Alabama is firing head coach Avery Johnson.
"Alabama is negotiating a buyout with Coach Avery Johnson and an agreement could be reached as soon as Friday, sources told Stadium," Jeff Goodman reported late on Thursday night, one day after Alabama lost to Norfolk State in the First Round of the NIT.
Johnson went 75-62 in four seasons as head coach. He reached only one NCAA Tournament, finished ninth or worse in the SEC three times and never won more than 20 games in a season. His $8-million buyout will drop to $6-million on April 16.
With Johnson out, who might Crimson Tide athletics director Greg Byrne target as their next head coach?
Several reports have mentioned Iowa State's Steve Prohm. An Alabama alum who spent the first eight years of his career in the region, Prohm led Murray State to 104 wins in only four seasons before taking the Cyclones' job 2015. He enters the 2019 NCAA Tournament with 83 wins in four seasons and three tourney wins.
Side note: If Prohm leaves, could Iowa State bring back Fred Hoiberg before Nebraska, supposedly, makes it official?
UPDATED: 2019 Coaching Change Tracker
Gregg Marshall was rumored to be a candidate in 2015 but ultimately signed a seven-year deal to stay at Wichita State. He could be in play again, that is if Alabama can afford a salary (likely) around $5 million.
Northern Kentucky's John Brannen could be on a short list. A former Tide assistant under Anthony Grant (2009-15), Brannen has strong relationships throughout the region and has done marvelous work in Highland Heights, leading the Norse to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
The often-mentioned mid-major names like Nate Oats, Eric Musselman, Matt McMahon and Steve Forbes could be in play, as could 36-year-old UNC Greensboro head coach Wes Miller and Charleston head coach Earl Grant.
How about Bryce Drew? He was a surprise dismissal at Vanderbilt after being one of the hottest coaches in the country two years ago. It could be a hard sell to introduce a guy who went winless in the SEC last year, but it wouldn't be outrageous.