If you had to sit down and list a handful of the best players in college basketball, it seems likely most of you could do it fairly easily. Big Blue Nation fans know their basketball. But when CBS Sports anonymously polled nearly 100 college coaches, the opinions were widespread. The first question asked to the nameless group was simple: who is the best player in college basketball? Not surprisingly, college coaches are somewhat blind to what goes on outside of their program or conference, as these results show.
If you could add any one player to your team for next season, who would it be?
1. Cody Zeller (Indiana): 35%
2. Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA): 12%
3. Aaron Craft (Ohio State): 9%
4. Doug McDermott (Creighton): 9%
5. Isaiah Canaan (Murray State): 7%
6. Nerlens Noel (Kentucky): 7%
7. Trey Burke (Michigan): 5%
Also received votes: C.J. Leslie (N.C. State), Patric Young (Florida), Otto Porter (Georgetown), Gorgui Dieng (Louisville), Lorenzo Brown (N.C. State), Phil Pressey (Missouri), Kyle Anderson (UCLA), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State).
We know there are plenty of critics who go against Coach Calipari’s one-and-done strategy. Nerlens Noel checking in at a mere seven percent in the poll suggests plenty of coaches aren’t equipped to teach such blinding talent for a single year. They will never be able to withdraw the player’s maximum potential.
But did you know some coaches are now so upset with Kentucky’s success; they are willing to settle for eighth place than to admit the strategy works? “I’d rather go to four Elite Eights with Aaron Craft than one title game with Nerlens Noel, because the headaches that come with the top players [sic] isn’t worth it.”
How cute is that? He is so mad.