Remember John Calipari not being on the watch list for Naismith Coach of the Year a few weeks ago? Somebody at the Atlanta Tipoff Club wised up, because Calipari was named one of eleven semifinalists for the award this afternoon.
Calipari, one of only two coaches to win the award three times (the other is Coach K), is looking to become the first four-time winner. Also on the list: Rick Barnes (Tennessee), Chris Beard (Texas Tech), Tony Bennett (Virginia), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Nate Oats (Buffalo), Matt Painter (Purdue), Kelvin Sampson (Houston), Roy Williams (North Carolina), and Mike Young (Wofford).
Four finalists will be announced on March 20, at which point fans can vote for their favorite coach by visiting NaismithTrophy.com/vote. Voting will take place March 22 through April 3 with the fan vote accounting for five percent of the overall final vote. The winner will be awarded at the Naismith Awards Brunch during the Final Four in Minneapolis.