For the second season in a row, the men's college basketball coaching carousel started spinning earlier than usual. Last year, it was Maryland and Louisville opening up long before the end of the season. In 2022-23, Texas and Notre Dame are already open. And that's just the big jobs; six other spots are also available or have interim coaches in charge. The days of waiting until March for the announcements to get rolling are over; the coaching merry-go-round is already going, and it won't stop for another month and a half.
With eight jobs already changing hands, we could see a busier overall year than in recent times. In 2020, fewer than 30 coaching changes were made. The 2021 cycle brought 57 job changes, while the number was 60 last year.
Texas holds the controls of the carousel. We'll dive further into this shortly, but the Longhorns making a big move could create a domino effect that completely changes everything. If current interim head coach Rodney Terry gets the job permanently, though, things could be quieter.
To get you prepared for the next six weeks of coaching machinations -- and, more importantly, the accompanying rumors, scuttlebutt and gossip -- here is a look at the biggest storylines, jobs and names to watch.
Big-picture storylines to watch | Jobs already open | Trending toward opening | Jobs I'm watching | One more year? | Seats that have cooled | Others to watch | High-profile names | Mid-major names | Can they get back in?
Big-picture storylines to watch
1. How busy of a carousel should we expect?
With just 2½ weeks remaining until Selection Sunday, the carousel is still incredibly difficult to predict. You could make the argument only four of five jobs from the top eight leagues are guaranteed to open. But, as many as 15 programs could opt to make a move if things go a certain way down the stretch of the season. Texas is likely to be the biggest job to open. The one factor to take into consideration will be falling dominoes. Texas is likely to make a big-name hire from a big-time school, which would cause plenty of shifting down the line.
2. What will happen with John Calipari?
Of course, if Calipari leaves Kentucky for Texas, as was rumored several weeks ago, the carousel would go haywire. There seems to be some level of interest on both sides, according to sources, but Texas hasn't advanced too far in its search, and it's premature to say Calipari is even involved. The heat on Calipari's seat from the Kentucky fans has also cooled considerably in recent weeks as the Wildcats went from the wrong side of the bubble to perhaps wearing home jerseys in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Firing him was not really a feasible option anyway; his buyout is in the $40 million range.
3. Jim Boeheim and other retirement possibilities