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Where Does Vanderbilt's Coaching Search Stand?

The university, as usual, is quiet about things, but there are a few things we can connect the dots on.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It's been three days since former Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings accepted the Pittsburgh job.

In the meantime, we've had a press conference from David Williams that didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know, a mass Twitter freakout about the Ingram jet going to the Cessna plant in Wichita for maintenance, and a single candidate floated by national media who just didn't seem credible at all.

At this point, we can probably tell you more about who's not going to be the head coach.  Will Wade reportedly signed a contract extension with VCU on Monday, which would seem to take him out of the running.  Some people have tried to spin this as Wade deciding to stay at VCU because he thinks it's a better job than Vanderbilt; the reality is that Wade more than likely realized he was further down Vanderbilt's candidate list than he might have thought.  Tommy Amaker, outside of being floated by Jeff Goodman, doesn't seem to be someone that Vanderbilt is seriously looking at and neither does King Rice.

So what do we really know?  Well, it's becoming fairly obvious that Vanderbilt intends to make a play for Wichita State's Gregg Marshall, and that if Marshall doesn't come here it's not going to be because of money.  Vanderbilt can match whatever Wichita State wants to pay him and the hard sell is going to be over whether he can do things at Vanderbilt that he can't do at Wichita.  My gut tells me that it's unlikely he'd come to Vanderbilt, but stranger things have happened in the coaching business.  The common refrain seems to be that he's holding out for a "blue blood" and if that's true, the question is which one?  North Carolina and Duke (especially North Carolina) seem likely to hire one of their own (which Marshall isn't, in either case.)  Marshall's too old to be a plausible successor to John Calipari or Bill Self, neither of whom are going anywhere any time soon.  At the next level down are jobs that probably aren't opening any time soon (Arizona, UConn), seem to already have another successor in mind (presumably Michigan State), or are jobs that Marshall could have had earlier if he wanted (UCLA).  The only two I can think of that don't fall in any of those categories are Indiana and Louisville.  Given all that, the inescapable conclusion is that either Marshall plans to retire at Wichita State (which is very possible) or he's open to going somewhere like Vanderbilt.

If not Marshall, who?  With Wade presumably out, UNC Wilmington's Kevin Keatts or Chattanooga's Matt McCall could emerge as a fallback option.  I reviewed Keatts yesterday and while I have some questions, if Vanderbilt gets satisfactory answers to those questions then he's a solid Plan B.  McCall is a bit more questionable, as he's only been a head coach for one year, but he's someone that insiders in the coaching business like.  Both of them are guys whom Vanderbilt could probably land even with a relative low-ball offer.

But there may also be some bigger names aside from Marshall who could emerge, and if you're wondering why they haven't been reviewed yet, it's because it's not clear that they're going to be serious candidates and they're probably names that even casual college basketball fans would recognize.  In any case, if Kevin Keatts is the fallback option, I think we're in great shape.