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With recruiting not factored in, which Final Four squad has the best head coach?



4dorr's picture

Self and Matta are the only two that have not had the NCAA breathing down their necks for violations.  I choose Matta since he has built the Ohio State program to what it has become today.


btalbert25's picture

Other than 30 years ago or whatever when he coached Hawaii, when has the NCAA ever been after Pitino?  He never had any violations at Kentucky or Louisville that weren't secondary violations.  Quite honestly, if not for spending 16 or 17 years coaching in the NBA when he was in his prime, Pitino could have 900 wins right now, especially if you look at the level in which UK was playing when he left.

He's definitely the best coach in the final four, and honestly it's probably not even close.

RedStorm45's picture

He was a head coach in the NBA for 5+ years (retired in his 6th) and 2 years as an assistant I believe.  Other than that, he's been in college.  But I agree...2nd final 4 with Louisville, 3 with Kentucky and a national title.  Took Providence to a final 4 and Boston U to the tourney.  I'm sure recruiting weren't huge factors in Boston and Providence.

btalbert25's picture

I meant 7 or 8 years, between his two stints in the NBA.  He was 87-89 with the Knicks and 97-2001 with the Celtics.  In reality he probably missed about 6 seasons of college basketball coaching which would've put him around 700 wins. 

Still don't think it's close though.  They guy has significantly improved every program he's been, starting with Boston University all the way to now.  Louisville was an absolute mess when he got there.

DefendOhio's picture

I never understood people who tried to differentiate coaching from recruiting? Those both go hand in hand. The elite coaches recruit the best players. It's pretty simple. 

btalbert25's picture

What Makes Calipari a great coach is that he can win with the best players that he recruits.  What makes Rick Pitino great is he can with with that kind of team or he can have Derek Anderson blow his knee out and turn a guy like Cameron Mills into a player that almost carried UK to a championship. 

I don't think Calipari could coach a team to a final four if it wasn't loaded with talent.  Even last year's "surprise" final four team had Knight, the number 1 overall high school player, Jones, and Lamb who were all highly touted recruits and got contributions from Liggins and Miller who were both top recruits coming out of high school.

I don't think Calipari, Self, or Matta would be able to coach this year's Louisville team to a Big East title and final four appearance.

Bj Mullens over Sully's picture

I wouldn't want anyone but Matta, hope he stays here for another 30 years.

Favorite Buckeye: Obviously BJ Mullens

NYC Buckeye's picture

Honestly, I love Thad Matta.. as far as I'm concerned, he can stay here coaching until he chooses to step down, as he has turned our program into one of the nation's finest..

that being said, I find it a little ridiculous that people actually voted for anyone but Pitino on this poll.... for many of the reasons BTAlbert lists above...

btalbert25's picture

I definitely agree with what you are saying here.  I like Thad just fine.  I remember an article that came out last season basically saying the Buckeyes could be a powerhouse basketball program in the making.  One of those where 20 years for now they are still in the conversation, instead of a good year here and there.  That's largely due to Thad's efforts. 

kr66osu's picture

I love Matta, but Pitino is easily the best coach in the Final Four

741's picture

Pitino may be a vampire. I gotta go with my homie Thad.

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Factor in faithfulness to ones wife and its Matta hands down over Patino.

Buckeye Black's picture

Definitely Pitino.  10-0 in the Sweet 16, are you kidding me!?  I'll take Thad all day, but for the sake of the poll, it is Pitino.

LadyBuck's picture

I am loyal to my coach, and he has done one hell of a job this year with this team. I voted Coach Matta.

UrbanCulture's picture

Bill Self, final four with selfish guards, a giant he found off the street, and a man on unidentifiable steroids, hats off.