This week, ESPN surveyed 200 collegiate coaches to find out who were the toughest recruiters in college basketball. What coaches out there do other coaches hate to compete with for the top prep talent? The guys at the top should surprise no one.
First on the list is Kentucky head man, John Calipari. The Wildcats’ coach is beloved by Kentucky fans and just about universally loathed by everyone else.
Second on the list is Kansas Jayhawk Head Coach Bill Self. In this part of the world, we appreciate the job Self does at recruiting players and no one should be shocked he is on the list. It is not a coincidence that the top two recruiting classes for the 2013-2014 season were signed by Calipari and Self. Bill Self has done a great job bringing in top talent in the past, but he may just have outdone himself this season. He signed 5 of the top 50 high schoolers from a year ago, including number one recruit Andrew Wiggins, who was considering Kentucky, North Carolina, and Florida State before ultimately choosing Kansas.
Of course, Kentucky and Kansas are easy to sell. Both are among college basketball royalty. Some of the other names on the list were a bit surprising like Seam Miller of Arizona at number 3, Leonard Hamilton from Florida State at number 9, Shaka Smart for VCU at 15, and Mark Gottried of North Carolina State at 18. Gregg Marshall of Wichita State, fresh from his Final Four appearance, came in at number 20.
Some of the big boys on the list include Louisville’s Rick Pittino at 4, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo at 6, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke 7th, and former Jayhawk coach Roy Williams came in at 11th.
It isn’t just Bill Self is the only Jayhawk coach who is tough on the recruiting circuit with high school talent. Kurtis Townsend was ranked as the top assistant coach when it comes to recruiting. Being the lead recruiter in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes certainly was a feather is Townsend’s cap.
More good news for Jayhawks fans, new assistant coach Jerrance Howard, who worked under former Jayhawk coach Larry Brown at SMU last least, came in 12 on the list for best recruiters among assist coaches. Selling Kansas and Bill Self should not hurt Howard’s credentials going forward. Howard replaced Joe Dooley on Kansas’ staff when Dooley left for Florida Gulf Coast.
Speaking of Joe DOoley, he came in 12th on the list of top recruiting head coaches among mid major schools.
With Bill Self considered a top recruiter by his peers, and having 2 of the top 12 assistant coaches as far as recruiting goes, on his staff, the Jayhawks should stay strong for years to come. It is one things to be ranked by media; it is quite another to ranked by the men with whom he is competing. Jayhawks should be just fine.