Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm was one of three Big 12 coaches to make ESPN’s ‘comprehensive guide to the 2021 college basketball coaching hot seat,’ published on Wednesday.
Also listed in the guide were Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber and Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton Jr. But Prohm took highest prominence in the article written by Jeff Borzello.
When it came to Prohm’s future, Porzello made points that have been made elsewhere — Prohm is closing in on a winless Big 12 campaign (the Cyclones have two more games left) and are pointed toward their fourth straight season with a .500 or worse record in Big 12 play. In addition, the Cyclones have had three losing seasons overall in their last four, with only a Big 12 Tournament championship in 2019 to show for that one winning season. Prohm certainly started out gangbusters in Ames, taking the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament in three of his first four seasons.
A winless Big 12 campaign might just do him in. But Prohm is also owed $5 million in terms of a buyout.
Kansas State only owes Weber $2 million on his contract, and some of the chatter around Weber in Manhattan has died down since the Wildcats defeated ranked Oklahoma last week. But the program has been under-.500 since their back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2018 and 2019, the former of which saw the Wildcats reach the Elite Eight. Weber has two things that Prohm doesn’t have right now — conference wins and the hope of young, growing talent led by guard Nijel Pack. Borzello made the point that the two sides might come to an agreement to allow Weber to leave without being fired. For what it’s worth, Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor said last month that he has every intention of bringing Weber back next season.
So, why is Boynton on a list full of coaches that are on the hot seat? Well, it’s not because he’s in any danger of being fired. Borzello had Boynton categorized as a ‘Big Name to Watch,’ and for good reasons. The Cowboys are ranked in the Top 25 and headed for the NCAA Tournament. But in the context of this article Boynton’s presence is important because Borzello directly links him to a job that COULD be open — South Carolina.
Why the Gamecocks? Well, Boynton played basketball for the Gamecocks. He was an assistant at South Carolina before Boynton followed Brad Underwood to Stephen F. Austin, and then to Oklahoma State. He would be a natural phone call for the South Carolina brass to make, if they chose to break away from current head coach Frank Martin.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard. Send him a tweet with your question to be included in this week’s Big 12 Basketball Mailbag, which appears each Friday during the conference season.
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