By Sandeep Chandok (@sandeepchandok):
The men’s basketball program saw the departure of Dave Wojcik as its head coach earlier this summer and the position has yet to be filled.
It is now being said that SJSU and Athletic Director Marie Tuite could announce a new head coach as early as Friday.
Possible replacements include TCU Assistant Coach David Patrick, Southern Connecticut Head Coach Scott Burrell and the Spartans interim head coach, Rodney Tention.
Despite the experience Patrick could bring from the Big-12 or Burrell from his 13 years in the NBA, they can’t provide what Tention does: familiarity.
Tention has been with SJSU since 2015 and knows the ins-and-outs of the Spartans’ offense and defense and most importantly, he has a good relationship with the players.
An undisclosed source says members of the team would prefer that Tention transition into the head coach spot to avoid rebuilding under a new coach and returning to its 2013 state when SJSU was at the bottom of the Mountain West.
The Spartans are coming off a 14-16 year — their best record since the 2010-11 season when they went 17-16.
Hiring Patrick or Burrell, as knowledgeable as they are, could be a major setback for a team that is looking to feed off a promising season and contend for a conference championship.
The team’s core players of Brandon Clarke, Ryan Welage, Jaycee Hillsman and Jalen James are all upperclassmen and guys who have played under Tention and Wojcik for multiple seasons.
If there’s any time for this uprising team to win and make a postseason push, it’s within the next two years.
A new coach would mean an entirely new offensive system which could very well hinder the team’s chemistry developed from last season — something Tuite and SJSU should steer clear of.
Clarke is coming off an All-Conference First Team season while Hillsman is perhaps the most underrated two-way player in the Mountain West.
All the above considered, the decision will likely be made by a combination of both Tuite and the team.