Editorial Note: Speculation, social media, and wild guesses are featured in this article, so read at your own peril.
The AAU/EYBL circuit started this past weekend across the country, which is a vital time for coaching staffs to get out there and evaluate players for the 2018/2019 classes and beyond.
While Wake Forest has already extended some offers after watching recruits play this past weekend, the Demon Deacons coaching staff is still not complete following the departure of Brett Ballard to Washburn on April 6th.
We profiled a few candidates that Coach Manning could have (should have?) looked at, but so far he hasn’t taken our advice or reached out to us on it.
There has been very little out of the Wake Forest camp on this, but we managed to pick up a few tidbits on Twitter that may help put together a better picture of what direction Coach Manning is going in.
Currently Randolph Childress is the Associate Head Coach, and will almost certainly remain in this role on the staff. This appears to be the only solid role right now.
The second assistant is Steve Woodberry, who, interestingly enough, began to follow a lot of Oral Roberts administrators on Twitter a couple of weeks back. This is noteworthy because Oral Roberts is looking for a new head coach of their basketball program. On a side note, I would highly recommend Woodberry not take that job due to the insane restrictions that the administration placed on the prior staff in terms of recruiting players.
Woodberry has not accepted that job, but should he move on there would be another open spot to fill, which would be an irritant given the importance of this time of year on the future of the basketball program.
Based on the time that has elapsed between the interactions between Woodberry and Oral Roberts and where we currently stand, I would guess that he is not going to take a head coaching role there, and will remain at Wake.
In recent weeks it appears that current Director of Basketball Operations Justin Bauman has been following recruits that Wake Forest is affiliated with or known to be going after. He has also changed his title on Twitter to “Wake Basketball Coach.”
My educated guess is that he is serving as the third assistant coach while a search is being conducted for the job. It could be that he has simply promoted to the third assistant spot, but that likely would have been announced.
In my opinion it is much more likely that Bauman goes with Ballard to become a full-time assistant there, leaving Wake to hire a more experienced assistant.
Tying into this a bit is Danny Manning following former UNC player George Lynch and former Wake player Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues.
Bogues makes sense because he’s a Wake legend and Coach Manning may have simply wanted to follow him for that purpose. It could also be that Bogues is interested in getting in the college coaching game though, and Wake Forest would be a natural starting point for that.
Lynch is more interesting as far as what this article focuses on because last year he was the Director of Player Development for SMU. There is of course the chance that Coach Manning just wanted to follow him and it doesn’t apply to Wake at all, but that’s no fun to speculate on.
I doubt Lynch would leave SMU if he is just making a lateral move (to become Wake’s Director of Player Development), so it would make sense for him to either take a Director of Basketball Operations job or slide into the 3rd assistant spot.
My guess on this would be that if Bauman followed Ballard to Washburn, George Lynch would take over the DBO role at Wake Forest, and Coach Manning would still have to fill the third assistant spot with somebody else.
Does this article give us anything concrete? Not in the least, but it provides some possible clues as to where the staff and Coach Manning are looking to fill out the staff.
There is almost certainly a delay of some sort, because in an ideal world the staff is completely filled up to maximize the recruiting that can get done from day one on the AAU circuit.
It is just a question of whether that delay is on our end in trying to find a third assistant coach, or stems from Ballard trying to flesh out his staff at Washburn. That would comprise of him either taking Bauman, or current Wake Forest Director of Player Development Will Murphy to Washburn with him.
If it’s the latter, that would also leave two spots for the Deacons to fill.
Either way, I would expect this to get resolved as soon as possible, and would hope to have a full staff certainly by the third EYBL event from May 12-14th (the second is this weekend) as to not fall behind other schools who have a full staff out there.