With the focus of the basketball watching world on the NBA Playoffs and the upcoming NBA Draft, college basketball tends to take a back seat to … well … everything in the month of June.
That’s why the late spring is such a great time to put together conversation pieces like the one Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com rolled out on Thursday. Brennan put together a list of the top ten coaching jobs in college basketball and, frankly, I don’t have a huge problem with any of it. The top six are, more or less, a tie for the No. 1 spot; the six blue bloods (North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Indiana and Duke) are undoubtedly the six best jobs in the business.
Brennan has UCLA in the fourth spot, and while I would probably flip-flop the Bruins and the Hoosiers on my list, it really isn’t worth contesting his logic. I’d also make minor changes to the rest of the list (Louisville higher, Ohio State lower, Michigan State higher, Arizona lower, etc.), but again, there is nothing unreasonable about this list.
But there is one point here that needs to be made, and I think that it is inarguable: there is no coach in the country that is better suited to the job that he is in than John Calipari is to being the head coach at Kentucky.
It is a perfect fit. He’s media savvy, he has his finger on the overactive pulse of Big Blue Nation, he’s the best recruiter in the country and he’s a good enough coach to live up to the demanding expectations of the fanbase. He’s on the verge of building one of the most unique dynasties in the history of sports — How many teams have had continued success with this amount of roster turnover? — at a place where few, if any, coaches would be able to have that kind of success.
Brennan’s right. The “UNC family” and the resulting association with Jordan and the Jordan Brand makes the Tar Heels the best coaching job in the country.
But there is no better coaching match than John Calipari and the University of Kentucky.