Coaches Candid: Who was the best hire on the college basketball coaching carousel in 2022? – CBS Sports

Coaches Candid: Who was the best hire on the college basketball coaching carousel in 2022?  - CBS Sports

CBS Sports college basketball writers Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander surveyed about 100 coaches for our annual Candid Coaches series. They polled everyone from head coaches at elite programs to assistants at some of the smallest Division I schools. In exchange for complete anonymity, the coaches provided unfiltered honesty on a number of topics. Over the next few weeks, we will post the results of the questions asked.

Some of the biggest jobs in college basketball have been officially filled after last season — between them Duke, Maryland, Louisville and Floridaeach of which has won a national championship in the last two decades.

There were many interesting hires. But which school did the best hire?

We asked about 100 college coaches that exact question. What they told us is reflected below.

Who was the best head coaching hire in 2022?

1. Shaheen Holloway, Seton Hall 15%
2. Sean Miller, Xavier 13%
3. Kevin Willard, Maryland 12%
4. Jon Scheyer, Duke 10%
T-5 Thad Matta, Butler 9%
T-5. Jerome Tang, Kansas State 9%
7. Frank Martin, UMass 7%
8. Kenny Payne, Louisville 4%
T-9. Dennis Gates, Missouri 3%
T-9. Chris Jans Mississippi State 3%
T-9. Mike White, Georgia 3%
T-12. Fran Dunphy, the room 2%
T-12. Todd Golden, Florida 2%
T-12. Archie Miller Rhode Island 2%

Others receiving votes: Dan Earl, Chattanooga; Chris Gerlufsen, San Francisco; Jonas Hayes, Georgia State; Rob Lanier, SMU; Bart Lundy, Milwaukee

Quotes that stood out

On Shaheen Holloway

  • “I’m always in favor of a program hiring an alum — especially one with proven success. He loves that place, that community loves him. He has the charisma for the position. Outstanding hire.
  • “Coming back to his alma mater, where he’s loved and knows the lay of the land, especially recruiting smarts. A resume built to do more with less — and (he) accomplished at St. Peter’s that will never be done again. A really good guy, too. “

About Sean Miller

  • “I’m good friends with Travis Steele, and I hate how this happened, but Sean is cut out for Xavier, Cincinnatithe state of Ohio. Tough guy, knows the landscape, really good coach. Loved by the fans and community. Sometimes all players, schools, fans need a sense of confidence when they enter the arena. He brings that out in people.”
  • “Fearless, dropped for dead and one of the best coaches in the game. Understands modern day CEO/coach/talent acquisition as well as anyone before — and now he has even more room to expand his connections and resources.”

About Kevin Willard

  • “What he’s done at Seton Hall — with the lack of facilities in the background of the old-guard schools in the Big East — is unbelievable. Now he’s got all the whistles and bells, and he’s a huge recruiter. Now he’s got a huge recruiting base , and a place that’s a big name. I think in three years Maryland will win the Big Ten.”
  • “Kevin has proven to be a great coach more-or-less who doesn’t make excuses. He finds overlooked talent and makes them better as well as anyone in the country. With an impressive campus, a great location and football money — and the way he. develops his players — pay attention.”

About Jon Scheyer

  • “He’s already locked in back-to-back No. 1 recruiting classes. Anyone who can do that, even at a place like Duke, is a great hire. He’s set himself up to win quickly.”
  • “He should be set up to continue the success at Duke. He’s coming in at the right point where Duke hasn’t won national titles year after year, so the expectations aren’t too high.”

The takeaway

The fact that we got 20 different answers to this question is wild and proof that there is no obvious perceived right answer — unlike last year when Chris Beard of Texas received 61% of the votes.

(Notable: last year, Tommy Lloyd, who led Arizona to number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and Hubert Davis, who took UNC to the NCAA Tournament title game, both received less than 3% of the vote. So things don’t always unfold the way the coaches — or any of us — often believe they will. But I’m going out.)

If you had asked me to predict the winner of this poll before we actually did it, I probably would have told you Duke’s Jon Scheyer because he had already out-recruited the rest of the country two years in a row. Or maybe I would have gone with Xavier’s Sean Miller or Butler’s Thad Matta because they have both established and proven records of winning at the high-major level.

That said, Shaheen Holloway is a perfectly acceptable lead voter.

Not only did he take St. Peter’s — THE PEACOCKS! – to the Elite Eight of the 2022 NCAA Tournament after finishing in the top three of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in each of the past three seasons, which makes Holloway a perceived great hire. It’s also the way he seemed to develop a strong culture within the program, one where the players seemed to love and respect him so much that they literally attended his introductory press conference at Seton Hall.

That said something to me.

It is impossible to definitively know how any employment will develop — proof is that Nebraska‘s Fred Hoiberg received more votes than UCLA’s Mick Cronin and Arkansas’ Eric Musselman in this poll three years ago. but still looking for his first 11-win season with the Huskers while Cronin went to the Final Four and Musselman made back-to-back Elite Eights. But, for what it’s worth, you can also count me as a believer in Holloway. He’s already done (much) more with less at St. Peter’s and thrived on the sport’s biggest stage. I suspect he will go on to do great things at Seton Hall, and, based on the results of this survey, a good portion of his colleagues agree.

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