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Grading The SEC Hoops Coaches So Far

With two weeks to go in the regular season, the questions have already begun.

“Has Coach X done enough to keep his job?”  ”Hasn’t Coach Y done a better job than anyone else?”

Fans from each school have been emailing us for our take on the work their head basketball coaches have done in 2011-12.  Rather than just provide an overall grade, we thought it might be fun to quantify that which can’t truly be quantified — the SEC’s best and worst coaching jobs so far.

We started with a simple formula:


* All wins versus RPI Top 50 teams = 2 points

* Because they’re so hard to come by, all SEC road wins = 2 points

* All SEC wins in general (so, yes, road wins are a big bonus) = 1 point

* Because most teams protect their homecourts, all SEC home losses = -2 points


Below are our findings with four regular-season games to go (the table shows the points awarded in each category, not actual wins and losses):


Coach   Ws Vs Top 50 RPI   Ws Vs SEC   Ws Vs SEC On Road   Ls Vs SEC At Home   Total Points
J. Calipari, UK   12   12   12   0   36
B. Donovan, UF   6   9   8   -2   21
K. Stallings, VU   6   8   8   -4   18
C. Martin, UT   6   6   2   -2   12 (tie)
R. Stansbury, MSU   6   6   2   -2   12 (tie)
T. Johnson, LSU   4   6   2   -2   10
A. Grant, Ala   2   6   4   -4   8
M. Anderson, Ark   4   5   0   -2   7
A. Kennedy, UM   2   5   2   -4   5
T. Barbee, Aub   2   4   0   -4   2
M. Fox, UGA   2   3   0   -8   -3
D. Horn, USC   2   2   0   -8   -4


Perfectly fair?  Of course not.  There is no perfect formula for judging coaches.  The above chart doesn’t factor in key injuries faced by Mike Anderson or a tough disciplinary stance by Anthony Grant.  Also some teams had the “misfortune” of playing Kentucky at home — to this point an automatic -2 points — rather than on the road at Rupp Arena.

In addition, you could easily factor in which coaches have seen their teams overachieve and underachieve.  To do that, we compare below the projections from the press at SEC Media Day to the current SEC standings (based upon SEC tourney tie-breakers):


Preseason Projection   Current SEC Position
1.  Kentucky   1.  Kentucky
2.  Vanderbilt   2.  Florida
3.  Florida   3.  Vanderbilt
4.  Alabama   4.  Miss. State
5.  Miss. State   5.  LSU
6.  Arkansas   6.  Alabama
7.  Ole Miss   7.  Tennessee
8.  Georgia   8.  Ole Miss
9.  LSU   9.  Arkansas
10.  Auburn   10.  Auburn
11.  Tennessee   11.  Georgia
12.  S. Carolina   12.  S. Carolina


As was the case in the top chart, Trent Johnson and Cuonzo Martin seem to have done much better than expected.  Mark Fox has done far worse.

For now this is just a fun exercise for a February afternoon… but over the next few weeks, the real debate will begin.  And depending on their teams’ finish, a number of SEC coaches could be looking for work this offseason.

Posted by on February 21, 2012.

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Carolina's only win against the top 50 is Alabama.

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John Pennington The man with the plan, John dreamed up and somehow convinced the rest of this awesome crew to take part. He’ll be the guy bringing you every [...]more →