Ohio State starts up the coaching carousel

With Chris Holtmann out, where do the Buckeyes turn to fill their vacancy? And what kind of ripple effect will it have? Plus, Auburn rocks South Carolina, Detroit Mercy finally wins, and Four Questions with Washington State coach Kyle Smith.

We’re thinking about everyone in Kansas City, and especially those at the Chiefs parade. One person dead and another 21 others wounded.

Here’s what happened on Wednesday in college hoops.

1. Holtmann’s out. Now what for Ohio State?

#searchszn started last month when DePaul fired Tony Stubblefield. But it got serious when Ohio State fired coach Chris Holtmann on Wednesday.

He was 137-85 in nearly seven full seasons in Columbus, but never matched the success of his first year when he was 25-9, finished tied for second in the Big Ten and won an NCAA tourney game.

The Buckeyes missed last year’s Big Dance, and were headed that way again this season with a 14-11 overall record, made worse by a 12-2 start to the season. That played into why Ohio State made the move now, rather than after the season.

Ohio State owes Holtmann $12.8 million in buyout money, who according to The Athletic, was “blindsided” by the change.

Assistant head coach Jake Diebler will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season.

Smith was teary during his Wednesday press conference. He noted the move was “what best for the program,” despite his personal feelings. That Smith made the call and spared incoming AD Ross Bjork was interesting. Bjork doesn’t officially take over until July 1, but the Buckeyes will almost certainly have a coach by the end of March.

The primary targets, per Goodman, are Xavier coach Sean Miller and South Carolina coach Lamont Paris.

Miller’s won everywhere he’s coached, and has spent plenty of time in the state while at Xavier. Paris is an Ohio native who’s thriving this season with the Gamecocks (though they did lose on Wednesday night).

  • Greg McDermott

  • Nate Oats

  • Dusty May

  • Mick Cronin

Ohio State’s viewed as a Top 15 job in the country for its mix of NIL resources, recruiting ties, and historic success, not to mention that you get to coach at a football school — and enjoy success while avoiding extra scrutiny. All four of those coaches above are proven winners and would be excellent fits. More interesting is that BetOhio listed Cincinnati coach Wes Miller as the the favorite for the gig, ahead of Miller and May. (I should note McDermott didn’t make their list of names.)

If McDermott, Oats or Cronin leave, that would kick off some fascinating coaching dominoes to watch. And that’s when the real #searchszn gets cooking.

2. Auburn might be unbeatable at home

Look, if there’s one thing we’ve learned this season it’s that winning on the road is tough.

Getting blown out on the road? That’s getting easier.

Two days after No. 6 Kansas lost by 29, No. 11 South Carolina got stomped by No. 13 Auburn on Wednesday night, 101-61. Forty points.

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