The Confidential

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The College Basketball Active Coaching Mount Rushmore

In the past, the Confidential had some fun with Mount Rushmores for each ACC school.  We picked three spots and let fans pick the 4th spot.  Today, the focus is on college basketball as a whole–specifically, the active coaches.  It should be pretty easy to guess a few of the names, but rounding out the 4th (and eliminating the others in the process) may be difficult.  In any event, here is the list… you can vote on who gets #4.

The first spot… Coach K.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel here.  This is how we described him over a year ago:

If it needs to be explained, you haven’t been following sports since Jimmy Carter was running the country.  You want longevity?  30+ years at Duke.  You want success?  The most wins of any mens’ basketball coach ever.  You want national titles?  How about four of them for Duke in his tenure.  Throw in some gold medals and the absence of serious controversy, and you’ve got yourself one of the easiest Mount Rushmore spots ever.

This applies to active basketball coaching as well.  More recently, he is now over 1,000 wins and is back in the running for another national title.

The second spot… Tom Izzo. 

Sure, this is a bit knee-jerk.  But Izzo just took a 7-seed to the Final Four.  “Only” one national championship, but how about seven Final Fours in 20 years of coaching.  And 9 Elite Eights and 13 Sweet Sixteens.  Other than Coach K, who else has that kind of resume?

Well, maybe the next guy.  The third spot… Rick Pitino.

Pitino has two championships, one with Kentucky and one with Louisville.  Pitino also has seven Final Fours, including one with Providence.  Like Izzo, there is a sense (well-founded) that Louisville will be a better team in March than December.

The fourth spot?  The Confidential will leave this to you.  Here are some names to consider voting for the 4th spot:

  • Jim Boeheim
  • Roy Williams
  • John Calipari
  • Billy Donovan
  • Bill Self
  • Thad Matta
  • Bob Huggins
  • Anyone else?

Anyway, let us know who deserves the 4th spot and why…


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11 thoughts on “The College Basketball Active Coaching Mount Rushmore

  1. I would vote for Coach Cal, but he will probably have to vacate his spot in a few years.

  2. I couldn’t vote for Coach Calamari because he’s a spineless squid. Therefore I’d like Jim the Bohemian as #4.

    • I’m torn between Roy Williams and Boeheim. Roy has 7 final fours and 2 national championships, to Boeheim’s 4 final fours and 1 Nat’l Championship…but Boeheim’s 1 NC happened to be over Roy Williams’ Kansas team. So… by the transitive property, JB gets on Mt. Rushmore.

      • Sometimes its hard to separate the contribution of coach and school. I think it’s easier to recruit to UNC than to Syracuse. Plus, my eyes tell me Boeheim is a better X/O coach than Williams.

        BTW, this line of thinking applies to Kentucky and Calipari – X10!

  3. Boeheim has longevity, without ever having a major slip up (i.e. sub .500 season). And at Syracuse… not UNC/Kansas/Kentucky.

    Roy Williams and Calipari have more national championships though. Tough call.

    • Boeheim also has the advantage of consistently playing a terrible non-conference (Colgate, Albany, St. Bonaventure) which adds an easy 15 wins per year. Not that all schools don’t do that as well, but JB has been doing it a long time. Also, factor in how many subpar Big East wins he has (Seton Hall, Rutgers, Depaul, USF, Miami, Georgetown) compared against how many big games he lost in the tournament (Richmond and Navy immediately come to mind) and his record is not nearly as impressive.

    • Barney’s movie had heart…but “football in the groin” had a football in the groin.

  4. I think the 4 should be Coach K, Pitino, Izzo, and the 4th slot goes to Donovan. He is already over 500 victories (more than Izzo, and he is 11 years younger). He has 2 national titles, better than both Boeheim and Izzo. He built one of the great teams to ever play (back 2 back titles is not common in college basketball in this era). He is freaking 35-12 in the tourney (a winning % that is 2% points better than Izzo, and much much better than Boeheim’s)! He has 4 Final Fours to his name (the same as Boeheim in far less time). He has done all this before the age of 50, and at a school that was nothing in basketball before he got there (Unlike Pitino or Izzo… shoot I think even Duke was not horrible before Coach K). Look I hate UF more than anyone at this website, but if you say Izzo is on the mountain of best active coaches (and he is), then so is Donovan… and its not close.

    • The Gators failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2008 and 2009 and were 16-17 this year. 16-17? Izzo’s first year he was 16-16. Since then, at least 4 games above .500. Every year in some postseason.

      While it is good to acheive, it is also good to avoid being below mediocre (8th place in SEC is below mediocre). Donovan loses in that category.

      • Izzo coaches at a famous basketball school, the home of Magic. When they both started at their respective schools Mich St was easily the bigger and better brand name in the sport. It was far easier to rebuild MSU than to build UF from nothing. Considering that fact, it is far more impressive what Donnovan has done.

        Also, my point still stands. I said IZZO is in the top 4, but so is Donnavan. Boeheim is who should be left out.

  5. Pingback: Updated with Poll: The College Basketball Active Coaching Mount Rushmore | The Confidential

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