According to the Marquette beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the new Marquette athletic director consulted with three "influential backers of the program" about which direction to go with the new coaching hire. These folks were Ulice Payne, the former MU player and current Brewers president (fair enough), then Doc Rivers (uh oh), and an overly wealthy local car dealer (double uh oh).
What was their sage advice? Here it is-- screw coaching, just get a good recruiter. I'm serious. Check it out. The comments from some non-Kool Aid drinking MU fans below are pretty priceless. Apparently Payne, Rivers and the car dealer didn't see the Big East champs losing to Davidson. Or see their own MU team get handled at West Virginia by a bunch of totally unheralded players led by a crafty veteran coach.
Anyhow, getting that theory from Rivers is pretty understandable-- the NBA is ruled by talent, not coaching, and he's just not a very smart person. (See any Bill Simmons column from the past three years.) But why listen to the president of a baseball franchise and a friggin' car dealer? Or, if you need to respect your major donors, fine, just listen. But don't actually do what they say! Talk to someone who knows something.
Also, the paradigm itself is ridiculous. It doesn't have to be one or the other. There are good coaches out there who are, or would be, good high-level recruiters. And if the coach can't develop and structure talent, the team isn't going to do much, I don't care how good the players are. Plus, even if you are selling out coaching prowess for recruiting ability, why in the hell would you choose Williams as your guy? What big-time recruits has he landed? If that's all you care about, go get a polished assistant from a big-time program.