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Welcome to The Thread. This is basically a feature I started in the last offseason so I'd have a reason to post more often than not. If the header is kind of screwed up...well, I'm trying something new.

As for the lack of new posts in recent days, I have to cry "real life" again. I am, as I've said before, a legislative reporter. The legislature went in Jan. 14, and I've been working 10-11 hour or more days. Not looking for any sympathy -- though it's always welcome -- just explaining why it's taking longer to finish the season in review stuff and pivot to basketball (or what's left of it) fully at this point.

As I've noted before, I think there's plenty of reasons to question Eric Hyman's decision to retain Dave Odom last year and then fire retire him this year. Here's another:

The timing is bad for Marshall, plain and simple. He could have remained at Winthrop this past offseason and hoped to be a candidate at USC if Dave Odom departed.

Marshall could not wait, so he took the Wichita State job, signing a seven-year contract at $750,000 annually.

No one questions the 44-year-old Marshall's credentials. He led Winthrop to seven NCAA tournament appearances in nine seasons. He also proved adept at recruiting the state of South Carolina when he was at Winthrop.

In other words, the perfect candidate has already left the state. So what says he?

My total focus is on building the Wichita State basketball program toward excellence. I have not been contacted by, nor have I contacted the University of South Carolina or any school, for that matter, for any position. Period.

Going forward, I do not plan to discuss any other job, position, or situation other than the one I have, Head Basketball Coach at Wichita State University.

Not exactly a nondenial denial -- it's a bit too strident for that -- but not airtight, either. It trots out the old "have not been contaced" line and puts "I do not plan to" in front of the strongest stuff.

I did not plan to have sex with that woman...

Point being, this would have been a lot easier if Hyman had acted on Odom last year, instead of waiting for a coach who'd had plenty of opportunities to turn the team around begin yet another mediocre season.

Call the Hatfields and McCoys in. They sure know how to fight in West Virginia. The allegations flying around in connection with WVU's lawsuit against Rich Rodriguez include charges of document shredding and, from former OC Calvin Magee, charges of racism. Money quote:

Jennifer McIntosh, the executive director of the WVU Office of Social Justice, told the Post-Gazette that the coaching search had been conducted properly. When Finder informed her that the Black Coaches Association had recommended Magee, a minority candidate already on campus, McIntosh said, "Who? I don't know anything about [Magee]."

Yep. Go back 100 years and we're breaking out the rifles at this point.