Mike Hamilton already knows this but I'll say it anyway:
There is no foolproof formula to hire Tennessee's next men's basketball coach.
You can take candidates from every possible background and find plenty of hits and plenty of misses.
And over the years, UT has tried them all - to mixed results, naturally.
In the search to replace the popular Bruce Pearl, Tennessee might:
n Seek a veteran head coach with a proven track record.
n Take a chance on the current hot mid-major flavor.
n Identify a career assistant who's ready to captain his own ship.
n Go outside the box for, say, an NBA guy or an interim alternative until the NCAA case is resolved.
You find a pro for any of the above and I'll find a con. You find a con, I'll find a pro.
The option generating the least buzz is hiring an assistant with no head-coaching experience.
The Vols went that route in 1989 with Wade Houston. Other than getting to watch his son Allan for four years, it didn't work out well for UT.
But consider Tom Izzo, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams and Mark Few. A strong Final Four by anybody's standard.
What they have in common - besides being among college basketball's most successful coaches - is that all four assumed big-time jobs without any previous head-coaching experience.
Hiring a veteran has produced results at UT. Don DeVoe took the Vols to five consecutive NCAA tournaments. Jerry Green had public-relation issues, but was 4-for-4 and won 71.2 percent of his games here.
Ray Mears, UT's all-time wins leader, came from tiny Wittenberg University in 1962. The small-college route wasn't unusual then but it isn't as practical in the 21st Century.
A likely option for Tennessee is to comb the mid-major ranks for a guy with a hot hand. That one is especially tricky.
As a veteran coach told me Wednesday, "Be careful with somebody who's been hot for two weeks.''
That caveat would apply to Shaka Smart. He's got Virginia Commonwealth in the Sweet 16 but it's only his second year as head coach.
Wasn't Pearl a mid-major Sweet 16 hire by the Vols in 2005? Yes, but he'd been a head coach for 13 years.
Arkansas bit on Stan Heath in 2002 when he led Kent State to the Elite Eight - in his first year as head coach. Heath has since been fired at Arkansas and is on the hot seat at South Florida.
Minnesota jumped at Dan Monson after Gonzaga made the Elite Eight in ' 99, Monson's second season. The Gophers fired him after eight seasons and zero NCAA tournaments.
South Carolina picked Darrin Horn fresh off a Sweet 16 trip at Western Kentucky. Three years in, the Gamecocks are about where they were before.
Some of the best hires do not involve March Madness heroes.
Billy Donovan was 35-20 in two middling years at Marshall when Florida took a chance on him in 1996.
In 1980, Duke hired a guy who was 9-17 in his fifth year at Army.
When Mike Krzyzewski was introduced, I doubt anybody thought Duke won the press conference.