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The Gottlieb factor

Doug Gottlieb is a terrific college basketball analyst for ESPN. He’s interesting and occasionally polarizing and I enjoy listening to him. There is no question he knows the game.ESPN's Doug Gottlieb does well behind the microphone. How would he do on the bench as a basketball coach? I have my doubts.But is he a sensible candidate to be the next basketball coach at Kansas State?

Gottlieb has thrown his name into the ring as the potential replacement for Frank Martin. This, despite the fact he has no coaching experience.

Gottlieb was a gritty, tough, fundamentally-sound player at Oklahoma State for Eddie Sutton about 15 years ago. There’s probably a coach in there somewhere, waiting to get out.

But for that coach to get out at K-State, which plays at the highest level of college basketball, is crazy talk. There is no way the Wildcats should entertain the notion of hiring someone who has never coached.

Some K-Staters are enthusiastic about the potential of Gottlieb landing in Manhattan. Why? I’m not sure. Apparently it’s because they believe Gottlieb’s basketball knowledge and the fact his father once coached under Jack Hartman at K-State, although it was 40 years ago.

This is where the insecurities of some Kansas State fans are apparent. Those who think Gottlieb would be a viable coach might be right, but is it worth the risk? And trust me, I’m a believer in risk/reward. I just need the risk to make sense.

Imagine the fallout if K-State athletic director John Currie hired Gottlieb and it didn’t work out. Currie would be gone in a flash because he wouldn’t be able to defend the hire. I’m not saying Currie needs to be absolutely safe when hiring the next K-State coach. In fact, I think he needs to push the envelope some.

But not to the edge of the earth, which would be the case with Gottlieb.