Marshall’s second amendment

Wichita State men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall will work with a revised contract for the next three seasons. You can see the amendments here.

  • If you can “choose your level” as a college basketball school, Wichita State signaled it wanted to be a serious player many years ago. Marshall’s raise of more than $500,000 is similar to what Michigan’s John Beilein received after his 2013 Final Four. Final Four appearances also led to big raises for Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens,  and Jim Larranaga.
  • Although it’s somewhat outdated, you can look at USA Today’s coaching database from 2012-13 to see where a contract of $1.6 million (to be $1.75 by April) ranks.
  • What does this mean for Marshall’s future at WSU? Little. He is happy at WSU and he makes that clear over and over again. Now he can be happy with a bigger paycheck and more money for his assistants.  The fact he’s signed through 2020 is meaningless, if he wants to leave. He’s already made it clear he likes his situation and isn’t shopping aggressively for a new job. Any school that entices him can afford to pay him $2 million-plus and won’t blink at the buyout. There aren’t many of those schools out there, and the list narrows considerably given Marshall’s preferences to not go to another rebuilding situation. While I would never discount the importance of money, Marshall hasn’t given an indication he is driven by his paycheck. If and when he leaves WSU, by my guess, it will be for a better basketball situation, first and foremost. When you can take a team to the Final Four, how many better situations are there?
  • This is the part of the story where the Missouri Valley Conference comes in. If its strength slips to where it is difficult to get favorable NCAA Tournament seeds (and land at-large bids), then that is a major issue. Coaches who make $1.75 million don’t want to coach in the NIT. WSU is attempting to schedule enough good non-conference games that it can build its resume before MVC play starts. That’s admirable and necessary. An easier path is when conference play deposits several top-100 RPI opportunities on your home court. The MVC did that regularly in recent seasons, with Creighton sitting in the top-50 range seven of the past nine seasons. Creighton, as may have heard, no longer plays an MVC schedule. That doesn’t mean the Valley is finished producing at-large teams. It does mean other schools must improve to keep the Valley in that club.