Pat Chambers is Penn State's newest coach, which means a variety of things, most notably that Penn State fans seem to be at least marginally excited about college basketball for the first time in, well, a long time.
It also means Boston University is back at the drawing board. It was just two years ago that BU athletic director Mike Lynch plucked Chambers from his spot as Jay Wright's associate head coach at Villanova. Chambers succeeded right away, albeit with many of his predecessor Dennis Wolff's players, and when Penn State opened up, it created a natural fit that didn't exist before Ed DeChellis's surprise departure for Navy.
That dominoes-esque confluence of factors finds Lynch in the midst of another coaching search. It's safe to say he probably didn't expect to be doing this quite so soon. And he would certainly prefer not to be doing it this late in the offseason calendar.
In any case, the search is on, and no good coaching search -- whether at a powerhouse program or a place like Boston University -- can begin with a list of a candidates and an obvious frontrunner. So just who are the possible candidates to replace Chambers? Thankfully, the Boston Globe's Mark Blaudschun provided a handy rundown of possible replacements. The list includes plenty of coaches with local ties to Boston, including Boston College associate head coach Joe Jones, former BC assistant Pat Duquette, former Boston Celtic player and current Indiana Pacers assistant Walter McCarty and former BU player Scott Spinelli.
It also includes everyone's frontrunner for the position: Louisville assistant Richard Pitino. As you might have guessed, Pitino is an assistant to his father Rick Pitino at Louisville -- perhaps you've heard of him -- and was a candidate for the job before Chambers was hired two years ago. Pitino is the clubhouse leader in media endorsements, namely from ESPN analyst Dick Vitale and CBS analyst Seth Davis, who tweeted Friday: "Richard Pitino may be young but he is far more prepared to take over at BU than his old man was. This one's a layup guys."
That may be true, but it's uncertain whether Pitino will want to leave his father's program -- where he may be the eventual coach-in-waiting -- for an outside gig at BU.
Whatever happens, it appears Lynch is interested in wrapping this up quickly. The intrigue may not last long. And if Lynch breaks with the widespread trend of hiring head coaches, we'll be just about finished with this whole coaching carousel business. About time.