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Vanderbilt Basketball Coaching Search: Chicken Shop Cook

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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. Today, we will look at a candidate who came out of nowhere but should perhaps be near the top of the pecking order.

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Chicken Shop Cook, Birmingham, Alabama

Career Record: Unknown. We literally know nothing about Chicken Shop Cook, not even a more exact name, but presumably if he'd laid an egg elsewhere we would have heard about it by now.

Accomplishments: Also unknown. Being based in Birmingham, any connection to successful basketball means he's no spring chicken. While Jerrod Haase and Mike Anderson did well for themselves at UAB, you have to go back to Gene Bartow in the 1980s for a time when the Blazers were cock of the walk in the Magic City. Duane Reboul's Birmingham-Southern Panthers did win two NAIA national titles in the 1990s and captured a Big South regular season championship against Gregg Marshall's Winthrop in 2004, but that might be dismissed as small fry when considering someone for an SEC opportunity.

Before He Was A Head Coach: Again, completely unknown. Would that we knew more about his stock, but it's always safe to assume that a viable head coaching candidate has done some time as an assistant. High school experience in Alabama probably includes association with football, and presumably some familiarity with the wishbone, but we have no way of knowing what kind of seasoning he might bring to the table.

Ties to Vanderbilt: Cook is purportedly employed by Vice Chancellor/Athletic Director/Goldfather David Williams's cousin. Given the current spotlight on Nashville's indigenous signature cuisine, it's fair to assume that there are other connections to the 615 assuming he hasn't spent his entire career cooped up in Alabama.

Stylistic Tendencies: As AoG commenter TheTrialist notes, "We'd finally have hot wing players and guys who can shake and bake." This suggests to me that he's a good fit for our returning talent and might get the most out of MFD and Roberson, with a tendency to move Kornet out of the post. What this will do for the 2016-17 squad's defensive liabilities is unknown, although one assumes that a good offense will be the priority. You can rest assured that under Chicken Shop Cook, Vanderbilt would know how to get buckets.

Would he come here? Given the culinary ascendancy of both towns, it's not a stretch to say Chicken Shop Cook might want to see if he can make it in a city defined by Prince's and Hattie B's. While VCDW dismissed him out of hand, no doubt wanting to make a clean breast of things after the Stallings drama, that could be a negotiating tactic. I don't doubt that the opportunity to challenge the core competencies of both Kentucky (fried chicken) and Tennessee (a future in food service) would entice anyone to leg it up I-65 and see what they can do in Memorial Gym.

Thoughts: As long as he's more KFC than VBK, there's nothing wrong with giving Chicken Shop Cook some consideration. The chance to pluck a promising young talent from obscurity is one that doesn't often come along, and you'd rather have a youngster out to prove himself than someone just featherbedding it. But replacing a seventeen-year veteran means VCDW won't want to wind up with egg on his face. If we want a basketball program we can crow about, this is probably a bad time to just wing it; having successfully put Stallings on the chopping block, the last thing the Dores need is to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.