CBS is at it with the "candid coaches" thing again, and this time the question is, "Which college coach is best equipped to jump to NBA?" The results are maybe a little surprising:
What college coach is best equipped to next jump to the NBA?
- Fred Hoiberg (19 percent)
- Mike Krzyzewski (16 percent)
- Billy Donovan (14 percent)
- Bill Self (14 percent)
- John Calipari (12 percent)
- Tom Izzo (12 percent)
- Thad Matta (5 percent)
Most of us probably would have thought Calipari would be the choice, particularly given his embrace of the "one-and-done" culture, if not the rule itself. Of course, Coach Cal has already been to the NBA in what was pretty unambiguously a failure with the New Jersey Nets between 1996-99. Perhaps that is why he came in fifth.
There was this very interesting comment about Calipari as well:
"Coach Cal has evolved as a coach and is just a better pro coaching prospect now than he was when he was at UMass. He always has talent and he does not try to over-coach or over-think things for his teams. I love the fact that he is not stubborn strategically. If you look at his UK teams, they were all different in terms of type of talent but still successful. His 2011 UK team truly exemplified this as they played a different style than the prior UK and Memphis teams he had coached and went to the Final Four."
I think this is absolutely spot on, although I think that Calipari is just a better coach period than he was when he was at UMass, regardless of the level. It is also true that Calipari has done a good job of adopting whatever style best suits his team since he has been at Kentucky, something that we've remarked on consistently in this space.
I do find it somewhat surprising that Fred Hoiberg was picked by more coaches than anyone else. I think mostly that's because of his youth, and the fact that he's been in the league as a player very recently and has ties there.
Donovan and Krzyzewski have both had success coaching Team USA's various embodiments, as well as considerable success at their respective colleges. Self is also a fairly logical person to be included, probably because he's second only to Calipari in drawing in next-level talent from the high-school ranks.
I'm actually surprised Matta didn't get more votes. It's probably due to the fact that he has yet to win an NCAA Tournament championship despite having multiple Final Four teams.