I'm not surprised by this decision. Six years without a tourney bid, I'd be tired of that if I was an Auburn fan. He just couldn't recruit inside players to Auburn. They had some good guards, but never any bruisers in the middle like Cousins and Patterson. It was a 50-50 deal for me. I thought maybe give the guy another chance in the new arena and see if he could recruit better with the new facility. It's too bad. He ran a clean program and is a good guy. I hate to see good people get fired, but the wins and losses were not impressive particularly in the SEC. Never made it to the tourney. Sonny Smith took them to the Elite Eight in the '80's. It probably can be done again.
A new arena will help recruiting, no doubt. There are some good young assistants out there who want a shot. Duke has some. I don't know if Auburn could get Mike Anderson. If they had something worked out with him, then that's a good move. He just locked into a contract with Missouri so not clear on that. Somebody like the coach at Butler; he's a young guy and has done well. Maybe a Vandy or Kentucky assistant. Know Vandy has some young assistants. Kentucky may have as well. Chuck Person certainly in the mix, but has no experience coaching in college.
Auburn seems to be committed to basketball with this new arena. Maybe they can make a home run hire and get their program playing in the NCAA tournament. Can be done for sure.