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Matta, Ohio State mutually part ways


Matta leaves Ohio State as the all-time coaching leader in wins (337) and games coached (460) but things soured a bit in his final two seasons. Instead, Smith said the recent struggles with recruiting prompted the conversation that ended Matta's time with the Buckeyes. Under his watch Ohio State made the Final Four in 2007 and 2012.

Smith said Ohio State will honor the three remaining years on Matta's contract. It's all sort of odd.

Sean Miller (Arizona), Archie Miller (Indiana), Tony Bennett (Virginia), Jay Wright (Villanova): Don't hold your breath, although that likely would have been different had this change happened in April, before Archie accepted the Indiana job. This is the kind of job that he would take.

Is that something that he will come to regret in the next five-to-ten years? Stevens is - well, he is Stevens, and he's not leaving the Celtics for OSU. Wonder if Buckeyes reach out to Billy Donovan.

Holtmann is now enjoying a strong run at Butler, where he's a successor to Stevens.

The 49-year-old joined the Buckeyes in 2004, after three years coaching at Xavier.

Cronin has carried out a marvelous rebuild at Cincinnati, where he arrived from Murray State in 2006. That said, Williams built Marquette into a Big East power and took Virginia Tech to the NCAA tournament last season.

Also, Mack helped guide the Musketeers through their transition from the Atlantic 10 Conference to the Big East prior to the 2013-2014 season.

Williams is a good coach, and he's done some good work at Virginia Tech. If he can do all that while recruiting to Providence, what can he do when he is able to recruit to a program like Ohio State?

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"I think it's ridiculous that we have to do stuff like that". Williams is a character, known for his animation on the sidelines. "They looked at a situation and said, 'Can I get what I want out of them and give them what they want?' That's a credit to them".

This wouldn't be a sexy hire, but it's certainly one that would be on the table.

Boals was known for his recruiting prowess, having signed future National Basketball Association players in Jared Sullinger and D'Angelo Russell to play for the Buckeyes, as well as scrappy point guard Aaron Craft, who became the school's all-time leader in steals and assists. As for coaching again, he said: "Never say never". The Buckeyes were 17-15 last season and went to the NIT in 2015-16.

The speculation surrounding the job in Columbus has already started with numerous names involved in the in search recycled again. Boals led the Seawolves to an 18-14 record in his first year as a head coach. Right now, Clemson should be considered the Buckeyes' biggest threat.

Kelsey isn't a name you hear very often, since he doesn't have an obvious Ohio State tie. Nothing but love and respect for Coach Matta! He doesn't have OH ties, but he checks a lot of other potential boxes.

This year's season, though, ultimately spelled the end for Matta. He's well paid (over $3 million), and he's turned down big offers before.

So now, we have an unexpected college hoops vacancy and it's a great one to say the least. But the timing is interesting and could perhaps be inconvenient for a potential candidate or two.

Matta's head-coaching career began at his alma mater, Butler University, where he spent three seasons as an assistant with the Bulldogs before transitioning to the role of head coach in 2001.

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