With Penn State Basketball on the cusp of making their first NCAA Tournament since 2011, the rumors will continue to swirl about the future of Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry. Even when the Nittany Lions were 5-9 in the conference and prior to winning six of their last 7 capped off with Thursday night’s Big Ten Tournament versus Illinois, Shrewsberry was linked to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish job opening. Outgoing Notre Dame HC Mike Brey announced this would be his last year and a logical choice could be the Indiana native, Micah Shrewberry. To further the bittersweetness of Thursday (seriously how classic is it for Penn State Basketball to win in the Big Ten Tournament and it be a potentially ‘bad’ day), Georgetown announced they would not bring back their Head Coach, alum Patrick Ewing. With both Notre Dame and Georgetown’s seasons over, despite Penn State’s continuing in the Big Ten Tournament and likely onto the NCAA Tournament next week, we take a look at the three potential landing spots for Micah Shrewsberry in the 2023-2024 season.
How Penn State Basketball stacks up against Notre Dame, Georgetown for Micah Shrewsberry
Outside of a surprise NCAA Tournament run in 2021 when the Hoyas won the Big East Tournament, recent success has evaded this once proud program. However, from 2006 to 2015, the Hoyas danced 8 teams, making the Sweet Sixteen in back to back years and the Final Four in 2008. The program won the NCAA title in 1984, has made the finals three times and have 5 final fours. Their 2022 recruiting class was ranked 53rd overall and brought in the 4th best transfer class, but it resulted in a 7-25 season, 2-18 in the Big East. Why would Micah Shrewsberry choose Georgetown? They are a legendary program within the sport of collegiate basketball. Getting in now virtually guarantees low expectations as the Hoyas are likely going through their worst stretch ever. Would following in the footsteps of not just Patrick Ewing but the legendary John Thompson be a draw for Shrewsberry? Chances of Micah Shrewsberry coaching at Georgetown next year: 10%
Likely dancing for the first time since 2011, the Nittany Lions are actually in their best six year stretch in program history. Without COVID-19, this year would be the second time in four years PSU would make the NCAA Tournament. They also won the NIT in that stretch and had two of the best metric years in history not to make the postseason (under former coaches Pat Chambers and Jim Ferry). Their 2022 recruiting class was ranked 27th overall and the 46th-best transfer class, resulting in a 20-win season and a .500 record in the conference. Shrewsberry has also brought in a 30th-ranked recruiting class next year, highlighted by legacy player Carey Booth. Why would Micah Shrewsberry choose to stay in Happy Valley? Simply, the program is trending up. Yes, this season’s team is the oldest team in the country (by far) but using the transfer portal wisely could pair well with Kanye Clary and Evan Mahaffey next year. Maybe Seth Lundy returns too? And let’s not forget, Braeden Shrewsberry has committed to play for Penn State next year. Chances of coaching at Penn State next year: 40%
Notre Dame made the NCAA tournament last year but before that, their last appearance was 2017. That ended an impressive run for the Fighting Irish where they danced 12 times from 2001 to 2017, which included three Sweet Sixteen appearances and two runs to the Elite Eight. The Irish brought in the 22nd best recruiting class in the nation (and the 135th transfer class) but struggled in a down ACC, finishing 11-21 (3-17 in conference). Why would Micah Shrewsberry choose Notre Dame? First and foremost, he’s an Indiana man, born and bred. The majority of his coaching time in the collegiate ranks was in the Hoosier state (Butler and Purdue). He likes recruiting in this area and his style of teams (thus far) at Penn State would fit much better with the ACC or Big East. Notre Dame has some of the resources issues he has currently in Happy Valley but being a private school would likely allow for some advantages. Chances of coaching at Notre Dame next year: 50%
Can Penn State Basketball Keep Micah Shrewsberry?
Penn State needs to do everything they can to keep Micah Shrewsberry in Happy Valley, but a large contract extension may not be enough. There are significant programmatic advantages in DC and South Bend that may never exist here at Penn State. And, frankly, it’s probably easier to leave after just two years if he was able to make the NCAA Tournament, which seems all but a guarantee at this point. Enjoy the run in the Big Ten Tournament and next week’s NCAA Tournament and don’t let these rumors takeaway that joy. But, fingers crossed Micah Shrewsberry will be on the sidelines in the Bryce Jordan Center next year!