Aside from player skills, the one that makes or breaks a basketball team is the head coach. They are the brains behind every success a basketball team achieves. The coach’s job is to outwit the opponent by creating a plan and a strategy his players will follow.
In the NCAA, these coaches are given tribute to their sacrifices and hard work. To know who are the teams that are handled by the best coaches of the NCAA this year, here are the top five candidates for the National Coach of the Year award.
It’s no wonder why the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the number one seed in the West Coast Conference and the most dominant team overall. Their current standing is all thanks to their head coach Mark Few‘s leadership, who turned their team from mid-major to the most consistently favored contender of the NCAA Men’s Basketball.
Ever since Coach Few has been at the helm of the Gonzaga Bulldogs, the program has improved significantly. The team will once again enters the NCAA Tournament as the most favored team to win it all. However, this season is challenging as games can be postponed or even canceled due to the current pandemic. Despite this, Coach Few has done a great job in keeping his team’s schedule organized.
Aside from having PG Jared Butler, who is a top contender for National Player of the Year, the Baylor Bears also have top-ranking head coach Scott Drew. Coach Drew has made the Bears the best team in the Big 12 and the country’s top two best teams.
After experiencing a huge scandal back in 2003, the Baylor Bears worked hard to rise again after the unfortunate events. But with Coach Drew at the helm, the team not only stood back up but has become one of the best programs in the NCAA.
Thanks to Coach Drew, the Baylor Bears are consistently one of the best collegiate basketball teams in Texas and not the disgraced program they were once seen as.
The third-best coaching job has been by Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines. Coach Howard has handled the Wolverines for only two years, meaning his has yet to coach an entire uninterrupted season at his alma mater thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Howard took over after John Beilein resigned to pursue a (short-lived) NBA coaching career. Some thought having Juwan Howard as head coach would be a huge step back, as he did not have any collegiate coaching experience. But the negativity has certainly faded after Juwan Howard proved that he has all the necessary tools he needs to become a top-notch head coach.
Many, however, were excited to have Howard back in Ann Arbor. He was successful Wolverines player, becoming one of the star-studded recruits known as the “Fab Five.” He was drafted in 1994 and after a long playing career, began his coaching career as an assistant with Miami Heat (2013-19).
Ever since Nate Oats took the head coach position in the Alabama Crimson Tide, the team has significantly improved on the offensive side. The team was ranked near the bottom of the SEC in most offensive statistics before Oats arrived in 2019.
Coach Oats promised to deliver a more entertaining and high-speed product under his leadership and he has not disappointed Alabama fans. The team became more dominant and ranked as the number three best offense in the 2019-20 season.
With the improvement of the Crimson Tide’s offensive, they have become one of the nation’s most vicious teams. With this achievement, their head coach is also climbing up the list for the National Coach of the Year award.
Missouri did a great job starting this season with thirteen wins and just three losses, reaching an AP ranking of #12. Throughout the season, head coach Cuonzo Martin has received weekly awards for his team’s strong performance. ESPN has also taken notice of how Martin has led his team and named him ESPN’s Coach of the Week.
This achievement is enough to prove that Cuonzo Martin is indeed one of the best coaches in the NCAA this season. Key victories on the resume include wins over Oregon, Illinois, Tennessee and Alabama.
When choosing your team for the March Madness Final Four betting, it is best to consider these teams’ coaches to know their capability of winning. These coaches are one reason why their teams have succeeded this season.
The season still has a ways to go, with more games for fans to witness. These coaches may improve over the weeks or have stress take a toll on them. However, these five coaches, who are already showing great leadership, are expected to dominate National COY award voting.
credit to Pixabay for the image