Over this off season, ESPN surveyed 250 college basketball coaches, asking them a variety of questions about their peers. Earlier this summer, ESPN released their list of top collegiate recruiters, both head coaches and assistants.
Kansas Jayhawk Head Coach Bill Self trailed only John Calipari on the recruiting trail while his top assistant, Kurtis Townsend, ranked first among the assistants. Jerrance Howard, a newcomer to the staff at Kansas, came in 12th on the list among the assistant coaches.
Now, ESPN has released their list of the top tacticians in the college game. Once again, the Jayhawk head man is right near the top of the list. Bill Self was ranked 4th in the country by his peers, behind Tom Izzo of Michigan State, who pulled in 41 of the 300 votes (some coaches submitted more than one vote), John Beilein, Michigan, 24 votes, and Rick Pitino, Loiusville, 18 votes.
Self garnered 17 votes overall for his ability to to teach the X’s and O’s to his charges. His placement is interesting because Self and the Jayhawks lost to both Izzo and Beilein last season and Pitino won the National Championship this past season.
It is also interesting that Brad Stevens, who is no longer a college coach, still received 14 votes, and Ben Howland, who does not have a job, had 4 votes. Former Kansas head coaches Roy Williams and Larry Brown, both with National Championships under their belts, both received less than 3 votes, which was needed to finish in the top 25. Jim Boeheim, who has over 900 wins and a National Championship banner himself, also did not make the top 25.
Fred Hoiberg, from Iowa State, was the only other Big 12 coach to make the top 25. Hoiberg received 3 votes to finish in a tie for 24th.
Notable coaches who made the list include Duke legend Mike Krzyzewski came in 7th with 13 votes, and the top recruiter, John Calipari from Kentucky, finished 16th with 5 votes.
Some mid-major coaches who made the list include Bob McKillop, Davidson (5th, 16 votes), Stew Morrill, Utah State (6th, 15 votes), Rick Byrd, Belmont (9th, 11 votes), and Mark Few, Gonzaga (16th, 5 votes).
Again, Jayhawk fans should be thrilled and thankful their personable head coach is so respected by his peers around the game. It is just another indication just how good of hands Kansas Jayhawk basketball is in.