Mussatto: Why new Oklahoma State coach Steve Lutz checks the right boxes for Cowboys


New OSU coach Steve Lutz comes to Stillwater after one season at Western Kentucky, where he led the Hilltoppers to the NCAA Tournament.

In Steve Lutz, Oklahoma State is hiring a basketball coach who checks the right boxes.

A deal between Lutz, the former Western Kentucky coach, and OSU is expected to be finalized Monday.

Regional ties: Check. Lutz is from San Antonio. He played college basketball in nearby Seguin and got his first assistant coaching job at Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He was a recruiting coordinator at Stephen F. Austin and SMU, and was the head coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Recruiting: Check. Recruiting Texas is a must, which goes hand in hand with Lutz’s regional ties. As an assistant at Purdue, Lutz played a key role in the recruitment of star Canadian center Zach Edey.

Trusted mentors: Check. Lutz was a longtime assistant at Creighton and Purdue, working for two of the most successful coaches in college basketball in Greg McDermott and Matt Painter.

Play style: Check. I made the case as to why OSU should hire a coach who wants to run up and down the floor in contrast to the slug-it-out style we see in the Big 12. Well, at Western Kentucky, Lutz’s Hilltoppers ranked No. 1 nationally in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom.

More: Who is Steve Lutz? Get to know Oklahoma State basketball coaching search candidate

Check, check, check and check.

Lutz finished eighth on my big board of candidates, but the closer I study his career the more I like the hire. OSU’s search dragged on for two-plus weeks, but it ended in a decision that makes a lot of sense. Give athletic director Chad Weiberg credit for neither making a panic hire (Doug Gottlieb) nor a brazen one (Will Wade).

I highly doubt Lutz was OSU’s first target. Calls were surely made to the camps of Danny Sprinkle, Dusty May and Darian DeVries among others. But the Cowboys were never going to compete with Michigan for May or Washington for Sprinkle given his geographic ties. OSU and…

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Author : The Oklahoman

Publish date : 2024-04-01 22:19:53

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