College Basketball Analyst & Writer
Tommy Lloyd was a little bit of a shock rent at Arizona. One 12 months in he was the Naismith Coach of the Year.
Judging head coaches after half a season shouldn’t be honest. But it’s apparent who’s off to an amazing begin up to now, or on the very least who has their applications on target.
Let’s check out among the coaches who’ve began out robust in males’s school basketball this season.
1. Jerome Tang, Kansas State (14-0, 3-1 Big 12): Tang was an extended, trusted assistant to Scott Drew at Baylor. He was there firstly in 2003, serving to to construct the Bears right into a nationwide title crew in 2022. He was on the lookout for the correct gig to depart Waco and located it at Kansas State. Tang has been sensational, so far, in constructing the Wildcats right into a legit Big 12 contender. Keyontae Johnson was an unknown. Kansas State was one of many locations that was contemplating letting him play after he collapsed at Florida in December 2020. His play has been spectacular. So has that of holdover Markquis Nowell, who as soon as transferred from Little Rock. This crew has been capable of rating at will and picked up two monster highway wins this previous week at Baylor and Texas. Tang could possibly be this season’s Tommy Lloyd and develop into a nationwide coach of the 12 months after one 12 months, whereas main his crew into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
2. Dennis Gates, Missouri (13-2, 2-1 SEC): Gates was a long-time assistant to Leonard Hamilton at Florida State. He had success at Cleveland State within the Horizon and was extremely coveted within the teaching carousel this offseason. He’s been a success up to now in Columbia. Gates has a star in Kobe Brown. This squad can defend. And the crowds and fan base have been all on board for Mizzou. He obtained blasted at house by rival Kansas and that would have been a poor first impression. But then he rotated blitzed Illinois in St. Louis and Kentucky at house. The Tigers are trying robust for NCAA Tournament consideration in Year 1.
3. Sean Miller, Xavier (13-3, 5-0 Big East): Miller is again at Xavier and the Miller 2.0 regime has gone exceptionally effectively. Miller went to 4 NCAA tournaments in 5 seasons, together with an Elite Eight. Miller has already knocked off UConn at house and has the Musketeers poised to make a run towards the Big East title. He has blended a roster that was largely intact of holdovers and transfers. Jack Nunge has flourished underneath his watch and the mixture of Colby Jones and Zach Freemantle has been a tricky matchup. The addition of main scorer Souley Boum, an excellent discover from UTEP, has been one other main hit. Boum is the main scorer for the Musketeers. Miller was exonerated by the NCAA investigation about his time at Arizona and now has that in his rearview mirror as effectively.
4. Chris Jans, Mississippi State (12-3, 1-2 SEC): Jans led New Mexico State to a win over UConn within the first spherical of the NCAA Tournament. He has a confirmed observe document of taking up a program that may be a bit underneath the radar and flourishing. There continues to be loads of runway for this season, however so far he has the Bulldogs ready to be a attainable NCAA Tournament crew. The wins over Marquette and Utah could have an excellent shelf life for the Bulldogs. Beating rival Ole Miss final weekend was first impression for everybody within the state. If he can get Mississippi State into the NCAA Tournament with a roster dominated by transfers, he’ll purchase time to start out constructing a robust basis.
5. Chris Gerlufsen, San Francisco (12-7, 1-3 WCC): Gerlufsen took over for Todd Golden, who took the Florida job after the Dons’ slim loss to Murray State within the first spherical of the NCAA Tournament. Moving as much as head coach isn’t simple, however Gerlufsen has performed fairly effectively. The Dons blasted Arizona State at house and almost obtained Gonzaga, constructing a lead earlier than dropping it late. Will the Dons make the NCAA Tournament? It’s unlikely as an at-large, however he has ensured the Dons will probably be within the thick of each recreation within the WCC.
Other notable first-year hires up to now: Matt McMahon, LSU; Thad Matta, Butler; Mike White, Georgia; Todd Golden, Florida; Frank Martin, UMass.
Andy Katz is a longtime school basketball author, analyst and host. He may be seen on the Big Ten Network, in addition to March Madness and NCAA.com, and he hosts the podcast “March Madness 365.” Katz labored at ESPN for almost 20 years and, previous to that, in newspapers for 9 years.
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