fab Five.
And yet . . .

The door is not closed on this year's Big Ten Coach of the Year. Not completely.

Understand, IU has always been Matta's self-described "dream job.'' In the past, he has told people he doesn't have a clause that frees him for the IU job, but he does have a 30-day window after each season to entertain offers.
You say he's got a deal that goes through the 2011-12 season? Show me a contract that can't be broken. The buyout is said to be a half-million dollars. If IU wants Matta badly enough, and if Matta wants IU badly enough (and is willing to take a public-relations beating), this can happen.

So far, all I've heard from Matta are those fashionable non-denial denials, which are very popular with coaches who want to keep their options open. Shortly after the Mike Davis resignation, Columbus-area reporters asked Matta if he would return to Ohio State next year. He responded, "I hope so. Honestly, I hope like heck I'm going to be here. Absolutely.''
Anybody hear the following? "No, I'm not going to pursue the IU job or any other job in the country.''

Until Greenspan hears those words, he's got to take a run at Matta.
And if that doesn't work . . .

The A List

Rick Pitino. OK, it's not going to happen. Pitino is set in Louisville, both personally and financially. But a guy can dream.

Tom Crean. Now we're getting real. Great college resume, and has shown he can recruit Indiana (see Richmond's Dominic James). No on-the-job training required here. Solid, very solid.

Alford. Maybe he is, in fact, born for this job, and he certainly looks and sounds the part. Here's why I hesitate: His overall record at Iowa is no better than Mike Davis' at IU. And his handling of the frequently troubled Pierre Pierce is going to be an issue he must confront somewhere in the interview process.

The B List

John Calipari. Kind of a mystery guest, but Memphis is stuck in the watered-down Conference USA. He built Massachusetts and Memphis; why not IU?
Mike Montgomery. Think he wouldn't love to return to college? He had a terrific program at Stanford, but he'd be a tough sell.
Billy Donovan. By now, he must be tired of working in football country, and is hungering for a shot at playing where people care. Lots of energy for a program that needs it.
Kevin Stallings. He would be a good, solid choice, but not a particularly popular or sexy choice. Greenspan once hired Stallings for a coaching job.

The C List

Randy Wittman. He's Isiah Thomas' choice, which is either a blessing or a curse. We know Wittman can coach -- he had a long NBA career and has coached in the NBA -- and Thomas is convinced his lack of recruiting background will not be a hindrance.

Scott Skiles. Indiana guy. Lives in Bloomington. He recently re-signed with the Chicago Bulls, but that doesn't mean anything.

Mark Few. A couple of years ago, he looked at the South Carolina job, and there's no way Gonzaga, a small private school, can compete financially with an IU offer. My hesitation: IU is a big step up, and Few's predecessor, Don Monson, has struggled at Minnesota. Anyway, family issues might make it a moot point.

Rick Majerus. Six years ago, after IU fired Bob Knight, Majerus was my first choice. Charismatic, a Ball State background, the whole bit. Now, though, his health is an issue. And his decision to accept and then decline the USC job must raise red flags. Greenspan was burned in the same way by football coach Frank Solich, who spurned Army to go to Ohio.

There are a lot of other names out there: former Hoosiers Keith Smart and Mike Woodson, Texas' Rick Barnes, West Virginia's John Beilein, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt -- and a few more names will likely emerge from the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

My only advice for Greenspan is this: Don't fall in love with keeping it in The Family, and don't become overly enamored with whoever emerges from the tournament as this year's hot coach.

Get the best guy.

Who, until he utters the words, "No, not interested,'' is Matta.

03-09-2006, 12:40 PM
Matta, Schmatta.
Greenspan needs to conduct a thorough search. What the eedjits here in Bloomington and Indianapolis don't get is that the IU basketball program can draw a lot of talented interest from the ranks of college coaching. Even though IU has not had great success lately, the basketball program is still at the top of the food chain on campus at Big Ten university. The tradition is there, the support is there, the fan base is there, the enthusiasm is there, everything needed to make this a seller's market. If that road leads to Matta, then fine, but getting stuck on him or anyone else is short sighted.

03-09-2006, 12:49 PM
The key line in that article was "if Matta is willing to take a public relations hit." If Thad Matta left Ohio State for another Big Ten school he would become public enemy number one very, very quickly. I don't think he would want that. I would not want to think that way of Matta.

