The Player Most Responsible for Each Great College Basketball Coach's Legacy

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The Player Most Responsible for Each Great College Basketball Coach's Legacy
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

They say the first million dollars is the hardest, and the same should be said for the first 100 wins for a great college basketball coach.

Sure, legends like Roy Williams, John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski have no trouble landing top recruits and winning 30 games per year now, but what about back when they first started?

What if Coach K wasn't able to sign Johnny Dawkins? Where would Billy Donovan be today without Udonis Haslem? How much of Tom Izzo's legacy is owed to Mateen Cleaves?

For the 19 current men's basketball coaches with at least 450 career D-I wins, we went back and looked at some of their early years to identify the player most responsible for kick-starting their legacy.

After a ton of honorable mentions, the top nine coaches are listed in increasing order of career wins at the D-I level.

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