Who Are the Finalists for the South Dakota State Men’s Basketball Job?
South Dakota State is in the final stages of hiring a new men's basketball coach, and four names have emerged as 'unofficial' finalists for the position.
ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Goodman, who was one of the first to report of Scott Nagy's departure from South Dakota State to Wright State, says the search in Brookings is focusing on four men who are well connected in the sport:
Vince Taylor has been on Tubby Smith's staff for the past nine years, the first six at Minnesota, the last three at Texas Tech. The Lexington, Kentucky native, worked under Rick Pitino and Denny Crum at Louisville, and had stops at Pittsburgh, and Wyoming. Taylor is considered to be a top recruiter. He has no college head coaching experience.
Taylor was an All-ACC player for Duke during the 1981-82 season. He was drafted by the New York Knicks in the second round of the 1982 draft and played for both the Knicks and Indiana Pacers. Taylor later worked in the Minnesota Timberwolves front office, where his responsibilities included player development and scouting.
T.J. Otzelberger has been on the staff at Iowa State for eight years overall. The first seven of those years came from 2006 to 2013, before leaving to become associate head coach at Washington for two seasons.
Otzelberger returned to Ames this past season to join the staff of new Cyclones head coach Steve Prohm. The Milwaukee native is also considered an excellent recruiter. He has no college head coaching experience, but was the head coach at Central Catholic High School in Burlington, Wisconsin for the 2003-04 season. He played college basketball at University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.
Tom Billeter just finished his 13th season at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. Under his direction, the Vikings won the Division II national championship this season, finishing the year 34-2. After the season, Billeter was named the NABC Division II National Coach of the Year. In 2014-15, Augustana won a then-school record 31 games. Overall, Billeter has 18 years of college head coaching experience - all at the D2 level. He was the head coach at North Dakota State from 1992 to 1997.
As an Division I assistant, Billeter worked alongside Lute Olson at Arizona (1985-1987) and Fran Fracshilla (1997-98) at St. John's. He was also on Melvin Watkins' staff at Texas A&M for five years, prior to coming to Augustana.
Ryan Miller just finished his second season as an assistant at UNLV. The Mitchell native also worked with Steve Alford at New Mexico (2007-12) and John Calipari at Memphis (2004-06). He's also had stops at Auburn and Pepperdine. Miller is also highly regarded as a recruiter. He has no college head coaching experience.
A graduate of Mitchell High School, Miller helped guide the Kernels to the 1994 AA State Championship, playing alongside his younger brother Mike, who has gone on to play in the NBA for the past 16 seasons.
Ryan Miller played his college ball at Northern State in Aberdeen, and had one of the best games of his career against South Dakota State in the 1998 North Central Region title game at Frost Arena. That night, Miller made nine three-pointers and scored 45 points, as the Wolves downed the Jackrabbits to advance to the Division II Elite Eight.
A decision in Brookings could come as early as Thursday.