This is the last time you’ll have to read about the Critical Coaches series. For that alone, rejoice!
The CBS quartet decided to end the series on a good note (kind of), asking their panel of 100 anonymous coaches “If you could pick any active coach to lead your program, who would it be?” One would think Cal, arguably the most successful coach in the game right now in terms of recruiting, winning games and sending players to the next level, would be high on the list, right? Not really. Cal checks in at number six with six percent of the vote, behind Tom Izzo, Bill Self, Mike Krzyalkdjfakdfa, Rick Pitino, and Billy Donovan:
Tom Izzo (Michigan State): 27 percent
Bill Self (Kansas): 23 percent
Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): 10 percent
Rick Pitino (Louisville): 8 percent
Billy Donovan (Florida): 8 percent
John Calipari (Kentucky): 6 percent
Sean Miller (Arizona): 6 percent
Brad Stevens (Butler): 4 percent
Roy Williams (North Carolina): 4 percent
Lest you think he’s biased, Jeff Goodman actually disagreed with the results:
“The biggest shocker for me, actually, was that Calipari didn’t receive more votes coming off his first national title and that Brad Stevens wasn’t mentioned more prominently. The combo of Calipari and Kentucky has no peer when it comes to recruiting, but obviously many coaches didn’t feel as though Calipari was at the same level when it comes to on-court X’s and O’s. My guess is if this poll were held a year ago, Stevens would have finished somewhere around the top five.”
Not shockingly, one coach anonymously gave Cal a backhanded compliment:
On Calipari: “Sure, he’s shady — but he wins. If that’s ultimately what you want, then he’s your guy — and that’s what I want. To be able to compete for national titles every single year.”
Whatever. We gotta get #9.