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Vanderbilt Basketball Coaching Search: Gregg Marshall

As Vanderbilt conducts its search for a new head men's basketball coach to replace Kevin Stallings, we'll have some profiles of the candidates that come up. The next candidate is getting mention due to... a FlightAware tracker? Oh good, coaching searches!

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Gregg Marshall, Head Coach, Wichita State Shockers

Career Record: 424-168 (18 seasons; 194-83 at Winthrop, 230-85 at Wichita State); 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, 10-12 NCAA Tournament record; 10 conference regular season titles

Accomplishments: That record pretty much speaks for itself.  Marshall also made the 2013 Final Four and went undefeated in the 2013-14 regular season, rising as high as #2 in the country.  At Wichita State.  Was named the National Coach of the Year in 2014, was the Big South Coach of the Year four times, and was the MVC Coach of the Year three years in a row.

Before He Was A Head Coach: Marshall spent two years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Division II Randolph-Macon, and a year at Belmont Abbey before catching his big break and joining John Kresse's staff at College of Charleston for eight years.  He was then an assistant to Greg White at Marshall for two years before landing his first head coaching job at Winthrop in 1998.

Ties to Vanderbilt: None, though as a 1981 graduate of Cave Spring High School in Roanoke, Virginia, he may have been a high school classmate of Josh Henderson; we're looking into it.  He's also supposedly a good friend of Tim Corbin going back to their South Carolina days.

Stylistic Tendencies: Marshall is regarded as a good X's-and-O's guy whose last six Wichita State teams have all finished in the top 40 nationally in defensive efficiency.  Rebounding is a staple of Marshall's teams: in the last ten years, seven of his teams have finished in the top 10 nationally in defensive rebounding percentage, and his last six teams have all finished in the top 50 nationally in defensive effective field goal percentage.  In other words, his defenses don't let you get a good shot and limit you to one shot.  That's a brutal combination.  His last two teams have also done well in turnover percentage (both offense and defense) but that's not a long-running tendency of Marshall teams.

Would he come here? You would think he's a white whale.  Marshall's name seems to come up every time there's a job opening at a power conference school, and he turned down Alabama last year.  But three counterpoints to that: one, Vanderbilt is arguably a better job (basketball-wise) than Alabama; two, the timing of the move (with Van Vleet and Baker graduating at Wichita) suggests that he'd be in more of a position to leave Wichita now than he was last year; and three, there's that Corbin connection.  So... maybe?  I'd still say it's unlikely that Marshall takes the Vanderbilt job, but the Ingram jet flew to Wichita this morning, so maybe there's something to this?

Thoughts: It's pretty clear that Marshall is the best candidate out there, excluding guys like Calipari and Izzo who obviously aren't coming to Vanderbilt.  And while it's a longshot, you almost have to ask Marshall if he's interested, because what's there to lose?  Well, one thing to lose is that if Marshall takes his time and then says no, second-tier candidates may well take themselves off the market in the meantime (figuring that Vanderbilt's not interested.)  So Vanderbilt should put in a call, but probably shouldn't put in too much effort if he's not interested.