Ranking the Big Ten's Basketball Coaches for 2011
On the hardwood, coaches are forced to make quick decisions on which defense to play, when to call a timeout and which plays to draw up, all in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, you have to be quick with analyzing what's on the court in order to counter with your own team.
The Big Ten had a couple of coaching changes this offseason: a surprise exit when Ed DeChellis bolted Penn State for Navy and a welcomed addition of Nebraska into the Big Ten with Doc Sadler. The Big Ten boasts a lot of well-known coaches that have a lot of experience in the game.
#12 Pat Chambers, Penn State
Pat Chambers takes over Penn State after Ed DeChellis left for Navy.
Chambers doesn't have a lot of experience, being only 39 and only coaching two years at Boston University, where he compiled a record of 42-28 and led the Terriers to the 2011 NCAA tournament. He has been an assistant coach at Philadelphia and Villanova, which could help recruit the in the Northeast. He will need that help because Penn State could be looking at five years of being in the basement in the Big Ten.
Pat Chambers has a lot of work to do, but isn't under too much pressure.
#11 Fran McCaffery, Iowa
Fran McCaffery's first season as the Iowa head coach didn't go so well with an 11-20 record. He still has plenty of time to make a difference in the program, and he has the tools to do so.
Iowa will never be a powerhouse in basketball, but McCaffery should be able to take the Hawkeyes to the NCAA tournament a few times as a No. 8,9 or 10 seed. He pulled out a huge victory against No. 6 Purdue last year, which snapped a 25-game losing streak against ranked opponents. If McCaffery can continue to improve his squad he could be around for a while.
#10 Doc Sadler, Nebraska
Nebraska leaves the Big 12 for the Big Ten, and while the Cornhuskers are much better suited for the change in football, basketball could be a struggle.
Coach Doc Sadler leads Nebraska into the Big Ten in his sixth year as the coach. Sadler has never taken the Cornhuskers to an NCAA tournament, which probably won't change when Nebraska enters the Big Ten.
Doc Sadler probably has about two or three years left of mediocre basketball before Nebraska looks to go in a different direction without him.
#9 Tom Crean, Indiana
Let's get one thing straight, Tom Crean is an excellent coach.
He took over a program that was in great turmoil and was heading in the wrong direction. While the turnaround for Indiana has been very slow, Crean has showed that he can still recruit very strong while managing an average basketball team.
Indiana has improved its win total every year that Crean has coached. They still are pretty bad, but their future looks a lot brighter with Crean as coach. Look for them in about two years to start competing for the Big Ten title and making the NCAA tournament consistently. Crean could also be a top five coach in the Big Ten in the near future.
#8 Bill Carmody, Northwestern
Bill Carmody enters his 12th season as the Northwestern coach. Northwestern has never made the NCAA tournament, but Carmody and his crew have been close the last two years with 21 wins.
If the Wildcats could get one or two more wins next season and win a game in the Big Ten tournament then that should be good enough to make them a No . 9, 10 or 11 seed, which would certainly please the Wildcats faithful. Carmody even got Northwestern ranked in the AP Top 25 in 2009, the first time Northwestern was ranked since 1969.
Northwestern is right on the cusp of breaking into the NCAA tournament and the right man to do it is Carmody.
#7 John Beilein, Michigan
John Beilein enters his fifth season as the Michigan Wolverines coach. So far his coaching career at Michigan has been an up-and-down experience, with his record sitting at 67-67.
He took Michigan to the NCAA tournament twice, matching the number of times the program had made the tournament since 1995, when NCAA sanctions hit. Beilein needs to improve the Wolverines' Big Ten play (30-42).
If Beilein can accomplish that, then the Wolverines are in good shape to make the NCAA tournament regularly.
#6 Tubby Smith, Minnesota
Tubby Smith enters his fifth season as the Minnesota Golden Gophers coach and has had some success so far with a record of 80-53 and making the NCAA tournament twice.
Last year was a struggle and was Smith's worst season as the coach for Minnesota. There were talks in the offseason that Tubby would retire or leave for another coaching job. With another bad season it may happen.
Tubby still has some power left in recruiting and he will need it for the Golden Gophers to stay at a level of competing for the Big Ten title.
#5 Matt Painter, Purdue
Matt Painter has run into some tough luck as the Purdue coach.
If Robbie Hummel didn't blow out his knee twice the past two seasons, Purdue may have been able to reach the Final Four. Instead Painter enters his seventh following a Sweet 16 run, the furthest Painter has led the Boilermakers in the NCAA tournament.
Painter has won one Big Ten title and has taken Purdue to the NCAA tournament five straight years. He is only 40, so if Purdue can keep Painter from looking elsewhere, they can expect to make runs past the Sweet 16.
#4 Bruce Weber, Illinois
Bruce Weber must be frustrated when his very talented Illinois teams come up short in the postseason, which seems to be the case every season.
He has made one Final Four appearance, making it to the national championship game before losing to North Carolina. Weber has claimed two Big Ten titles as the Illinois coach.
Weber could fall behind Matt Painter if he has another disappointing season at Illinois, but for now his Final Four and two Big Ten titles outrank Painter's Sweet 16 runs and one Big Ten title.
#3 Bo Ryan, Wisconsin
Bo Ryan enters his 11th season as the Wisconsin Badgers coach. The Badgers have made the NCAA tournament every year Bo Ryan has been their coach, but for all the success Ryan has had with three Big Ten titles, he has never made a Final Four and only once made the Elite Eight in 2005.
He has a great record with the Badgers at 242-91 and his teams are the prime example of how the Big Ten plays, with a swarming defense and slow-paced offense.
#2 Thad Matta, Ohio State
Is Ohio State's Thad Matta really a great coach, or can he just really recruit very well?
Recruiting is part of the job, so Matta gets some recognition here because Ohio State continues to have the top classes in the Big Ten almost every year.
He has four Big Ten titles, and while Ohio State dominates in the regular season, they usually fall flat on their face in the postseason, only making one national championship game appearance.
After that, the best Matta has done is take Ohio State to the Sweet 16. Matta is only 43, so he has a lot of time left to win some national titles.
Ranking the coaches Nos. 5-2 was very difficult because they are almost all on the same level and interchangeable, but the No. 1 coach in the Big Ten is an easy pick. ...
#1 Tom Izzo, Michigan State
Tom Izzo is the dean of the Big Ten, he enters his 17th season as the Michigan State Spartans head coach.
With a record of 383-161, Izzo has led the Spartans to six Big Ten titles, six Final Fours and was the national champion in 2000.
Izzo has taken the Spartans to the NCAA tournament 14 straight years, good for the third longest active streak in the nation. Every four-year player at Michigan State has made a Final Four, which is unheard of.
Only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams have more NCAA tournament wins than Izzo.
Izzo has been pursued by NBA teams such as the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers, but after the last courtship in 2010, Izzo swore his life to being a Spartan. Izzo likely has as much time as he wants at Michigan State, and once he retires there will be a statue erected for him outside the Breslin Center. They might rename the court too.