If his success at Arkansas continues, Hog fans will be concerned that Arkansas Men’s Basketball coach Eric Musselman could make a jump to the next level. Also, the “next level” does not necessarily mean the NBA. Being from the West Coast, some fans are weary that Coach Muss could leave for a blue-blood job like UCLA if the money is right. Although he spent much time in Minnesota with his father Bill, it would be very strange for him to take over the Golden Gophers basketball team. Frankly, it is quite adorable that Gopher fans are telling themselves that he’d go there.
The question has to be this: How much control would Coach Muss like to have over his team?
If he did not mind having little say in an organization’s decisions, he would be on a plane to take an NBA job tomorrow. However, if we know anything about Muss, it is that he is one hundred percent a hands-on coach. He loves to recruit, he loves to game plan, and he loves to manage his team personally. If he did take a job in the Association, he would take a back seat. Players will have no problem clashing with him if they deem necessary, along with the front office. A selfish brand of basketball is prominent in the NBA, and Musselman’s teams play the exact opposite of that. Arkansas fans have seen in the past how he and Mason Jones have clashed over selfish play.
On the court, Muss coaches his team like a professional one. He lets his squad play somewhat freely and play to their strengths; his lack of calling time-outs frequently is further evidence of this. Off the court, he’s the general manager and marketing director of this team. In the league he will be undoubtedly be limited on social media and he will not be able to select all the players that he wants to play for him. On the college side, Muss has the graduate transfer market at his disposal and they are no doubt itching to play for him after seeing the success he has had with others. With money not being a factor, eyes are on the professional level-something they did not have an opportunity to do at their previous school. With Musselman’s connections to many levels in the professional realm, he knows that he gives these players ample opportunity to do that.
College basketball plays to Musselman’s strengths perfectly and the NBA does not provide much opportunity right now to do that. If Hog fans do lose Muss to a blue-blood or the NBA, it means the basketball program is in a great spot. Mike Anderson left the team with a solid foundation and if Musselman leaves for greener pastures it will mean that he built a big house on top of the foundation. I think that Muss loves coaching the Razorbacks too much to leave right now. He has full control over his program and as of right now, he has them right where he wants them. There is no doubt that the NBA will come calling eventually if Muss keeps coaching at this level and maybe he’ll give it a glance, but I see him being in Fayetteville for a long time. With an inevitable pay raise and possible extension coming his way, along with currently enjoying possibly the best season in over 20 years, there is simply too much to give up by leaving.
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