RUMOR: Cal basketball coaching search involving Joe Pasternack and Amir Abdur-Rahim
The Bears might be looking into the UC Santa Barbara and Kennesaw State coaches for the future.
A rumor is floating around the college basketball interwebs that hints at two candidates for the Cal coaching position, both of whom have prior connections to the program:
Kennesaw State head coach Amir Abdur-Rahim, brother to Cal legend Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Abdur-Rahim has engineered an incredible turnaround with the Owls, taking them from 1-28 in his first season four years ago to their first ever Big Dance appearance in 18 seasons in Division 1.
UC Santa Barbara head coach Joe Pasternack, former Cal assistant under Ben Braun. Pasternack made his second NCAA Tournament in three years this season, earning another Big West title in the process.
(To preface: This is a rumor. Not a report.)
Of all the coaches circulated in our big board, these are the two with the greatest connective tissue to the Cal infrastructure. It makes sense that would be considered. It would certainly raise expectations that Cal is ready to start competing again.
Both UC Santa Barbara and Kennesaw State fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, so it makes sense that talks would start progressing this weekend.
Thoughts on the two potential candidates?
Abdur-Rahim seems like a really good dude. Clearly solid in the character department. But, he's only had one winning season (this one) in four; his first two years he was 6-47 -- Wyking/Fox type numbers. His third year was sub-.500 and then finally broke out this year. After what we've been been through the past 6 years, do we have the patience should it take another 4 to get back to a winning record?
This is encouraging. More intrigued by Abdur-Rahim, although Pasternack would undoubtedly elevate the program and help get better resources for the program. I suspect they will at least reach out to Bennett tomorrow. I know he’s staunchly rebuffed us, but if the rumors are true that we’re ready to double our salary budget, maybe we become more attractive.