Wright is probably the coach most similar to Barnes in philosophy of how to build a program w/ development and class. The New York Knicks couldn't land him last year. Love my Vols, but no way this would ever happen. He was raised and lives in Bucks County, PA. He was an asst at Nova. Most all his family lives in the same vicinity. His daughter goes to UPenn, 13 miles away, and has just won 2 NATY's along with a renovated arena.
Big time coaches with established programs simply don't want to move. UCLA is learning this lesson. UCLA offered more than $4.7 M to Barnes without success (after already whiffing on Calamari and Dixon). It could make the same or a better offer to Wright or anyone else for that matter. UCLA is an historic blue blood surrounded by one of the best recruiting areas in the country. It's easy to recruit there. It's easy to win there. For some people, SoCal is heaven on earth [not sure why]. Tennessee is not a blue blood and never has been. It is not in a fertile recruiting area and recruiting to East Tennessee is historically difficult in basketball. It's hard to win in the SEC, and getting harder.
I suggest that no coach with a great resume is interested in simply jumping just because UT wags a bunch of money. UT lucked into Barnes and he took root. I'm thankful. If he can get this program to the point where it is an NCAAT regular, as he did at Texas, he will have done what no other coach has ever done in Knoxville. I bet it happens.
I don't expect this influx of money to lead to an upgrade in the staff. First, no one else appears to be leaving. Schwartz is likely to be promoted to replace Lanier. So essentially we're paying more for the same staff and head coach.
I don't really think recruits take stock of how much the coach makes. I think they look at his ability as a coach, his ability to relate and to their relationship. That along with the school and facilities enter into the thought, but having a child who went through the process, I can speak for myself and say that not once did I ever ask or even consider how much the head coach was being paid and where it ranked nationally.
As for things going forward, status quo IMO. We pay more and nothing really will change. We will still struggle to make the NCAAT next years. We will still be looking to replace 2-4 starters with some unproven talent. We likely will still be in on several top names, but it remains to be seen how they will view Barnes and his "commitment" to UT. Will he bolt next time if there is a next time? One thing is certain, the stakes have been raised. When you entertain offers and receive a salary like this, I'm not sure the employer or the fans are going to be thrilled with the idea of recruiting players and placing them in prep school then waiting 2-3 years for these kids to "develop". Speaking for myself, I expect to see an end to these "project" type recruits. He's being paid top 5? He needs to recruit top 5. He needs players who can step on campus and contribute right away. He needs to be making the NCAAT regularly. I'm not saying make the sweet 16, but he better be IN the tournament more than once every 2-3 years as his developmental class reaches JR/SR status. JMO.
Man why don't you move on to something else, you bitch and wine and cry about everything UT does, why do you bother. We have a good basketball coach and a good football coach now, support them or get OUT. Nobody likes everything but you don't never have nothing to say but NEGATIVE, if it's positive you disappear. GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't understand why UCLA is still considered a blue blood school. Do they have a great history? Yes. But when is the last time they've been consistently near the top like Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan State, etc. ?