Saddi Washington from Oakland (and Lansing Sexton) and Billy Donlon, who was inexplicably fired from Wright State as the head coach this spring after a 22-13/13-5 second place finish in the Horizon.
On paper, two pretty good hires. Saddi has been a key part of Oakland’s recruiting efforts in recent years, where they’ve leapfrogged the MAC schools to become the 3rd choice among instate programs. I would imagine he will be the point man on Brandon Johns’ recruitment. Realistically though, this is Izzo’s state…no assistant is going to be a difference maker for the vast, vast majority of guys he wants. He was also in the DJ Stephens role at OU as big man coach.
Donlon had a good reputation as a head coach, particularly on the defensive end. I suspect he won’t be around as an assistant for very long…probably a couple of years until he becomes safe for another mid major to hire, which is about as long as it should take.
Hard to know how it all plays out until you actually see guys in these jobs but my sense tells me they’ve upgraded if these two are the hires. What is interesting is that their areas of specialty (big men and defense) are areas where Michigan has been god awful, even when they’ve been good under Beilein. So, what does that mean? Is he going to cede responsibility for those areas? More importantly, are recruiting decisions and playing time decisions going to change in terms of emphasis? They’ll have to in order for it to matter much.