|Dr. John Giannani/cbs.com|
While multiple sources and ESPN are reporting that Rutgers University is seeking the services of Lakers assistant coach Eddie Jordan, the name that our sources keep telling us is very much in play is LaSalle head basketball coach Dr. John Giannini.
Dr. John, as he is affectionately known on LaSalle's campus, lead the Explorers to a sweet 16 birth this past season. His overall coaching record is 436-287 for a .603 winning percentage. What appeals most to Rutgers according to several sources is the calm, scholarly demeanor of Dr. Giannini, a total 180 change from the fiery tempered Rice.
With the Scarlet Knights about to enter the Big 10, it was no secret in college basketball circles that Rice was going to be fired before the conference move regardless of the video. A well respected, successful college coach like Dr. Giannini would be the exact kind of coach that would satisfy the Rutgers alumni and bring the program back to credibility. With recruits leaving and the program in turmoil, Rutgers needs to hire a coach quickly and with Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley turning down a contract from Rutgers to re-up with the Rams, look for the Scarlet Knights to aggressively pursue Dr. Giannini.
It could turn into a bidding war between LaSalle and Rutgers for the Dr. Giannini's services, but LaSalle's team is going to be strong again next year, while the Rutgers program needs to be built from the ground up. Something that may concern Explorer Nation is this; Dr. Giannini spent 7 years at his first head coaching job at Rowan, than spent 8 years as head coach at the University of Maine. This upcoming year would be his 9th season as head coach at LaSalle.