ESPN Ranks Top 50 NCAA Basketball coaches: Speculate on Beilein

Submitted by Real Tackles Wear 77 on June 2nd, 2014 at 12:04 PM

ESPN launched a series today where they will count down the 50 men's hoops coaches based on the following question:

"Who is doing the best job right now?"

Numbers 50-26 are listed today and they will count down the rest over the next 5 weeks. Using the very specific criteria above, I think Beilein will slot in somewhere around the middle of the top 10, given his success at the B1G level, having the most tournament wins of any NCAA program the past 2 years, back to back B1G POY's and so on. He is clearly the best coach in the nation, but figure he will get bumped a bit for not yet winning a national title and ESPN's anti-Michigan bias, so I will guess he is ranked 6th. Your thoughts/guesses?




June 2nd, 2014 at 12:14 PM ^

It's speculation, of course, but I would have to think that with the current climate of college hoops and the standing of the Big Ten in college hoops right now, that would pretty much point to a spot in the top ten of this list being very likely for Beilein. I would be a little surprised if he did not fall into their top ten right now actually, especially if performance in the last couple seasons weighs heavily into the evaluation. 


June 2nd, 2014 at 12:10 PM ^

I think espn gives the top 3 to the big 3 in coaching (coach k, behiem, cal) and id imagine 1 more coach getting a nod over him for name recognition. As much as i love our coach, its a little bias to say he is num 1, but top 5 no doubt about it and was FAR AND AWAY coty last year!!!

Real Tackles Wear 77

June 2nd, 2014 at 12:19 PM ^

There will be plenty on the board pissed if/when that happens but I won't be one of them, because such a ranking would be such BS that no one would even take it seriously. Since Coach B has gotten his system and players in place, he has skyrocketed ahead. Izzo still has the brand name (which makes me think he might be ranked higher) but come on, let's be real here...


June 2nd, 2014 at 12:18 PM ^

As long as Coach Eye Chart K doesn't top the chart I'm cool.  Aside from being good at keeping his players around a few extra years so he can win with juniors and seniors, no one's done less with more than Grecian Formula'd, tiny mouthed Coach K.


June 2nd, 2014 at 12:21 PM ^

He should be #1.  His only blemish in the past four years IMO was the Ohio game in 2012 but other than that he's been money in both the B1G as well as the NCAA tourny.

That being said he'll prolly be 5-7 cause he's not nearly flashy or sexy enough for ESPN's liking.   My guess is they'll go with somebody like Greg Marshall at #1 or maybe Kevin Ollie at the top.


June 2nd, 2014 at 12:49 PM ^

Coach K, Izzo, Calipari, Bill Self, Donovan, and Boeheim will probably be above him. Who knows though, whoever is doing this may recognize Beilein's genius.

I say high: 4, low: 9

Leaders And Best

June 2nd, 2014 at 12:59 PM ^

I think the top 5 will have Krzyzewski, Calipari, Pitino, Donovan, and Self. I think Bo Ryan will be ranked higher than Beilein. It will be interesting to see where they rank Tom Izzo and Thad Matta, but I think both of them are going to be ranked higher than Beilein. This is not how I believe they should be ranked, but how I think they are going to end up being ranked.

Names we already know will be in the top 25:

Mike Krzyzewski
John Calipari
Rick Pitino
Bill Self
Billy Donovan
Bo Ryan
John Beilein
Tom Izzo
Thad Matta
Jim Boeheim
Roy Williams
Sean Miller
Gregg Marshall
Kevin Ollie
Fred Hoiberg
Steve Fisher
Shaka Smart
Mark Few
Tony Bennett
Jay Wright

I also would not be surprised if Tommy Amaker makes a surprise appearance in the top 25.


June 2nd, 2014 at 2:19 PM ^

I think Roy Williams will be higher than this board is expecting.



