Marquette isn't going to hire a provost or an athletics director until it hires a president.

But it must hire a basketball coach before it hires the other three because recruiting won't wait.

Priorities aside, the pecking order seems about right.

The men's basketball coach typically has been the most powerful, influential person on campus. Tom Crean and Buzz Williams held czar-like powers because they milked the cash cow.

Williams was powerful enough to travel like a rock star, have all of his eccentricities catered to and make an AD disappear, and still that wasn't enough to satisfy a quirky guy who impulsively fled.

So, what's a school that pins a lot of its self-esteem to hoops to do?

Looking for a right-fit basketball coach isn't much different from looking for other essentials in life. Start by listing your assets and liabilities and go from there.

On the plus side, Marquette spends more money on men's basketball than anybody in the country except Duke. It plays in an NBA arena. The Al McGuire Center is as good as any practice facility in the country.

The coach lives like Henry VIII with a top-10 salary and absolute control. It puts players in the NBA. A Marquette degree is also a selling point should the coach insist on classroom attendance.

And if the next coach talks the four signees and one verbal commitment into staying, he'll have a pretty good foundation.

On the downside, Marquette is not as lenient on entrance requirements as many basketball factories, although Williams pushed through a lot of junior-college kids. Geography can sometimes be a tough sell with the harsh winters.

The new and diluted Big East was one of the reasons why Williams left. While Virginia Tech is a worse job, the ACC is a better league. Williams also left because he believed the program had peaked after a flat season. He wanted to get out while the getting was good because he didn't see winning at another Elite Eight level in Marquette's future.

Put all that on a scale, and it still tips toward Marquette giving a coach pretty much everything he needs to be successful.

Question is, how successful? Good enough to compete now and then for a league title in a downgraded conference? Or good enough, all things considered, to make a run at a national title?