This is March!
That means it’s time for some end of season awards.
Check out below for an in-depth list of the top coaches in college basketball during the 2022-23 season:
College Hoops Today National Coach of the Year
Jerome Tang, Kansas State: Tang had never been a head coach in college prior to this season, but he’s already ensured that his first year was a memorable one. Kansas State (23-7) was picked to finish last in the Big 12 Preseason Poll and is now in prime position to be one of the top eight seeds in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. That’s a credit to Tang, who was Scott Drew’s top lieutenant for nearly 20 years at Baylor before taking his current post. The first-year head coach is an impressive 4-2 this season in games against Kansas, Baylor, and Texas.
Bill Self, Kansas: The Jayhawks lost three starters — Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun, and David McCormack — from last year’s team that won the national title as well as a key reserve in Remy Martin and are still in firmly in play to be the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas currently has 15 Quad 1 victories — the most in college basketball — and has already clinched an outright Big 12 regular season title. Self has had many standout coaching jobs during his Hall-of-Fame career, but this one may wind up being near the top.
Shaka Smart, Marquette: Smart didn’t argue when his team was picked ninth in the Big East Preseason Poll after losing its top two scorers — Justin Lewis and Darryl Morsell — from last season’s team that made the NCAA Tournament, but he certainly took notice. A master motivator, Smart has an uncanny way to get the most out of his players. He’s also an outstanding basketball coach. Known for being a tremendous teacher of pressure defense earlier in his career, Smart has crafted a team this season that’s the best offensive group that he’s ever coached. It’s also the first team in Marquette (24-6) history that’s won an outright Big East regular season title.
Kelvin Sampson, Houston: Massive expectations were attached to the Cougars entering this season and Sampson has made sure that they’ve answered the bell. Houston is a whopping 27-2 through 29 games and on track to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Under Sampson’s watch, the Cougars have advanced to the second weekend of the last three NCAA Tournaments and the 2021 Final Four, but this may be his best shot to win a national title.
Mick Cronin, UCLA: Cronin is on the verge of putting 12 straight teams in the NCAA Tournament so his inclusion on this list is no surprise. After making Cincinnati into one of the sport’s most consistent programs, he’s restored UCLA (25-4) to its rightful place among the nation’s elite. This rendition of the Bruins is Cronin’s best defensive team since he’s arrived in Westwood, which should put UCLA in position to return to the Final Four for the second time in the past three seasons.
- Nate Oats, Alabama
- Chris Collins, Northwestern
- Matt Painter, Purdue
- Tommy Lloyd, Arizona
- Rodney Terry, Texas
- The Breakfast Buffet: UConn’s dominance, Andre Jackson, Florida Atlantic’s path is similar to Loyola Chicago in 2018
- The Breakfast Buffet: Things come full circle for Gonzaga and UConn, Kansas State, Rodney Terry
- The Breakfast Buffet: Markquis Nowell, UCLA will always be left wondering what could have been, FAU
- The Breakfast Buffet: Rick Barnes’ best chance to return to the Final Four, Adama Sanogo, Gonzaga/UCLA
- The Breakfast Buffet: Tobin Anderson, the Big East’s roster of head coaches is elite, Bobby Hurley