SHEFFIELD (Julio Chitunda's African Message) - Over the course of the past few years, Senegal have appointed both foreign and home-born head coaches to their national teams, but few know who will take the jobs in 2016.
"Who will take the helm of both teams?" remains the most frequently asked question of the moment in Senegal basketball circles.
As much as speculators try to bring names into the conversation of the future head coaches of the country's men's and women's teams, only a few seem realistic. It's a secret that will shortly be revealed.
Over the last six editions of AfroBasket, two Senegalese - Cheikh Sarr and Abdou N'Diaye - and two foreign coaches - Frenchman coach Alain Weisz and Sam Vincent of the USA - have coached the men's national team.
Weisz - who coached France at EuroBasket 2003 - guided the Senegalese to a fifth-place finish at AfroBasket 2011 and Vincent - a former NBA player with NBA coaching experience - led the Western Africans to a ninth-place finish in 2007, their worst result ever.
Ndoye was in charge of the team that finished runners-up at AfroBasket 2005 - their best achievement since winning Africa's continental championship as hosts in 1997.
As for Sarr, he led Senegal to a third-place finish at AfroBasket 2013 which ensured the team a place at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, where they stunned the basketball world with wins over Croatia and Puerto Rico.
While this quick history is quite indicative of who best served the country, the debate is still ongoing as to who should take the job.
Cheick Sarr (SEN)
Looking back at Sarr's reign, my impression - and I might be wrong - is that he seemed a disciplinarian man who strongly believes in his players' potential to compete at high level.
At two major competitions (2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and AfroBasket 2015), two players - Djibril Thiam and Mouhammad Faye - were excluded from the team for alleged misconduct. I could never verify if Sarr took the final decision to release the players, although media reports suggested he certainly played a part in it.
But I also felt that under Sarr, the team showed some disturbing inconsistency when it mattered most. Case in point: Spain 2014, where they were blown out by Argentina after two spectacular wins over Croatia and Puerto Rico.
At last summer's AfroBasket in Rades, Tunisia, the Senegalese opened the tournament with five wins in as many games before falling to Nigeria in the Semi-Finals.
Back in 2013, Senegal - after beating Egypt on the opening day - fell short in the Semi-Finals against the same North Africans.
With that being said, I don't mean to suggest that Sarr is out of the race for the coaching position. And if I were asked who would I pick to coach Senegal at the Manila OQT, I probably wouldn't rule out, Sarr, N'Diaye, Tunisia-based Moussa Toure or an international coach who can motivate the team in critical moments. But players should have a say.
But I can't stop thinking who might take the tough job of leading Senegal at the OQT in the Philippines, where the Senegalese will take on Group A opponents Turkey and Canada.
Moustapha Gaye (SEN)
Meanwhile, Moustapha Gaye - the man who guided Senegal to the title at AfroBasket Women 2015 - looks a front-runner to remain at the helm of the team.
It's no surprise then that this coming Thursday, the day of the appointment of the coaching crews, has become the most highly-anticipated day in Senegal basketball so far in 2016.