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Larranaga to Providence?

(By Joel Richardson for TWP).

Jim Larranaga has reportedly interviewed with Providence, his alma mater, and has, according to the Providence Journal, "emerged as the favorite for that coaching job." (Of course, the ProJo just yesterday was reporting that "media reports that he's emerged as the favorite are premature.") Patrick Stevens nicely lays out the dilemma Larranaga is facing between comfort and mid-major fame in Fairfax, and the chance for something more in the Big East.

There are certainly notable examples of coaches who have chosen the former (Dana Altman staying at Creighton instead of going to Arkansas, for example), and Larranaga made quick work dispatching all sorts of Seton Hall talk two years ago, but the Big East and one's alma mater has to make Providence no worse than a 9 seed against George Mason's 8 in this context.

But this isn't the time for anguished consideration of will-he-stay-or-will-he-go. This is the time for Providence fans to throw out names of who else they might have wanted instead of Larranaga (McKillop! Sendek! Anthony Grant! Craig Robinson!), and for Providence fans to note that Larranaga sort of looks like Tom Coughlin (as Redskins fans have long noted), and for Providence fans to visit the George Mason fans and drop pearls of wisdom like this:

wow, I honestly don't think i have ever encountered such a dilusional group of fans in my life. You all do realize that we are talking about George Mason out of the CAA right? I mean you get that your a mid-major, right? I'm am glad that you get to be on national TV once a year, though, that must really help with recruiting.

As far as two years ago, when I was actually classified as a reporter and not a Web yodeler, the Seton Hall thing never involved any of this front-runner talk, a word that has been used twice in conjunction with Larranaga by Jeff Goodman this week. If Larranaga does go, expect Providence to dominate whatever Rhode Island Division I basketball poll the Providence bloggers might run. And expect Doc Nix to take Larranaga's place as the face of Mason Nation.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 1, 2008; 2:31 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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