I am concerned that he's going to seriously consider this job.

03-09-2006, 02:05 PM
I tend to think that Indiana article is just wishful thinking by an Indy writer. Nothing more. IIRC Matta was born and raised right down the street from the Univ. of Illinois. I wonder if he dreams more of Illinois than Indiana? I'd love to know the IU braintrust's thinking when XU snatched Matta right out from under those Bloomington brains (and state) when they had their opportunity?

The early bird gets the worm and that bird is OSU. And good luck to the next person who sits on the Indiana sideline. Unless his last name is Knight, I wish him all the luck in the world. Legends are hard to replace. Takes decades sometimes before the diehards are accepting. Just ask OSU football types.

Timing might be the worst thing for Indiana with Matta in more ways than one. The great season this year at OSU and the great recruiting class next year at OSU. Matta would be deemed a fool to head out at this time. And to leave for a school in the same conference is beyond foolish. And I think I'd have a better chance of hitting the PowerBall than seeing Matta leave OSU for Indiana in the offseason. But stranger things have happened!

03-09-2006, 02:18 PM
Rick Pitino. OK, it's not going to happen. Pitino is set in Louisville, both personally and financially. But a guy can dream.So.....Matta happens to be born in Indiana and apparently made some remark sometime that IU was his "dream job," and the door is not closed, but Pitino is basically in the same situation as Matta (set personally and financially) and the same writer says "its not going to happen." Well, my father-in-law and brother-in-law, both in the business, said the idea is to write for a newspaper at a 3-4 grade reading level. I'd say this writer accomplished that in spades. A+ for a job well done.:rolleyes:

max venable
03-12-2006, 01:13 AM
Check out this quote from Matta:


Ohio State coach Thad Matta, often mentioned as a candidate for the Indiana job, was asked if he could assure Oden and Conley he would be their coach next year.

"Yes," Matta answered. "That's what we've told them all along. Contractually, I can't say anything, but in July of 2004, we came to Ohio State and had a vision for this program. It's to get Ohio State back and build it into one of the great programs in college basketball."

03-15-2006, 04:17 PM
I dont think that Matta is going to Indiana but it wouldnt suprise me. The guy is an opprotunnist and will jump at the chance to get his "dream job". Just my opinion and this is his history.

03-15-2006, 11:39 PM
Today, job wise, taking the Indiana job would be a step-down compared to Ohio State. IMHO.

I think that Indiana needs to look within like Davis says. And Alford's the front runner.

max venable
03-16-2006, 12:07 PM
Today, job wise, taking the Indiana job would be a step-down compared to Ohio State. IMHO.

I think that Indiana needs to look within like Davis says. And Alford's the front runner.
It's good to be a Buckeye!

I agree, Heath. How cool is it to be able to say that the IU job would be a step down from the OSU job? Nice. :thumbup:

03-16-2006, 02:00 PM
Indiana's arena rivals Northwesterns...what a dump.

03-16-2006, 04:49 PM
Today, job wise, taking the Indiana job would be a step-down compared to Ohio State. IMHO.

I think that Indiana needs to look within like Davis says. And Alford's the front runner.
I know at this moment that the Ohio State job is on the same level but Ohio State is and will always be a football school and Indiana will always be a basketball school. I am an Indiana fan who would love to see Matta coach for the Hoosiers but im not one of those idiots who are thinking that everyone will line up for the opportunity to coach the Hoosiers.

03-16-2006, 04:51 PM
I'm glad Whatsa is happy at OSU.

03-17-2006, 06:13 AM
Today, job wise, taking the Indiana job would be a step-down compared to Ohio State. IMHO.


Strong B-Ball tradition, nice Arena, too many reasons to list.

Why leave?

I think that Indiana needs to look within like Davis says.

Entirely disagree.

Hire the best coach available, regardless of Indiana ties. This NCAA tournament may be a referendum on Steve Alford's ability to lead a team deep into the tourney.

Indiana will always be a basketball school.

With all of the parity in the Big Ten and NCAA B-Ball in general, I.U is going to have a difficult time regaining/sustaining itself as an elite program/attractive coaching job, though it is not impossible.

Conversely, Northwestern, Oregon State, Iowa State and Kansas State were
considered football wastelands. There is no reason why I.U cannot enjoy similar success. Hiring Coach Hep was a step in the right direction.