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Top 50 College Basketball Coaching Hires Since 2000

Discussion in 'Nuttin' but Net' started by RD_gator, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. RD_gator

    RD_gator GC Hall of Fame

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    According to Mat Mlodzinski
    Top 50 College Basketball Coaching Hires Since 2000

    Some familiar names on this list (Lon Kruger twice, Rick Pitino, John Calipari, Andy Enfield, Porter Moser, Leonard Hamilton, etc.).

    However, no Mike White?
    Where would you put White on this list or you don't?
    ===================================

    Here is my case for or against Mike White:

    No Mike White on this list who was hired in the 2015-16 season after a 4-year stint at Louisiana Tech?

    Michael White Coaching Record | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com


    After following a college basketball legend in Billy Donovan, Mike White who is still learning on the job (or not learning a lot according to some fans) has taken Florida to 4-straight NCAA Tournaments. It would have been 5-straight NCAA Tourneys if not for the cancellation of the 2020 season.

    Last season, Florida had a loaded line-up of Andrew Nembhard (now at Gonzaga), Keyontae Johnson (pre-season 2021 SEC poy), Kerry Blackshear (pre-season 2020 SEC poy), Noah Locke (now at Louisville), Omar Payne (now at Illinois) and two reserve Micky D's (both declared for the NBA) in Scotty Lewis & Tre Mann. There was no telling what that group would have done in the 2020 NCAAs.

    In 4-straight trips, the Gators have advanced to at least the Round32 including the 2017 Elite8. We Gator fans think it could have been better but it is what it is. White has a modest but successful 6-4 NCAA record and recruits relatively well without the shadiness associated with high school/AAU-recruiting. White has been very successful with the graduate transfers and the transfer portal.

    ===============================================

    White has done better than many other coaches on this list who were hired around the same time period:

    - Archie Miller who was also considered for the Florida job could not bring Indiana back to the NCAA Tournament in his last four seasons there which is surprising.

    - Shaka Smart who did take Texas to three NCAA Tourneys in six seasons but could not get the Longhorns to win one game in the NCAA Tourney has left for the Marquette job (probably before he could be fired)

    -Chris Mack had done very well at Xavier but in his new job at Louisville, Mack has taken the Cardinals to only one NCAA tournament in three seasons. I'm sure that his team will bounce back next season.
    ===========================================

    =============================================
    Now in the SEC, many programs have hired veteran coaches and some up & coming ones, too. A lot of them are on this top 50 list but no Mike White here. Mike White has done better in the NCAA Tournament on average than many of them (see below).

    In the SEC, White's Florida teams best finishes would be 2nd once, 3rd once, 5th twice, 8th twice. This is where White has struggled the most at Florida which is in the conference season - often losing to teams with lesser or equal records. White has failed to win an SEC conference title.


    - Eric Musselman (3-1)in his 2nd year at Arkansas had a similar result to Mike White's 2017 Florida team which is a 2nd place SEC finish and an E8 NCAA trip. In the 2021 season in the elite8, the razorbacks would lose to the eventual national champions, the Baylor Bears! Arkansas Razorbacks Index | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com


    - Bruce Pearl: Took Auburn to a school first 2019 Final Four but are now in some NCAA hot water. In seven seasons at Auburn, Pearl(5-2) took the Tigers to only two NCAA tourneys compared to White's 4-straight NCAA trips. Pearl's Auburn team won a share of the regular season 2018 SEC title with Tennessee and had also won the 2019 SEC Tourney Title.
    Auburn Tigers Index | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com


    - Ben Howland: (0-1) Has only one NCAA trip (one & done) in the last six seasons compare to White's 4/5 straight NCAA trips. The Mississippi St job can be a difficult one to turn around.

    Mississippi State Bulldogs Index | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com


    - Rick Barnes: Took Tennessee to three NCAAS in six seasons. Barnes best finish was a SW16 in 2019. (3-3 NCAA record at Tenn). Tennessee did win the 2018 SEC regular season title.

    Tennessee Volunteers Index | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com


    - Frank Martin(4-1): Has only one NCAA trip at South Carolina in nine seasons which was the Gamecock's first and only Final4 (2017). South Carolina Gamecocks Index | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com


    - Nate Oats: (2-1) In his second season at Alabama, he has completely turned the Tide around who had won both the regular and conference tourney SEC titles. In the 2021 season, Alabama made it to the SW16 before losing to 11th seed UCLA. Oats has a highly regarded recruiting class to re-load for the Tide.

