Friday, April 11, 2008

Top Coaching Jobs - #9

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. Kansas was able to replace him with Bill Self, from Illinois, who just recently turned down Oklahoma State to stay at 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.

#9.) Connecticut Huskies

Coming in at nine is another team that has made a name for themselves over the past two decades. Under Jim Calhoun, the Huskies have won two national titles (1999, 2004) and have built a program that is guaranteed to be in contention year in and year out in the competitive Big East Conference.

One of the most impressive feats of this UConn program is the caliber of player that Calhoun is consistently able to recruit up north, in Storrs, Connecticut. Thirteen former Huskies are still on NBA rosters, including Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, and Rudy Gay. Calhoun has shown the ability to go anywhere in the country to recruit top players. This has allowed the program to remain competitive year in and year out, and make themselves known at a national level.

Over the past seven years, Connecticut has an impressive .756 winning percentage. While that kind of success will be difficult to match due to the expansion of the Big East into a basketball super conference, UConn will be in the upper echelon on an annual basis.

Despite the recent successes of the football program, Connecticut is still a basketball school. The top dog status of the program within the school helps with its success. It has a great fan base and is a difficult place to play. The success of the past decade of the program has also created an attitude of winning that will surely continue within the program whenever Calhoun decides to move on. However, that shouldn’t be for a while, and in the meantime the Huskies will continue to win and cement the legacy that Calhoun has created.

Connecticut is known nationally for being one of the elite programs in college basketball. They have a respected coach and continue to show the ability to recruit top talent north of the Mason-Dixon, and it’s for this reason that Connecticut will continue to remain relevant into the foreseeable future, and why they come in at number nine on our list.

#10.) Arizona Wildcats

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