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Coaches’ pick for best team in college basketball might surprise you

Duke is the unanimous preseason No. 1 team if you ask the media, but what about the coaches? CBS Sports is back with their annual “Candid Coaches” series, and 40% of the coaches polled said they believe Arizona will be the best team in the country this season. Michigan State came in second at 28%, followed by Duke and Kansas tied at 9% and Louisville in fifth with 6%. Wichita State, Villanova, and Kentucky all received votes.

Could this be the year Sean Miller finally gets Arizona past the Elite Eight? Protected by the cloak of anonymity, several coaches said yes.

“One, I think Sean Miller is a hell of a coach,” one coach said. “They return their backcourt, which I think sometimes gets overlooked in terms of the importance of a good backcourt. They obviously sign (DeAndre) Ayton. Ristic is coming back, the big kid that started for them. I think they added the right pieces. I think they were really tough last year. If they consistently shoot the ball from the perimeter I think they’re the best team in the country.”

Coaches loving on Michigan State is no surprise, nor is the hype surrounding Duke after the addition of Bagley; however, one coach who picked Louisville just couldn’t get over how good the Cardinals could have been had Donovan Mitchell returned to school.

“Imagine how good they’d be if Donovan Mitchell returned. They have tremendous length. Defensively, they’re going to be impossible to score on. They have really good experience, so they ‘ll have different ways that will really mess with you. They’ll have some talent on the wing that can score. If they would’ve had Donovan, I think they could’ve … I know they can’t go undefeated, but I think it would’ve a unanimous preseason No. 1. Their strength will be in the pack. I think that it’s very difficult for teams at Kentucky and Louisville to have alphas because the head coaches are so much of that.”

John Calipari is the master of getting players to sacrifice their egos for the betterment of the squad, so if that’s what the guy is trying to say, then yes, I agree.

[CBS Sports]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

71 Comments for Coaches’ pick for best team in college basketball might surprise you

  1. runningunnin.454
    10:05 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    I would appear MJ is scuttling his flagship, methinks.
    Ala USS Merrimack.

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      10:12 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Excuse me?

    • Realme
      10:22 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I’m guessing he’s referring to the complaints people expressed on the Bagley story thread. Apparently without an ad blocker your site and/or app is becoming a nightmare.

    • Realme
      10:23 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Hey Tyler, since you’re reading comments. Can we have the Show Thread back, please?

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      10:24 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Not my call. Sorry guys.

    • RealCatsFan
      10:27 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I almost cannot view the site anymore on my Galaxy using a browser. It just chugs and jumps around. I usually have to kill it off and reload. Don’t really want to deal with the app annoying me with Ryan’s creepy laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • CATandMONKEY
      10:27 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      This site is becoming overladen with ridiculous “weird trick” ads and the sinking of the show thread is a smack down to many if us who have been around far longer than most KSR writers. Methinks that is what he means…at least in part.
      I would gladly pay to avoid the incessant scrolling. I still patronize some of your longtime advertisers. Boone’s for one. ..

    • CATandMONKEY
      10:32 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      …oh yeah, the fact that this is the only site on the Internet that consistently crsshes my browser on phone, tablet and multiple computers.

    • ^^^HEAR HEAR C&M!!!^^^

      I can deal with the “weird trick” and “What so-and-so looks like now is INSANE!” ads, but not on my iPhone or iPad when they literally multiply when I’m scrolling down and I can’t even read the comments!
      The only way the site is viewable is a browser with Ad Blocker Plus.

      Has anyone tried an iPad or iPhone ad blocker yet? Many only work with Safari, and they’re not necessarily free like Ad Blocker Plus on the PC, but I might have to buy one if it works.

    • RealCatsFan
      10:36 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I paid to be a “gold member” on a car site that I frequent, just mainly to make it easier to post photographs, but also to support a site that I like. I think if KSR offered an ad-free site for a reasonable fee, they would generate quite a bit of revenue. Still keep the free option with the ads, but give those of us who like to be on the site a chance to avoid all the hassle.

    • But the fly in and up video ads, and now with the way the ads under the posts multiply when you’re scrolling, the site is totally unusable like C&M said. I don’t understand what’s going on here. The Show Thread generated the most clicks, but like I said the other day, I guess too many of us are using ad blockers for KSR to worry about putting it back up.

    • CatsfaninFL
      11:23 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Just found a computer hack for the latest pop-up problems… go to bottom right of the scroll bar and just hold down your left click button on the mouse… this basically shoots you to the bottom of the page and it doesn’t give the ads time to load. Works at least on Chrome.

    • CatsfaninFL
      11:25 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      *Make sure you’re actually clicking on the actual bottom of the scroll bar and not the ‘down arrow’…arrow goes too slow, but the scroll bar will speed it down.

