It would be a mild understatement to say that the Detroit Pistons have struggled lately. The Pistons are currently hobbling to a 24-49 record and a fourth-straight year without a playoff visit. Pistons fans, eager for a return to recent glory days, are getting restless.
One of the problems has been the coaching. Since going their separate ways with Flip Saunders in 2008, the Pistons bench has featured a parade of futility, with Michael Curry barely making the playoffs in his only year, followed by the current drought under John Kuester and the woebegone Lawrence Frank. Frank recently called his own team “disheartening to watch.”
Finally, the Pistons are looking at an unconventional solution to their coaching woes: Albion’s own Mody Jay.
The front office in Auburn Hills is trying to keep the early negotiations secret, but inside sources have told The Plebian that General Manager Joe Dumars likes what he is looking at.
“Coach May is one of the best coaches Division III has to offer,” said an anonymous source inside the Pistons organization. “The whole front office is really impressed by his resume.”
Skeptics in the blogosphere have pointed to Jay’s lack of major-college or pro experience as a potential stumbling block to his success with the Pistons, but our source wants to quiet those concerns.
“Joe Dumars is an excellent judge of NBA coaching talent,” she said, citing Dumar’s hiring of Frank after his 0-16 start in New Jersey two seasons prior. “The raw energy Dumars sees in Jay is like nothing he’s ever seen.”
Coach Jay, for his part, is remaining mum on the talks, but could be seen hosting Pistons owner Tom Gores in the KC’s fourth- floor loft last Thursday. Those meetings are said to be serious.
“I can’t comment on the situation with the Pistons,” Jay said. “I would love to see more Albion players on NBA rosters though. Could I make that happen if I were coach?”
The athletic department seemed frazzled, but also refused to talk to us about the potential coaching search, or their efforts to keep Coach Jay. “We’ve heard the rumors, but Coach Jay assures us those were just rumors,” said Att Marend, athletic director. “His parking spot has been upgraded for next year though. That was Dr. Dandall’s call, not mine.”
Marend was willing to answer one question though: Is Albion in the market for an NBA-tested coach?
“Coach Frank?” Marend asked. “No way. You have to prove you can win before coming to Albion.”
Photo Courtesy of the Albion College Flickr.