EDIT: March 30 9:20am ct — The strong hints and rumors are that it is in the ballpark of ~$3MM per year in the TTU move for McCasland. Much like Mark Madsen at Utah Valley-to-Cal was rumored and hinted about during this week and came to reality upon UVU exiting the tournament, we all suspect McCasland’s move to TTU will be announced shortly — within 24 hours or less — after the end of the NIT. That comes tonight.
EDIT: March 22 9:47am — Jeff Goodman basically confirmed my guesstimate that as soon as the NIT is over, Texas Tech could announce Mac as their new guy.
I’ve heard from a few people — all unconfirmed — that Grant McCasland interviewed for the Texas Tech job over the last week. It certainly would not be a surprise considering he was a rumored candidate before Tech decided on Mark Adams. He has ties to the program from his days as an operations guy and his wife was a soccer player there way back when. It lines up. Texas Tech is in the best league in the sport, and whatever jump the NT squad is expected to make going up to the AAC, it is not a super big step up. CUSA has been a good basketball league but does not get the respect in the form of tournament bids.
Moving up to the Big 12 would allow Mac to regularly compete in the NCAA tournament. Now, Tech was poor this season, but still had 18 Quad 1 games to showcase their worthiness. North Texas had just 4 — two of which were FAU.
In short, I understand the appeal. The Mean Green basketball program is simply talking about some nice facilities and far away from making it a reality. Meanwhile, the Womble basketball center was built for Chris Beard and has nice integrated offices and practice facilities. Fancy stuff.
When North Texas is done with the NIT — which could come as early as this evening — he will be introduced as the Tech coach the next day. Ross Hodge, everyone’s favorite assistant, has long been rumored to have been groomed for the spot behind Mac and will be the early favorite to get the gig. North Texas should probably also take a look around and see what else is out there just do hear some other candidates out and maybe set themselves up for the next round of hiring.
There was some reading of tea leaves that indicated Mac was ready to let Hodge take the reins by letting him get the radio discussion after the semifinal loss. I think that is a little bit of a stretch. McCasland certainly would have given some thought to the future and who he wants with him either in Denton or Lubbock, or any of the other spots that have come up in the rumor mill.
An assistant gig in the Big 12 is much more remunerative than the same in the American. Maybe Hodge goes with him and North Texas has to make a hire. That’s not a terrible thing. The job is a good one, the profile and program are in a much better place than they were before and there wouldn’t be a shortage of candidates throwing themselves at the gig.
When Will We Know More
As soon as North Texas is done with the NIT. Tonight the Mean Green go to Stillwater (they are already there) and will play Oklahoma State for the right to travel to Las Vegas. Thus far NT has had a great chance to get some name opponents in the two seasons of NIT basketball. Virginia came to Denton last year, and Oklahoma State is on the docket tonight. The potential opponents if NT goes to Vegas are Wisconsin and Oregon. Counting only the last 20 years. Okie State went to the Final Four in 2004. Wisconsin went in 2014, 2015 and finished a runner-up. Oregon went to the Final Four in 2017.
This is a big opportunity as we (possibly) close out the Grant McCasland chapter of North Texas Basketball.