Cal’s wish list
Here are potential candidates for the Cal coaching job that opened when Mike Montgomery retired on Monday:
– TOMMY AMAKER, Harvard
Credentials: The 48-year-old former Duke guard has guided the Crimson to a seven-year record of 139-71, including four straight Ivy League titles. His 2012 squad became the first Harvard team to play in the NCAA tournament since 1946.
Positives: Has shown he can navigate the postseason. Harvard never had won an NCAA tournament game until the past two seasons when it posted tournament upsets over No. 3 seed New Mexico and No. 5 Cincinnati.
Concerns: Amaker will be tough to land. On Saturday, after being wooed by crosstown Boston College, he announced he is staying put, saying “My heart is at Harvard.”
– RANDY BENNETT, Saint Mary’s
Credentials: The Gaels’ all-time winningest coach with a 14-year record of 286-137. Bennett, 51, guided Saint Mary’s into the Sweet 16 in 2010. SMC was 23-12 this season, interrupting a run of six straight years of at least 25 victories.
Positives: Has led the Gaels to five NCAA tournament berths since 2005 — as many or more than any Bay Area school over the same time frame, including Cal.
Negatives: Faced a five-game this past season as part of sanctions for NCAA violations that included impermissible workouts and benefits and a failure to monitor charge.
– BRYCE DREW Valparaiso
Credentials: The 39-year-old has directed his alma mater to a three-year record of 66-36, including a spot in the 2013 NCAA tournament field. The Crusaders were 18-16 this season.
Positives: Drew is remembered for his winning 3-point basket in the 1998 NCAA tournament against Ole Miss on a play designed by his father, coach Homer Drew. Drew played six seasons in the NBA.
Concerns: Has limited head coaching track record, and little buzz coming off mediocre season.
– BEN HOWLAND
Credentials: The 56-year-old has won at every stop, with a career record of 398-205. He was 233-107 in 10 seasons at UCLA, reestablishing the Bruins as a West Coast power. Previously coached at Northern Arizona and Pitt. Mentioned the past week as a candidate for the Marquette job.
Positives: Guided the Bruins to three straight Final Fours through 2008, their best run since the John Wooden era.
Concerns: Age and style of play. Pauley Pavilion fans embraced the low-scoring, defense-oriented Bruins during the Final Four years, but came in fewer numbers when the Bruins won just two NCAA tournament games in a span of five seasons ending in 2013.
– LEON RICE, Boise State
Credentials: Rice, 50, has compiled a four-year record of 77-54 at Boise State, with back-to-back 20-win seasons. The Washington State grad is credited with significantly improving the team’s home attendance figures.
Positives: In 2013, Rice guided Boise to its first-ever NCAA tournament at-large bid. He brings a background of success as a former associate head coach at Gonzaga.
Concerns: Just signed a four-year contract extension that provides him a $100,000 salary increase to about $600,000 per and includes an automatic rollover with each 18-victory season.
– ARCHIE MILLER, Dayton
Credentials: At 35, Miller directed the Flyers to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament after a decisive win over Stanford last week. He is 63-38 in three seasons, including 26-11 this year. Dayton beat Cal by 18 points at the Maui Invitational in November.
Positives: The younger brother of Arizona coach Sean Miller is familiar with the Pac-12, having spent two seasons as associate head coach for the Wildcats.
Concerns: The Bears might have to move quickly to get him. Rewarded last week with a contract extension through 2018, Miller nonetheless has been mentioned for job vacancies at Wake Forest and Marquette.
– STEVE PROHM, Murray State
Credentials: Prohm, 39, has guided the Racers to three straight 20-win seasons, a pair of Ohio Valley Conference regular-season titles and a record of 73-23.
Positives: His 2013 squad won its first 23 games on the way to a 31-2 record, losing in the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. His pricetag will be affordable.
Concerns: Has no sizzle with Cal fans and a limited resume after just three seasons as a head coach.
– SHAKA SMART, VCU
Credentials: Smart, 36, guided the Rams to the 2011 Final Four and has reached the NCAA tournament the past four seasons. He is 137-46 in five years as VCU’s head coach. A dream candidate.
Positives: Smart’s name is atop every athletic director’s wish list, and in recent years he has been pursued by UCLA, Minnesota, Illinois and North Carolina State. This year Marquette came calling.
Concerns: He turned down all the aforementioned opportunities and will be almost impossible to pry from a recent contract extention that is worth a guaranteed $1.45 million per year (before incentives) and runs through 2028.