    Alabama Crimson Tide Index | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com


    Of all the SEC coaches in the similar time frame (2015/16 to 2020/21) that White coached in the SEC, only Kentucky's John Calipari has a better NCAA record (two E8's, 1 SW16, 1 RD32 equals 9-4) than what White (one E8, three RD32 equals 6-4) had done at Florida.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
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  2. 33hoop

    33hoop GC Hall of Fame

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    There’s a reason White isn’t listed in the top 50 hires. Kinda goes without saying.
     
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  3. murphree_hall

    murphree_hall GC Hall of Fame

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    Hard to follow Billy D, but he’s done a good job so far.
     
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  4. wci347

    wci347 GC Hall of Fame

     
  5. wci347

    wci347 GC Hall of Fame

    What separates MW from all of the others that are on the list is that NONE of them inherited programs which have won 2 national championships in the century. None of them had as many alum in the pros a ritual pipeline (which fuels recruiting) than MW did.

    there is no question that if MW did at their schools what he was minimally expected to do at ours, he’d be on that list.

    He was not hired to get us to almost where we were after we became!
     
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  6. iam4uf

    iam4uf GC Hall of Fame

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    Leonard Hamilton? What a joke!

    The "problem" with CMW is that he's a good coach with the potential to be at least a very good coach if he could just progress a bit. Antsy fans are fearful that he's not moving aggressively enough in that direction. However, he has embraced the portal/transfers earlier than many coaches. I think transfers are going to provide the players that'll be most successful for CMW. I hope that frees him up to work on some aspects of his coaching that are holding him back.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  7. RD_gator

    RD_gator GC Hall of Fame

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    Well, this ranking is subjective and probably incomplete.

    After six seasons at Florida and with the results from his teams, I would have ranked Mike White somewhere between 30 to 55 on this particular list!


    Michael White Coaching Record | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

    Even though White had won three conference titles in a row at Louisiana Tech, in not making the NCAAs at least once at LA Tech is probably the reason why that nationally, White was a relatively unknown coach when he was first hired by Florida.


    Also, winning conference titles in the CUSA & WAC has not immediately translated into winning the SEC title for Mike White's teams. In order to grow as a program/coach and possibly contend for another NCAA championship, it's my belief that winning an SEC title has to be the next step for White's Gator teams to take in their progression.

    Winning conference championships is how you build a championship mentality.

    From my other post above, there is an intense amount of top competition in the SEC that Florida and Mike White will have to contend with - From the next up & coming coaches like Nate Oats of Alabama & Eric Musselman of Arkansas to the veteran coaches like Bruce Pearl of Auburn, Rick Barnes of Tennessee, Frank Martin of South Carolina, Ben Howland of Mississippi State, Buzz Williams of Texas A&M and not to mention John Calipari of Kentucky among others.

    All of these SEC coaches recruit well and build strong, cohesive teams that Florida must face in competition.

    =================================================
    Now, Many of Florida's teams in the past that had won the regular season SEC title or had won the SEC Tourney title have made long runs in the NCAA (i.e, Elite8/Final4, NCAA Champs).

    Even some SEC Tourney-RU's Florida teams have made NCAA Tourney runs (i.e, to the SW16, Elite8). (see below):
    Southeastern Conference Index | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

    Florida in the SEC -------- Florida's NCAA finish

    1989 SEC champ --------> lost in 1st RD
    (SEC Tourney-RU to Alabama; mvp Livingston Chatman)

    1993-94 SEC-E champ --> Final4 (1994)
    (1994 SEC Tourney-RU to Kentucky)

    1999-00 SEC Champs ----> NCAA Finals-RU (2000)
    2000-01 SEC Champs ----->lost in 2nd RD (Michigan St)

    2001-02 SEC-E champ -----> lost in 1st RD
    (2004 SEC Tourney-RU to UK) --> lost in 1st RD

    (2005 SEC Tourney Champs; ------> lost in 2nd RD (Villanova)
    mvp - Matt Walsh)
    (2006 SEC Tourney Champs; -------> NCAA Champs (2006)
    mvp - Taurean Green)

    2006-07 SEC Champs -------> NCAA Champs (2007)
    (2007 SEC Tourney Champs; mvp Al Horford)


    2010-11 SEC Champs ---------> lost in Elite8 (Butler)
    (2011 SEC Tourney-RU to UK)

    2012-13 SEC Champs ----------> lost in Elite8 (Michigan)
    (2013 SEC Tourney-RU to Ole Miss)

    2013-14 SEC Champs -----------> Final4 (2014)
    (2007 SEC Tourney Champs; mvp Scottie Wilbekin)
    =========================================

    So, according to the above outcomes, there seems to be a very, strong correlation to winning the SEC title and also in making a Final4 and/or reaching the Elite8. In the process of winning the SEC, that team also receives high NCAA bids (1-5) and often has a chance to be real contender in winning the national title. However, we have also seen that not all of Florida's SEC champions in their past have gone on to have long NCAA Tourney runs but disappointingly flame out in either the 1st or 2nd round for whatever reasons (i.e, injuries, not enough depth, poor shooting, etc.).

