Thursday, April 10, 2008

Top Coaching Jobs - #10

With Indiana facing certain sanctions from the NCAA for the next several years, the Hooisers were still able to land Tom Crean. Roy Williams left the Kansas Jayhawks for North Carolina in 2003. And now Oklahoma State is about to make a run at Bill Self of Kansas. It makes you wonder, what are the Top 10 coaching jobs in college basketball?

We here at Drinking the Forty consulted with some of the finest basketball experts in the country to find out. Hey, if ESPN can pull random people off the street and call them experts, then we can too.

Here is our Top 10, based on a program’s national persona, recent success, fan base, facilities, history and tradition, and potential for future success.

#10.) Arizona Wildcats

Under Lute Olson, the Arizona Wildcats have achieved National recognition as a contender in the Pac-10. With four Final Four appearances and a National Title in 1997, Arizona has been successful on a national stage.

With a favorable climate and campus, and an attractive style of basketball, Arizona has remained a top draw for NBA caliber talent. With 10 former players currently on NBA rosters, such as Mike Bibby and Gilbert Arenas, to Chase Budinger and Jarryd Bayless, Arizona has and continues to attract top flight talent.

With Lute Olson coming of age and struggling with his divorce this past season, Arizona has in turn struggled the past few seasons. Despite some early exits from the tournament, the Wildcats have still recorded a respectable .696 winning percentage over the last seven seasons.

Arizona has a solid following and can be a challenging place to play. While they have only become relevant during the Lute Olson era, he has built a program that has the ability to stay after he has moved on. While that might not happen for a few years, the Wildcats can see the writing on the wall that change is in the near future.

With a prime location and a history of NBA placement, Arizona is a great program for any coach to turn into a national powerhouse. With the ability to recruit nationally and in California, the Wildcats should continue to be a force in college basketball, and that’s why they fall in at number ten.

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