    • CasfaninFL, but that’s just for PC. Adblock Plus solves the problem on PC for me. Not so much on iPad.

      BTW, I don’t own a fancy iPad like some of you rich folks! It’s my employer’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • CatsfaninFL
      12:45 pm August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Agreed CGINWTTD… that’s why I said a computer hack… meant computer as in PC. My bad. Just sharing in case people found it useful.

  2. Eazy
    10:07 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Sean Miller is a great coach? He hasn’t even been to a final 4 and has great talent every year. They hammer Cal and he’s been to 4 final fours in the last 7 years and won a title. Not buying the UL or KU hype. Both will be tough but we will be better by March.

  3. RealCatsFan
    10:08 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    So is this going to be the show thread today?

    • ukjaybrat
      10:31 am August 22, 2017 Permalink


  4. Realme
    10:18 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    I too was disappointed in the non-totality eclipse path. Not dark enough to confuse any birds. And the cell phone trick doesn’t work. It just shows the sun. But you could see tiny representations in tree shadows.

    • RealCatsFan
      10:24 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Yep, kind of a letdown here in Louisville. I recall being in an eclipse in Destin back in the 80’s, and that one wasn’t a total either, but it got a LOT darker – dark enough that the street lights came on and the wind started blowing. With this one, unless you specifically knew something was going on, you might not even notice it. I was at my dad’s house, and was hoping for something more dramatic for him to see. I did notice that it got really dark in the house – I guess the weaker light did not refract and scatter as much. If I had it to do over again, I would have loaded him up in the car with me and drove south. Would have been neat for him to see – don’t know if he will be around to see the next one in seven years. ๐Ÿ™

    • Realme
      10:28 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I’m sure he was happy you were with him, even if it was a dud. My husband doesn’t believe me, but I remember a good one in elementary school, which was also the 80s.

    • J-Dub421
      10:30 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      The streetlights came on in front of my office in Middletown. ๐Ÿ™‚ It didn’t get quite as dark as I thought it would, but everything looked like you turned down the brightness on your phone. The sunlight was definitely not as hot during the eclipse either.

    • runningunnin.454
      10:39 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I was close to the path of totality in Henderson. It became dark as if it were 7 p.m. and it was somewhat cooler; but I understand it was almost 10 degrees cooler in Madisonville.
      And, did you hear the crickets? Boy, they were sure fooled.

  5. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    10:25 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Does not surprise me on bit. I said many times on here that they are the team to beat this year. They have experience, a lot of depth and a ton of big time talent! Maybe the sleeper #1 pick by seasons end, in Deandre Ayton. Add in a polished and experienced Alonzo Trier, and these dudes are scary on both ends of the floor. This is a team I DO NOT want to see come tourney time, other side of the bracket please.

    • CatsfaninFL
      10:28 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      So you’re saying this is the year we’ll finally get sent out West? haha.

    • Eazy
      10:29 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I agree they’ll be good but we probably won’t see them because they’ll choke again. They are bigger chokers than Kansas at this point. Loved seeing Xavier knock Miller out of the last tournament.

    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      10:52 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Cats Fanin, its called final 4 my friend… Look it up. We played Wisci in Final 4 and where are they on the ole USA map?

      Eazy: I see what you mean, but the biggest mistake in College Basketball is to use last year or the past as a pre cursor. Thats last year man, Arizona is gonna be for real this year and to your point about last year, they played very well for the most part. Lost a tough game to a good Xavier team by 2. They were 32-5 last year, pretty good to me.

    • runningunnin.454
      11:07 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I think we all know where Wisconsin is…just not sure it’s citizens do, ha ha.
      After all, the name of their state is the most misspelled word in Wisconsin…so I’ve heard.

    • CatsfaninFL
      11:14 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I’m saying we always joke about Duke getting sent out West to an easy bracket so this is the year we’ll end up getting sent to the West bracket.

      Pretty sure you can see any team in FF… way to keep up haha.

  6. luke_emberton
    10:29 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Sean Miller is a terrible coach he has crazy amounts of talent and he does nothing with it
    People destroy Cal for having talent and not winning titles at least he’s in the final four

    10:35 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Miller is the origin of the overrated chant heard in stadiums and arenas across the country.

    • J-Dub421
      10:56 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Agreed. Miller has been at Arizona since 2009 with zero Final Fours and he has lots of talent every year. During that same period Cal has taken UK to four Final Fours, 2 Elite Eights, a runner up, and won a Title. But everyone crushes Cal for “underachieving.” What a crock.

    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      11:04 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      I guarantee you if Cal left for the Knicks this year, you would take Sean Miller. If not, you’re delusional! Who else would you take over him? Self, Coach K, Roy Williams, Pitino are all old and not leaving their programs for UK. So what young coach out there is a better recruiter than Miller? A better coach? A better program builder? Or just relevant in general in the sport? The answer is there is not very many like him at that age. One day you could be looking at the potential coach for the future. Id for sure take the man who is gaining fast as one of the best recruiters/coaches in the sport. Brad Stevens is NOT leaving Boston for the college ranks anytime soon either, so forget about that.