Mike Krzyzewski (4,11)

Rick Pitino (2,7)
Roy Williams (2, 7)
Billy Donovan (2, 4)

Tom Izzo (1,6)
John Calipari (1,3 or 5*)
Jim Boeheim (1,4)
Bill Self (1,2)
Kevin Ollie (1,1)
Steve Fisher (1, 0 or 2*)

Thad Matta (0,2)
John Beilein (0,1)
Shaka Smart (0,1)
Bo Ryan (0,1)
Gregg Marshall (0, 1)
Jay Wright (0,1)

Sean Miller (0, 0)
Mark Few (0,0)
Tony Bennett (0,0)
Fred Hoiberg (0,0)



June 2nd, 2014 at 2:52 PM ^

But I think it should be more correlated than the board seems to think. The ranking is supposed to reflect "all aspects of running a program."  

Roy Williams?  Hasn't won a NC since 2009..(neither have most on the list). Coach K hasn't won since 2010. But the recruits are still headed their way...I'd bet Duke and Carolina will be a power in, say, three years.  Less likely to revert back to the pack than the newbies.

I'm sure if we went through college basketball history, we would find a number of one and two hit wonders.


June 2nd, 2014 at 12:55 PM ^

My prediction would be something like this (what I actually think would be a lot different):

  1. Donovan
  2. Pitino
  3. Calipari
  4. Boeheim
  5. Miller
  6. Self
  7. Krzyzewski
  8. Izzo
  9. Marshall
  10. Ryan
  11. Beilein
  12. Bennett
  13. Few
  14. Williams
  15. Hoiberg
  16. Matta
  17. Ollie
  18. Altman
  19. Wright
  20. Amaker
  21. Fisher
  22. Brown
  23. McDermott
  24. Ford

Did I miss somebody? From the 25-51 list and the list of "big names they left off" it seems like those have to be the guys.

Maybe I'm wrong about Ollie but I'm guessing that despite the "right now" qualifier they'll want more than the one good year. Same for Larry Brown (which is a strange thing to say about a guy that's been coaching so long.)


June 2nd, 2014 at 1:19 PM ^

That's putting two much emphasis on just three weekends, to me. He may have won a title his first time out but they also lost eight games and finished in a 3-way tie for third in the 7th-best conference.

He might be higher than I said but there's no way he's bumping any of those top five guys down.


June 2nd, 2014 at 2:55 PM ^

Again, this is intended to be a list of who is doing the best job as a college basketball coach right now. Brown's title 26 years ago isn't relevant; neither is his work in the NBA. In the period under discussion he's had one decent year, in which they were NIT runner up.

That's one more good year than anyone else ever had at SMU so he makes the list.


June 2nd, 2014 at 1:04 PM ^

First thought: How bad is Tom Crean?  Can't crack the top 50 but Rick "I waste more Talent than any other Coach, ever" Barnes does?  Rough for Crean.  

My top 10, in some order:

ACC: Coach K, Roy Williams, Pitino, Jim Boeheim

B1G: Beilein, Matta, Izzo

SEC: Billy Donovan, Coach Cal

PAC-12: Miller

Honorable Mention: Bo Ryan, Bill Self (Self would make my top 10 but he's almost in the Rick Barnes zone, except he is way dirtier than Barnes and actually posts some results)


June 2nd, 2014 at 1:13 PM ^

End of season rankings the last five years:

Texas: NR, 8, NR, NR, NR

Kansas: 1, 2, 6, 7, 10

Self's won ten straight regular-season conference championships. You can call that "posting some results" if you like, but it's acceptable at most schools.


June 2nd, 2014 at 1:52 PM ^

If this was football, sure.  But it's not.  It's basketball.  He's one Mario Chalmers three away from (somehow) being worse in the tournament than Roy Williams was at Kansas.

Despite all of the regular season success.

Despite all of the talent he brings in every year.

Despite a total lack of oversight from the NCAA in regard to what KU does to bring in that talent every year.

Hence - borderline top 10 coach.  Can get the kids there, but folds to better coaches in the tournament year in / year out.