College Basketball's 10 Most Intense Personalities

Doug Brodess@DougbrodessCorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2012

College Basketball's 10 Most Intense Personalities

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    One of the common traits most successful people in any field share is intensity.

    Intensity is the fuel for their focus. The passion behind their purpose.

    Whether that intensity is on the court, on the sidelines or behind the mic, college basketball has a collection of fiery individuals that bring their hot-blooded nature to the collegiate game.

    Here are college basketball's 10 most intense personalities.

    Not all of them demonstrate their intensity in the same way, but each of the following men are obsessed with what they do in and around college hoops.

10. Dick Vitale (ESPN)

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    Though Dick Vitale says and does some goofy things, he is one of the most passionate personalities in college basketball.

    When he likes or dislikes something or someone, you hear about it.

    Vitale leaves very little to the imagination. If he's thinking it, he's gonna say it.

    And that's why people love him or hate him.

    Here's a classic Dickie V moment when he thought that the NCAA Selection Committee had blown it.

9. Sean Miller (Arizona)

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    Sean Miller is always good for a collection of contorted facial expressions on the sidelines.

    Miller, in his third season as the head coach at Arizona, has led the program through a speedy recovery period and back to challenge for the initial Pac-12 regular season championship.

    Miller is a relentless recruiter and he preaches toughness and defense to the Wildcats.

    And he is getting good results.

    Since Miller arrived in the spring of 2009, Arizona has advanced to the 2011 Elite Eight, won the 2011 Pac-10 regular season title and posted a 61-31 record.

8. Thad Matta (Ohio State)

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    Thad Matta didn't get to be a D-1 college basketball coach by the age of 32 by being laid back.

    From the time he graduated from Butler, Matta was on a mission to do what he has now been doing for the last twelve years.

    He is a driven recruiter that pushes himself and his team to the limits.

    Maybe that's why his teams have won over 300 games in 11+ seasons.

7. Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)

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    Mike Krzyzewski displays a different kind of intensity than many of the others on this list.

    His intensity isn't normally shown through outrageous behavior or heard in high-volume rants, but make no mistake about it...Coach K has always been able to "get after it."

    He doesn't hesitate to get in player's faces during time-outs. He works the refs as hard as anyone.

    And sometimes, he just flat out blows a gasket.

    Krzyzewski's teams normally play with a locked-in focus that helps them do as they did this week.

    The Blue Devils erased a seemingly insurmountable lead against North Carolina in the last two-and-a-half minutes of the game and won on a buzzer-beater shot by Austin Rivers.

    Those kind of comebacks don't happen without a level of competitive concentration from top to bottom.

6. Tom Izzo (Michigan State)

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    It's ironic that the team that Tom Izzo coaches is called the Spartans.

    Izzo is a hard-nosed, no-nonsense coach who recruits physical players and demands toughness from them while they are on the court.

    While no one wins all the time, you can count on one thing: Michigan State will rarely get out-worked in any game. Tenacious defense and rugged rebounding are a consistent staple of Spartan basketball.

    It's no surprise that MSU has won an NCAA Championship, been to six Final Fours and won over 400 games in the Izzo era.

5. Rick Pitino (Louisville)

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    Rick Pitino has always been and is still a driven basketball coach.

    He sets his focus on his high-level goals and pushes himself and his teams to accomplish them by any possible means.

    Pitino's Kentucky and Louisville squads are notorious for pushing the ball and pressuring their opponents from opening tip to final buzzer. 

    His coaching resume is full of success, with an NCAA Championship, five Final Fours and over 600 victories.

4. Bob Huggins (West Virginia)

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    I've always laughed when people have referred to Bob Huggins as "Huggy Bear" because he is one of the least cuddly individuals in college basketball. 

    Whether he's giving referees the business or yelling at the top of his lungs at his players, Huggins gets after it pretty much all the time.

    But, Huggins gets it done. He has won over 700 collegiate games in his nearly 30-year coaching career and is fourth among active D-1 coaches (Behind Coach K, Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun).

3. Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)

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    At some point, a college basketball program takes on the personality of its coach.

    I guess that's why the Badgers are always a gritty and feisty bunch.

    Bo Ryan is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of coach.

    Ryan doesn't try to hide his displeasure and he doesn't mind giving the refs an earful when he feels like they have blown a call.

    Wisconsin is always at or near the top of all D-1 programs in terms of scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.

    Having rung up almost 300 wins in eleven years in Madison, Ryan doesn't get nearly the respect that he deserves.

2. Bob Knight (ESPN)

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    As far as we know, Bob Knight hasn't thrown any chairs lately, but he is still a passionate personality in college hoops.

    While Knight may not be as demonstrative as he used to be, the intensity is still there.

    His abrupt manner and terse responses can still be witnessed/heard as he does commentary on college basketball games on a weekly basis.

    "The General" is No. 2 on college basketball's all-time win list (902-371) and will forever be known for his successful run at Indiana which included three NCAA Championships.

1. Frank Martin (Kansas State)

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    Frank Martin is terrifying.

    To say that Martin is fiery is like saying that Warren Buffett has some money.

    It's no surprise that Martin was an assistant for Bob Huggins before becoming the K-State's head coach. But very few humans could maintain Martin's level of rage and still be living.

    But, his intensity does not get in the way of achieving results.

    Martin is getting it done in the "Little Apple", posting a 112-49 record in his four-plus seasons in Manhattan.

    I've always said that Frank is my favorite Martin...especially if he is close by.