Wednesday afternoon the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the four finalists for this year’s Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year award, and the list is made up of three one-seeds and one two-seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.
Kentucky’s John Calipari, whose team has won all 34 of its games to date, is on the list as are Villanova’s Jay Wright, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan and Virginia’s Tony Bennett. Calipari, Wright and Ryan all coach teams that are one-seeds in the NCAA tournament, with Bennett’s Cavaliers being the two-seed in the East.
All four coaches finished atop their respective conferences during the regular season, with Bennett’s Cavaliers and Wright’s Wildcats doing so for a second consecutive season. In the case of Virginia, they became the first team located outside of the state of North Carolina to accomplish this feat in ACC history.
And three, Calipari, Wright and Ryan, followed up their regular season conference title with a conference tournament crown. The Atlanta Tipoff Club will announce the winner at its annual awards brunch April 5 in Indianapolis.
In addition to announcing its ten semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club revealed the fifteen semifinalists for the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Award. Among the semifinalists are Kentucky head coach John Calipari, Virginia head coach Tony Bennett and Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan.
Of the coaches on the list four have won the award in the past. Calipari won his first Naismith Coach of the Year award in 1996 when he was at UMass, with Bennett winning the honor in 2007 while he was at Washington State. Villanova head coach Jay Wright won the award in 2006, and Kansas’ Bill Self did so in 2012.
Five conferences have two representatives on the list: the ACC (Bennett and Notre Dame’s Mike Brey), Big 12 (Self and Baylor’s Scott Drew), Big East (Wright and Butler’s Chris Holtmann), Big Ten (Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon) and the Pac-12 (Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak and Oregon State’s Wayne Tinkle).
Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall won the award last season. Below is the full list of this year’s semifinalists, with the finalists to be revealed March 19. The winner will be announced Sunday, April 5.
Tony Bennett, Virginia
Mike Brey, Notre Dame
John Calipari, Kentucky
Scott Drew, Baylor
Mark Few, Gonzaga
Chris Holtmann, Butler
Ben Jacobson, Northern Iowa
Larry Krystkowiak, Utah
Archie Miller, Dayton
Steve Prohm, Murray State
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin
Bill Self, Kansas
Wayne Tinkle, Oregon State
Mark Turgeon, Maryland
Jay Wright, Villanova
Wednesday afternoon the Atlanta Tipoff Club revealed the ten semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, which is annually given to the best player in college basketball as voted upon by their selection committee. Among the ten players on the list are Wisconsin senior forward Frank Kaminsky and Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor, who are seen by many as the favorites to win national Player of the Year honors.
Also on the list in Kentucky junior Willie Cauley-Stein, whose impact on the defensive end of the floor has been one of the keys for the top-ranked and undefeated Wildcats. Of the ten players on the list two are freshmen, with Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell joining Okafor.
The senior class is the most represented on the list with there being five, followed by the freshman and junior classes (two apiece) and one sophomore (Murray State’s Cameron Payne). Gonzaga is the lone program to have two players on the list, as senior point guard Kevin Pangos and junior forward Kyle Wiltjer were selected.
Below is the list of semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy, with the four finalists scheduled to be announced March 22.
F Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky (junior)
G Jerian Grant, Notre Dame (senior)
F Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin (senior)
C Jahlil Okafor, Duke (freshman)
G Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga (senior)
G Cameron Payne, Murray State (sophomore)
G D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (freshman)
F Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa (senior)
F Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga (junior)
G Delon Wright, Utah (senior)