Thursday, March 31, 2016

Next Steps

With the coaching search complete, and Zach Spiker having at least seen his office chair once it seems time to look forward to the nuts and bolts of what will certainly be a hectic offseason.  The good news for Coach Spiker is that relative to his last job, he has an ocean of time in front of him to prepare.  The bad news is he’s already behind the eight ball, noticeably more with the transfer announcement of Terrell Allen.
The first priority for this week and next is to assemble his staff.  The men’s basketball staff, as it sits, seems a bit thin:

While those plans are certainly in motion already, look for them to get wrapped up in the coming days, likely while Coach Spiker and Dr. Zillmer join the rest of the coaching community at the Final Four in Houston. 

Spiker had a relatively fresh staff at Army with the exception of Jimmy Allen, who just became Head Coach at Army.  That Army wants to retain Spiker’s staff should be seen as a good sign by Drexel and Army fans alike, but it also takes Allen’s name out of consideration for the Drexel bench.  Beyond Allen, we will see if Spiker can bring with him one of Justin Jennings, Brandon Linton or Drew Adams. 

The rest of the staff will have to come from elsewhere.  Once they do, it’ll be on to the very significant phase two:  player retention and recruiting for this year and next.  Before the recruiting begins the staff will need to know how many holes they have to fill.  Once they do, it’ll be off to the races as local and national recruiting showcases (hello Donofrio Classc) are already underway.  It’s these first two phases of this offseason that will likely shape the next 2-3 years of Drexel basketball, they are vitally important.  And with the transfers being announced left and right, and the spring recruiting efforts off and running time is of the essence. 

The importance of this time of year is why UNCW looked like a dumpster fire when they fired their coach midseason and didn’t have a new one signed immediately following the season.   And it’s why every Dragon fan looks on and chuckles as the University of Delaware takes their sweet time hiring a new AD and only then will hire a new coach, knowingly losing this time in the process and watching their men’s basketball program meltdown around them.

While his staff, retention and recruiting efforts go on in this critical time period, Coach Spiker will also have the “minor” responsibility of relocating his family, helping his wife settle in their three children to a new environment and all of the logistics around that.  This is all a way of saying that now that he has been introduced, fans may not see the coach for a bit.  That is a good thing.  April isn’t the time to be creating excitement in the fanbase, nor for dog and pony shows.  The recruiting dead period in late May or July?  Look for a gathering.  When ticket sales start up in September, absolutely.  But for today, lets just watch what he can do with a one month head start on Delaware.

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