John Calipari has become the face of college basketball in the one-and-done era, but according to coaches in the sport, there’s still one person that’s more powerful. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish asked over 100 college basketball coaches who they believe is the most powerful person in the sport, and 43.7% voted for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. Calipari came in second with 20.4% of the vote. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney was third at 8.7%.
What gives Coach K the edge over Cal? His role with USA Basketball, which, thankfully, is coming to an end.
“Coach K is the biggest deal in our sport,” one coach said anonymously. “And the USA Basketball thing is what took it to another level. He gets [expletive] done. Who else could get that Marvin Bagley deal done like him? And he’s bullet-proof too. Corey Maggette situation. Nothing comes of it. Lance Thomas situation. Nothing comes of it. Totally bullet-proof. Have to respect it.”
He’s got a point. Calipari would be banned from the sport for some of the things Coach K has pulled off, but somehow, Krzyzewski not only gets away with it, he’s been put on a pedestal. However, as one coach noted, it was Calipari that forced Krzyzewski to adapt.
“He’s changed how people do things,” a coach said of Cal. “He’s changed the mindset of parents and of players. He’s made everyone up their game in terms of facilities and doing everything first class and trying to be big time. He by far has the most power in college basketball. Even Coach K has changed what he does because of what Calipari’s doing.”
Unfortunately, Coach K and Duke seem to be beating Calipari at his own game as of late, but hopefully that changes soon. (Looking at you, R.J. Barrett) Read more of the coaches’ views on Coach K and Cal at the link below.