Candid Coaches: Who was one of the best high-major teaching rent of the 2023 offseason?

CBS Sports activities school basketball insiders Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander spent a month surveying 100-plus Division I males’s basketball coaches for our annual Candid Coaches sequence. They polled throughout the game’s panorama: a number of the largest names in school basketball, but additionally small-school assistants in low-major leagues. Coaches agreed to share unfiltered opinions in trade for anonymity. We requested them 10 questions, and can put up the outcomes over a three-week span.

We principally combine our Candid Coaches questions up annually to make sure we contact on subjects we all know folks inside the sport are discussing — like title, picture and likeness rights and the switch portal. However there are some questions which might be constants each offseason.

That is a kind of.

In an try to study what precise school coaches take into consideration how the teaching carousel unfolded this yr, we requested roughly 100 school basketball coaches the next query:

Who was one of the best high-major teaching rent of 2023?

Quotes that stood out

On Rick Pitino (St. John’s)

  • “The Rick Pitino Impact is alive and effectively. Together with NIL backing from St. John’s, the sky is the restrict. We have been lucky to play Iona the final two years and Coach Pitino continues to be so sharp. His vitality is thru the roof, and he nonetheless has that aggressive spirit. If he is ready to do what he is been doing in the course of his profession, he would be the King of New York and have St. John’s on the identical degree because the Knicks.”
  • [The best hire] by far [is] Rick Pitino. I am a New York man — and I feel he’s the one one who can repair St. John’s. In every single place he goes, man, he wins. … I feel there is no doubt that he’ll [win at St. John’s].”
  • “[Pitino is a} proven, a winner everywhere he’s gone. He’s one of the best basketball minds in the country and a grinder on the recruiting trail. St. John’s will be an NCAA Tournament team in Year 1.”
  • “I think Rick Pitino is the greatest college coach of all time. He can recruit. He’s a tactician.He’s a great in-game coach. You check his body of work. He’s a great late-game coach — and all his teams compete at the highest level. In college, he’s won everywhere he’s shown up. When you think about coaching, what it requires, I think coaches make the difference out of timeouts, halftime, end-of-game, that’s what we get paid for. And he’s elite in those areas.”

On Ed Cooley (Georgetown)

  • “I have watched him from a far. I think he fits the mold at Georgetown. I think he recruits well and comes across not only as a professional and hard worker, but one that is not a pushover either. He has shown that he can win at some traditionally tough jobs as well. I don’t know him really at all besides a casual conversation but I have never heard anything bad said about the guy and he seems to have earned a lot people’s respect when you say his name around the profession.”
  • “Cooley because he is a proven HM winner who has a great reputation. I think he immediately gives credibility to the program and will get it back to winning with good kids who are proud to be at Georgetown.”
  • “Gets the most out of his talent. His teams play hard. Great X-and-O in-game adjuster.  Was able to get Providence to be a contender year in and year out in the Big East. Able to figure out a new roster with transfers better than most.”  

On Micah Shrewsberry (Notre Dame)

  • “[Put me down for] Shrewsberry primarily based on the mix of taking on a program that is down however has nice potential, his total match for all issues Notre Dame, his skill to teach the sport, and the likelihood of an extended tenure. I might say the identical issues about Ed Cooley for certain.” 
  • “I will go along with Micah Shrewsberry. He can coach his ass off and is a good tradition match for Notre Dame.”

On Chris Beard (Ole Miss)

  • “[My answer] can be predicated on what you’d contemplate the factors to be. The very best coach with the flexibility to win video games is Chris Beard. He took Texas Tech to the Last 4. That is not straightforward to do. I feel he is large. Clearly, you [have to look] previous what transpired in Austin, [and if not for that] he would not even be on that listing [because he’d still be at Texas]. However I feel he is a terrific, good coach.” 

On Grant McCasland (Texas Tech)

  • “He has gained at a excessive degree all over the place he has been all through his profession. He’s an amazing communicator and builder of a profitable tradition. He appears to essentially make investments time into the connection he has along with his guys, and so they play extraordinarily laborious for him due to it. He is also an excellent evaluator of expertise. Hardly ever misses on a man.”

The takeaway

In case you listened to our latest St. John’s episode on the Eye On School Basketball podcast, you seemingly know that I agree with what the coaches informed us right here. I really like Georgetown’s rent of Ed Cooley. Micah Shrewsberry at Notre Dame appears good. I do not assume there’s any doubt Chris Beard will win at Ole Miss.

I truly like most of those high-major hires.

They’re all wise.

However this offseason’s greatest rent must be St. John’s touchdown Rick Pitino, the Naismith Memorial Corridor of Fame coach who stays the one particular person to guide two completely different Division I males’s basketball applications to nationwide championships. He took Windfall to the 1987 Last 4 in his second yr on the job, took Kentucky to the 1993 Last 4 in his second yr of eligibility (earlier than profitable the 1996 NCAA Match), and took Louisville to the Last 4 in his fourth yr on the job (earlier than profitable the 2013 NCAA Match). So not solely has Pitino taken all three high-major applications he is coached to the ultimate weekend of the season, he is completed it remarkably rapidly every time and may now rebuild St. John’s much more rapidly given how he’ll have the ability to use title, picture and likeness rights to lure first-time transfers with fast eligibility.

For what it is price, I’ve St. John’s in my preseason High 25 And 1.

I feel the Pink Storm shall be good this season.

However even when they don’t seem to be, I am sure they will finally be nice as a result of despite the fact that Pitino will flip 71 years outdated later this month, he is nonetheless one of many sport’s best coaches. He simply spent the previous three seasons going 64-22 at Iona with two Metro Atlantic Athletic Convention regular-season titles, two Metro Atlantic Athletic Convention Match titles and two NCAA Match appearances. He was 34-6 within the MAAC the previous two seasons. So, certain, it is extremely uncommon for a faculty to rent a brand new coach who will flip 71 earlier than he coaches his first sport. However St. John’s doing it ought to show good as a result of Pitino will not be a typical man in his 70s. I do not understand how else to say it, however once you speak to Pitino or textual content with him or simply watch him work, he would not look or sound like a person in his 70s and/or in want of retirement. Like one coach informed us above, Pitino stays very sharp and completely outfitted to do the job St. John’s employed him to do.

Barring a shock, he’ll do it effectively.

One attention-grabbing observe is that Chris Beard is on this listing for the second time in two years. In 2021, he acquired 61% of the vote once we requested roughly 100 coaches to call one of the best rent of that offseason. However he solely acquired 11.7% of the vote this yr, largely as a result of some coaches appear conflicted with the query.

“How are you defining greatest?” a number of coaches requested.

Fact is, most coaches nonetheless imagine Beard is simply as nice of a program-builder and coach as he was two years in the past — however some have been hesitant to name him this offseason’s “greatest rent” as a result of some merely imagine he ought to’ve by no means been employed by an SEC faculty simply months after being charged with felony home violence stemming from an incident that received him fired at Texas. Sure, these prices have been finally dropped, which cleared the way in which for Ole Miss to do what it did. However there are nonetheless folks within the trade who’re conflicted about an establishment of upper studying hiring an individual whose title appeared in a police report just like the police report Beard’s title appeared in final December, and that is one of the best rationalization for why he completed fourth in voting this yr after ending first two years in the past when the identical query was requested.

Earlier Candid Coaches questions:

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