Guess Greg McDermott never got comfortable in the Big 12.
After four years at Iowa State, McDermott is leaving the school to accept the Creighton vacancy and return to the Missouri Valley, where he established Northern Iowa as one of the league's top teams.
He led the Panthers to three straight NCAA tournaments before heading to Ames in 2006, where he never got the Cyclones on par with the rest of the Big 12 contenders despite NBA-caliber talent like Craig Brackins and Marquis Gilstrap. He leaves Iowa State with a 59-68 record.
"The thing I'm most disappointed with is that we just haven't won as many games as I'd like," McDermott said. "That will always be in the back of my mind, that I left before the job was totally finished. But you don't have control of when opportunities present themselves, and this one certainty came out of left field."
That quote may lead one to believe that the Creighton job is better than a Big 12 job, which may not be far off, but isn't entirely the truth.
Creighton's the perfect place for McDermott, who might've been fired after another sub-par season with the Cyclones. Instead, he'll take his 10-year, $9 million contract and take the reins at one of best hoops schools in the Midwest. (Seriously. Creighton is a sweet hoops spot.) And it's also an ideal position for a guy who had his greatest success in the Missouri Valley.
Who's to say McDermott can't pick up where he left off at UNI?
As for Iowa State, it's not that the job stinks. You can build a winner in Ames, much like Tim Floyd and Larry Eustachy did. And the school will move quickly to find a suitable replacement. (Billy Gillispie's already expressed interest.)
But it'll probably be someone similar to McDermott because the school isn't a coaching destination. It's below Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State in the Big 12 north, and probably on par with Colorado (but only because CU has more job security; they let you coach forever in Boulder).
Still, the right guy could move in and make some noise in Ames. It's happened before.
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