In keeping with its original two-week timeline, I expect Texas Tech to make an announcement as to who will become its interim basketball coach for the upcoming season sometime this week.
Kirby Hocutt has been working to find a replacement since former coach Billy Gillispie resigned, citing health reasons, on Sept. 20, and the athletic director has been tight-lipped about the process.
At this point, though, it is my hunch Chris Walker, the assistant coach currently in charge of the team's day-to-day operations, will get the nod as the interim coach, and there's a number of reasons why.
First, and perhaps most important in all this, Tech begins official practice in 11 days. That just doesn't seem like enough time to hire someone from the outside, introduce them to the community and have them go to work on building relationships with players.
The past month has been a trying time for the program as it has dealt with all the drama surrounding Gillispie -- who faced allegations of player mistreatment while also dealing with health concerns -- and his resignation.
The advantage Walker has is that he's been leading the team through this tumultuous period the last month, giving him insight as to how players have dealt with the situation. That sort of experience probably builds trust between coach and players, and that's key to the process. Even if Hocutt and company are looking for a one-year solution before embarking on a larger coaching search next season, putting someone in charge who is unable to reach players right away will only set Tech's progress back further.
And make no mistake, Tech faces a steep uphill battle over the next few seasons to recover from this situation.
That's not to say the school couldn't find instant chemistry with an outside hire. Perhaps there is a coach who could come in with energy and connect right away -- the most successful ones do.
But right now it's very late in the game. Clearly the timing of Gillispie's departure could not have been any worse. Given the length of time the situation played out -- more than three weeks -- it has made for a very small window for a potential new coach to come in and establish a new system.
And it's not as if Walker, who has not returned a call seeking comment, lacks experience. As a head coach, sure. But he has been a college assistant for 20 years, most recently at Villanova, where he helped guide the Wildcats to a pair of NCAA tournament berths.
Whichever direction Tech turns, it needs to make its decision soon. I expect it will, and I expect Walker's will be the direction the school points.