The University of San Diego had a sudden opening for head men’s basketball head coach when Lamont Smith resigned earlier this month, about 10 days after his very public arrest at the Oakland airport for a domestic abuse allegation.
USD, of the West Coast Conference, continued play without Smith (led by elevated assistant Sam Scholl) and reached the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com postseason Tournament, losing to Northern Colorado to finish the season 20-14 (9-9 WCC).
The rumor mill has already been spinning as to who will fill the Toreros’ vacancy long term. As it happens, third-year Hawaii coach Eran Ganot has been mentioned in more than one corner. This morning, HoopDirt.com listed Ganot among five people as possibilities for the job.
The Star-Advertiser was also told by a source that Ganot’s name has been floated for the position.
Ganot has not yet responded to a request for comment about the HoopDirt report.
UPDATE: Ganot got back to the Star-Advertiser tonight, affirming his love for the job he has and basically downplaying the speculation about him and USD. Ganot leaves for the Final Four in San Antonio on Tuesday. You can read more about it in Tuesday’s print edition.
UH recently wrapped up a 17-13 (8-8 Big West) campaign, losing to UC Irvine in heartbreaking fashion in the Big West tournament first round. It was the Rainbow Warriors’ second straight one-and-done performance in the league tourney after their breakthrough NCAA Tournament year (and subsequent NCAA sanctions) of 2015-16.
Because of his WCC background at Saint Mary’s, and UH’s head-turning successful season of a couple years ago, it makes sense that Ganot will be mentioned for the middle-tier openings in the Gonzaga-dominated league. It’s unclear at this point if he applied and if he’s making a real push for the job. For what it’s worth, the Toreros are expected to field a strong team again next season, but that’s always in flux with a change of head coach.
It’s also worth noting that Ganot has repeatedly professed his affection for UH, which helped launch his career as a staff member under Riley Wallace, and later gave him his first full-time head-coaching gig at age 33. One of his go-to lines is “we have a great history,” to anyone who will listen, and he backed that up last fall by honoring all past NCAA and NIT tournament teams with individual plaques lining the Stan Sheriff Center tunnel leading to the locker room.
Meanwhile, on the recruiting front, UH was said to have recently hosted City College of San Francisco guard Eddie Stansberry. Stansberry, a sophomore with two years of eligibility, scored 13 points per game for the CCCAA champions while shooting 42.8 percent on 3-pointers.
An update: looks like Stansberry has been officially offered by UH.
— CCSF Mens Basketball (@SFCityBasketbal) March 26, 2018
The 6-foot-3 Stansberry scored 21 points in the championship game over San Diego City College and was named to the all-tournament team. It was the Rams’ second championship in three years.
The long ball made up more than two-thirds of his shots on the season.
Here’s some highlights from Stansberry’s freshman year at CCSF.
The most recent UH player to come out of CCSF is Quincy Smith, who had three years of D-I eligibility.
UH is believed to have two scholarships available to hand out to new players or returning walk-ons. The spring signing period begins April 11.