Rival Views: Which new coach needs a big-time recruiting class?
The coaching carousel didn’t spin as much this past offseason but there were still changes made at some of the nation's top programs. Coaches of all stripes are constantly under pressure, but which first-year coach is facing the most pressure to come through with a strong showing with their first full class? Rivals.com analysts Corey Evans and Dan McDonald have Rival Views.
EVANS' VIEW: DAN HURLEY, UCONN
It's no surprise that Dan Hurley is already under pressure at UConn considering the program's championship pedigree over the last 20 years and the popularity of his predecessor among past and current players. If Hurley fails to lead the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament this season, it will mark the first time since the 1980s that the program has missed March Madness in three consecutive years. If you're Hurley, you need to get the ship righted and do it fast.
Hurley can coach. He can also recruit and has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the best that college basketball has to offer. The Huskies are squarely in the mix for five-star Precious Achiuwa, four-star Akok Akok and several other highly-touted prospects.
Hurley might feel the slight heat on his seat and will want to appease Huskies fans this fall with a nationally recognized class that will push the program back into the spotlight for all the right reasons.
MCDONALD'S VIEW: CHRIS MACK, LOUISVILLE
Chris Mack was an outstanding hire for Louisville. Quite honestly, I'm a little surprised the Cardinals were able to lure him away with all the issues that came up and caused the university to move on from Rick Pitino. Louisville won the 2018 college basketball coaching carousel.
There is still a pretty nice amount of talent on the roster going into Mack's first season, but playing in the ACC is no joke. In a league where you'll face North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Syracuse, Notre Dame and several other great programs, it's imperative to always stock your roster with talent. Given the way Mack recruited at Xavier, I don't see the talent level ever being an issue for the Cardinals going forward.
Louisville already secured an early commitment from four-star shooting guard Josh Nickelberry. David Johnson had committed to Pitino's staff before opening up after the change, but he's still very much in play. Jae'lyn Withers, Aidan Igiehon, Patrick Williams and others all have serious interest in Mack's program as well. Every class is an important class, but Louisville's new staff is in a position to knock out of the park this year and going forward.