Roundtable: Bizarre Circumstances

Ahmed Hill

Seemingly week to week, something weird happens in college basketball. Whether it's a coaching change, player transfer or surprising recruiting development, volatility has been the rule over the past six weeks.

We rounded up our Scout national crew and asked them to choose, based on the numerous possibilities, what development has surprised them the most so this offseason … understanding that we may not be out of the woods just yet.

Evan Daniels: Buzz Williams' decision to go to Virginia Tech was a bit surprising. I think Marquette is one of the best jobs in the Big East and in general I thought he would hold out for a major job in or around Texas.

That said, Williams is a talented recruiter and coach and I certainly think he can have success at Virginia Tech, which can be a tough place to recruit to. He's already off to a strong start with adding Ahmed Hill and keeping Justin Bibbs.

Josh Gershon: To me, the Oregon State situation was as strange as anything. For the athletic director to publicly stand by Craig Robinson after the season and then suddenly change his mind a month later for no known reason, that's not exactly a common scenario.

Robinson had struggled to recruit many Pac-12 level players over recent years, but that was as big a problem the day after the season as it was on Monday, when he got fired. Regardless, Oregon State has a big hire to make and finding a way to fill a program that is very much devoid of high major talent with legit players — and fast — will be extremely important.

Brian Snow: For me, the most surprising thing was Boston College reaching into Ohio and grabbing Jimmy Christian. Christian is an excellent basketball coach, but it seemed that the Eagles would go for a younger guy who was more of an up and comer in the business than a veteran like Christian.

Christian did go out and find a tremendous staff which should really help him, and if he can bring in a few players his X and O ability will definitely shine through. Recruiting in the ACC isn't easy, and it surprised me to see BC go in that direction, since Christian has spent the last decade either in the state of Ohio or Texas.

Rob Harrington: I enjoyed the concentric circles that formed around the California, Auburn and Tennessee coaching situations. Everyone knew Bruce Pearl would make his way back into the game, but at Auburn and so close to his former employer in Knoxville?

My initial thought was that Cuonzo Martin would be forced to become much more aggressive on the recruiting trail, but fate intervened and Mike Montgomery retired from Cal. Even then, I didn't expect Martin to surface as a strong contender for a job in the Pac-12, but off he went.

All of a sudden, an Auburn program mired in struggles appears on the upswing and new Vols coach Donnie Tyndall faces a formidable recruiting opponent to the south. And with UT's roster and incoming class now severely depleted due to transfers and releases, Tyndall's challenge has become all the more daunting. That's a stirring reversal from March.

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

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