The news that Rodney Terry is taking over as head coach at Fresno State can hardly be called good news, considering his prowess as a recruiter and connection to the Candian pipeline. With that said, not only has Texas already landed Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, and Myck Kabongo, but the program isn't exactly in a position where it depends on the exceptional recruiting skills of individual assistants to pull in top targets. Texas is a national program with first-rate facilities, located in an increasingly talent-rich state.
Now, that hasn't always been the case, and one could fairly argue that over the first half of Barnes' tenure at Texas, succeeding with recruiting was critical to elevating the program. And in that light, it's not a stretch to conclude that Barnes was better off with the assistants who helped him land TJ Ford, Kevin Durant, and more recently, the Canadian kids.
But if we accept the premise that the Texas program is in a place where it can recruit successfully without any particular individual brilliance, it's fair to wonder if Terry's departure opens a spot for a much-needed assistant who excels at understanding and teaching the intricacies of the game.
One of the cornerstones of the case for Barnes as the right coach at Texas is a belief that he is open to critical self-assessment, evolution, growth, and improvement. He earned high marks for the actions he took last offseason, and now the Terry departure provides his first opportunity of this offseason to do so again. This isn't to say that Barnes can only satisfy that need for growth and improvement by hiring a certain kind of assistant coach, but it certainly seems like the easiest and best opportunity to achieve immediate progress in those respects.