One more vacancy taken care of, one to go. Tory Verdi became the first man to be hired as the head coach Eastern Michigan women's basketball. Finally, a break for men! And he really lucked out. The team is losing Tavelyn James but he's still retaining a lot of starters and maybe this will be a rather seamless transition. The big difficulty, at least for me, is going to want to call him "Tony." I'll have to work on this. It's "Tory," short for Salvatore, because of course his first name is Salvatore.
Previously Verdi was an assistant with Kansas, whose team this past year reached the Sweet 16. He doesn't have Michigan ties but did recruit this neck of the woods for the Jayhawks. And looking at KU's stats, they did play a relatively quick tempo game and were better on offense than they were defense — although both were great.
EMU actually played a little faster than Kansas (72.9 possessions per game compared to 71.5) and were more of a defensive-minded team who sometimes had trouble scoring without James. Now they don't have her, but they do have a coach whose team scored 0.95 points per game, one of the best rates in the country. (But hopefully they don't lose that defensive tenacity (keeping Toledo to 33 points is pretty special.)
Everyone seems pretty happy about the hire. Eagle Totem likes it and who am I to question that seal of approval?
As for the NCAA stuff, Verdi addressed and said he wasn't worried that any more could come from it. We had a tenacious commenter a couple weeks ago who said similar things, and hopefully they're right. I guess anyone always walks into a job with that worry that some no-no two years before arriving on campus is going to bit you in the tuchus. (See more under "Kowalczyk, Tod"). This team should be just fine.
Now quick and hire somebody, Ball State!