    Then, one can postulate that if Florida wants to make their next Final4, the Gators will have to win either/both the regular season SEC title and/or the SEC Tourney title.

    Out of the five Florida teams that have made the Final Four, only the 1994 team did not win the SEC title; although, they were SEC-East champs and were also Runner-ups in the SEC Tourney.

    The only other times in which Florida did make an NCAA run without winning the SEC title were in the following years:
    1987 (SW16) --- Alabama won the SEC but Florida was in 2nd place!
    1986-87 Southeastern Conference Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

    1988 (RD32) ------ Kentucky won the SEC but Florida was tied for 2nd place w/Auburn!
    1987-88 Southeastern Conference Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

    1995 (RD64) ------ UK won SEC; UF was in 6th place
    1999 (SW16) ------ Auburn won SEC: UF was in 4th place.
    1998-99 Southeastern Conference Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

    2003 (RD32) -------- Kentucky won the SEC; UF was in 2nd place.

    2010 (RD64) -------- UK won SEC; UF was in 4th place tied with two others.

    2012 (Elite8) ------- UK won SEC; UF was in 2nd place w/ two other teams!
    2011-12 Southeastern Conference Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

    But even here, Florida would often have a very competitive team that would contend for the SEC title and often ends up finishing 2nd in the SEC race.
    =================================================
    Finally, when correlating the SEC finishes with the NCAA results in the Mike White era:

    SEC Finish ------------------------ Post-season Finish
    2015-16: UF (21-15, 9-9, 8th place) ---> NIT Quarterfinals
    2016-17: UF (27-9, 14-4, 2nd place) ----> Elite8
    2017-18: UF (21-13, 11-7, 3rd place) ----> RD32 (lost to Texas Tech)
    2018-19: UF (20-16, 9-9, 8th place) -------> RD32 (lost to Michigan)
    2019-20: UF (19-12, 11-7, 5th seed in SEC; 4th place tie) ---> cancelled post-season!
    2020-21: UF (15-10, 9-7, 5th place) -------> RD32 (lost to Oral Roberts)
    =================================================
    2016-17 Southeastern Conference Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com
    2018-19 Southeastern Conference Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com
    2020-21 Southeastern Conference Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com


    White's best Florida team was the one that had finished 2nd in the SEC conference. All of White's other teams were very fortunate just to have won one NCAA tournament game when you compare to their SEC Conference finishes. Florida was also fortunate to even receive NCAA bids by getting some key victories over other contenders during those seasons (2017-2021).

    After finishing 8th in the conference, how in the world did that 2019 Florida team even receive an NCAA bid much less win their 1st round game?

    Rather than settling for the average of 9-11 SEC wins, Florida needs to more often go for 12+ conference wins in order to raise their profile.
     
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  8. wci347

    wci347 GC Hall of Fame

    Great analysis!
     
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  9. 407king

    407king Premium Member

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    Some questionable rankings, imo.

    I got confused when I saw them say Nate Oats at Bama is a better hire than Juwan Howard at Michigan?

    Both took over the same year, Howard was a 1-seed and got to the Elite 8 in Year 2. Oats was a lower seed and lost one round earlier than Michigan in Year 2.

    And how is Jay Wright not ahead of Tony Bennett? I guess rings don't settle it?

    And it's odd to see how many of those coaches currently are average. Shoutout to Mike Brey, Shaka Smart, Jamie Dixon and Ben Howland.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  10. maxgator

    maxgator GC Hall of Fame

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    I think LH is definitely on the list. I said for a decade that I hoped he never left fsu. Well I got my wish and he managed to change enough to have a very good program now. He finally learned that he can't coach for Jack so needs big long athletes. Hey it worked. He's been putting together very good teams the past 5 years. But I've also heard about his aau connections which screams dirt.

    Not sure if I'll give MW 15 years to figure it out though lol.
     
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  11. 33hoop

    33hoop GC Hall of Fame

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    The mindset of some here is that we should wait for a couple decades and White will eventually learn how to coach. But hey, he’s a nice guy and he runs a clean program and maybe they will start hanging banners for that. Lol
     
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  12. murphree_hall

    murphree_hall GC Hall of Fame

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    What specifically about his X’s and O’s do you think are lacking? I honestly haven’t paid close attention to his coaching, but he seems pretty competent to me from a distance. I wouldn’t say he’s John Wooden, but saying he can’t coach at all seems to be a stretch. That said, I’m eager to see why you feel that way about him.