Definitely NOT in the running for COY
Why is no one talking Coach of the Year yet? Sure, lots has been made of the Player of the Year race (despite what you are hearing, Wall WILL win POY), but far fewer are discussing who the top head coach in the nation is. This, obviously, is a much more wide open race that could have as many as 8 legitimate candidates when it’s all said and done. Of course, in naming a COY, you have to determine your criteria. Do you give it to the guy who got the most out of what he had? Guy with the biggest turnaround? You can look at it from tons of angles, so I’ve narrowed it down to my top three, in no particular order. Feel free to disagree, as I’m sure you will.
(A) John Calipari, UK – Not only did he take a 4-seed in the NIT to a 1-seed in the NCAAs, but if you’re counting the intangible things he’s done in Lexington, I’m not sure there’s another candidate that even comes close to having accomplished the same things. New place, new players, new system- Cal’s getting it done.
(B) Jim Boeheim, Syracuse – Has taken a team that lost it’s three top scorers from last season and was picked to finish 6th in the Big East to a top 5 team in all of college basketball. Better yet, has done it with a freshman PG not named John Wall and a transfer from Iowa State. Few saw the Orange being so successful, and that is primary reason Boeheim will be seriously considered for COY.
(C) Frank Martin, Kansas St. – You might say I got the wrong guy, thinking that Jay Wright at Villanova is a stronger candidate, but I think you’d be wrong. Villanova was supposed to be good, but Kansas St., while favored to finish in the top 5 of the Big 12, has actually proven to be the second best team in that conference. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really like Frank Martin. He just seems like an unsavory character in the Billy Clyde mold. But you can’t argue with the results, KSU sits at 21-4 with wins over Baylor, Texas, UNLV and Xavier. Martin is the darkhorse, but don’t count him out.
So there’s one bloggers opinion on how the COY race with shake out, with these three guys being your top 3 vote-getters. Smart money is on Calipari (barring an absolute collapse). I foresee him riding the wave of hype right to the well-deserved honor. As always, feel free to espouse your opinions in the comments.