  8. Realme
    10:48 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    I pull against Dawson because he acts like a snothead.

  9. secrick
    10:53 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Has he won a National title ? Is he a little overrated ?

  10. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    10:54 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Everybody saying Miller is overrated, lets be practical here, how many years of coaching did it take for Cal to win a ship? Sean Miller has A LOT of coaching years left to win one. Sometimes we have those blue tinted goggles on too long and forget how to be humble and real with ourselves.

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:03 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      UMASS, Memphis. Final fours…with overall less talent on a year to year basis than Miller brings. Obviously those two Memphis teams were rather talented. Miller has issues come March.

    • Shagaris Sock Puppet
      11:10 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Better talent than Memphis or UMASS, you’re crazy! Arizona didnt have a Camby or a Rose on any of those teams. Im not saying hes better than Cal, but to say hes overrated is pretty dumb considering he is about to explode this year. Camby just retired a few years ago and left in 96 and Rose is one of the best freshmen in the history of college basketball. Thats pretty good players around pretty good rosters when you have CDR, Dozier, Joey Dorsey on that Memphis team….

    • Realme
      11:15 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      SSP, your main argument seems to be that it’s dumb to say Miller underachieves, because they’re going to be good this year. This year hasn’t played out yet. All you can say is they should be good this year, and that has been said about them several years recently.

    • J-Dub421
      11:17 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Miller has had several lottery picks and Arizona has crashed out of the NCAA tournament early more often than not. They do well in the regular season, but also play in the PAC 12, which is weak.

    • CATandMONKEY
      11:28 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Camby was ONE player, with a bunch of guys who barely get relief minutes in Lexington.
      I addressed the Memphis situation above. Jdub completely lays it out in comment 7. Every year since 2009 Arizona gets crazy love from the talking heads. Every single season he has underachieved even with top 10 classes. Cal has actually achieved in that same time span.

      Miller could do extremely well this season. His past 8 seasons do not support that prediction however and thinking so doesn’t make me the crazy one.

    • I was away from PC for a while. I come back and I hear Little Rickie and Travis Ford being discussed. Whuh what? Is anyone actually saying they should be Cal’s replacement? Anyone sane anyway?

      SAGARI, I also don’t think anyone thinks Roy, the Vampire, etc. are coming to UK ever. As far as Miller goes, I think he has underachieved in March, but he would seem to be the logical choice if Cal walked anytime soon. I don’t see us reaching down to a Dayton for a coach like IU did, unless there’s no Miller out there. Granted, we did reach down to Texas A & M for Clyde, but that’s a big time school, if not a traditional basketball school.

    • Shagari, no Sagari…

  11. secrick
    11:06 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    I like this guy and he seems to be a good coach and i hope he does win one some time but he hasn’t yet.He gets a lot of hype and has some very good players .

  12. Stuck on Blue
    11:16 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Ryan just made me literally lol.

    • Realme
      11:17 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      What did he say, I missed it?

    • runningunnin.454
      11:22 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Don’t know, but I heard Matt is going to punch somebody….pass the popcorn!

  13. Realme
    11:27 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    This caller cannot mean what he’s saying.

  14. Stuck on Blue
    11:27 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    He called the coach on Last Chance U an a$$hole, and they didn’t beep it out.

  15. J-Dub421
    11:31 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Jurich got $6 million or more under the table while at U of L. He had to have know that things were going on.

    • J-Dub421
      11:34 am August 22, 2017 Permalink


    • Realme
      11:40 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      The idea that he could have not known is more preposterous than the idea that Pitino didn’t know about the parties in the dorm named after his BOL.

  16. secrick
    11:33 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    I know this is not on topic but if you stare at the sun today will it have the same effect on your eyes as it did yesterday. I’m talking about with no protection.

  17. runningunnin.454
    11:35 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Getting time to put the toe to the pigskin.
    Actually, they were never made of pigskin; but, rather pig bladders. But pigskin sounds better than bladder ball.

  18. Realme
    11:42 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Ha ha he said Statue of Limitations.

  19. J-Dub421
    11:56 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Papa John’s pizza is gross. I have no trouble not ordering it.

    • Realme
      11:59 am August 22, 2017 Permalink

      Yes! Why do people like that barely done crust and too sweet sauce?

  20. BourbonNBasketball
    9:05 pm August 22, 2017 Permalink

    Forget Arizona for a minute, and let’s look at Michigan State… 20-15 last year, 5th in the Big10 (10-8) and out in the second round of the tournament.. Come on..

  21. JulieBowen
    3:52 am August 24, 2017 Permalink

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