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USC’S Martin Makes 4 Ex-Big 12 Coaches In The SEC; Meet The Roster

The sporting world knows that the SEC has raided the Big 12 for schools in the past few months — well, okay, those schools actually approached the SEC — but what folks might not realize is that Mike Slive’s roster of basketball coaches is quickly filling up with ex-Big 12′ers.

Next season, Missouri’s Frank Haith and Texas A&M’s Billy Kennedy enter the Southeastern Conference.  This past year, Arkansas’ Mike Anderson made the jump from Mizzou to Arkansas, opening up that slot in Columbia for Haith.  And today Frank Martin has confirmed that he’ll be leaving Kansas State for the SEC’s other Columbia in South Carolina.

With Martin hired, Andy Kennedy staying on at Ole Miss, and only Mississippi State still left searching for a new coach — tip to Scott Stricklin: scour the Big 12 — we thought it might be interesting to see how the league’s coaches stack up against one another.

Now, before we get into this, let’s all just admit a few things right off the bat:



1.  A 20-win season isn’t what it used to be, but it’s still a benchmark used in most basketball discussions.

2.  Coaches with longer track records might have more wins while younger coaches have better winning percentages.  We get that.  But we’re still going to list the league’s coaches according to total wins.

3.  Some coaches have worked in easier leagues while others have duked it out in tougher conferences.

4.  Some coaches have inherited good rosters and continued to win while others have moved from stop to stop building programs as they went.  That can impact win/loss numbers, too.



In other words, there’s no perfect way to stack these guys so — as mentioned above — we’re doing so by total career wins.  We’re also going to look at the number of outright conference titles or division championships won by each man, the number of NCAA and/or NIT bids each has earned, national titles won, and total 20-win seasons.

Interestingly, you’ll note that each current coach came to the league with at least one season’s worth of experience as a head coach.  Assistants — up-and-comers or not — need not apply.  When you’ve got SEC television money rolling in, why not buy a proven product?

Another tidbit — the SEC now has two Martins (Cuonzo and Frank) and it will soon have two Kennedys (Andy and Billy).

Also, Kentucky fans will surely note that we’re going by each man’s official record.  Meaning John Calipari has been docked the appropriate number of games from his 1995-96 run with UMass and his 2007-08 season with Memphis.  Blame the NCAA, not us.

All that said, here’s your 2012-13 SEC coaching roster with only MSU’s yet-to-be-named coach left out of the mix:



Coach
SEC School
Last School
Career Record
Conf/Div Champs
NCAA Bids
NIT Bids
National Champs
20-Win Seasons
Total Seasons
J.Calipari
UK
Memphis
503-152
14
14
5
0
17
20
B.Donovan
UF
Marshall
421-178
6
12
3
2
14
18
K.Stallings
VU
Illinois St.
384-222
2
8
6
0
11
19
T.Johnson
LSU
Stanford
226-184
2
5
3
0
3
13
B.Kennedy
A&M
Murray St. 
224-197
4
2
1
0
4
14
M.Anderson
ARK
Missouri
218-113
1
6
1
0
7
10
M.Fox
UGA
Nevada
173-89
4
4
0
0
6
8
F.Haith
MU
Miami (FL)
159-105
0
2
4
0
4
8
A.Kennedy
UM
Cincinnati
146-90
2
0
6
0
6
7
A.Grant
ALA
VCU
139-64
4
3
2
0
5
6
F.Martin
USC
Kansas St.
117-54
0
4
1
0
5
5
T.Barbee
AUB
UTEP
108-88
1
1
0
0
2
6
C.Martin
UT
Missouri St.
80-54
1
0
2
0
2
4




Calipari may sit atop the list thanks due to his total number of wins, but make no mistake — the best basketball coach in the Southeastern Conference is currently Donovan.  With a pair of back-to-back national championships and 14 20-win seasons in a row, an argument can be made that he is the SEC’s second-best basketball coach… ever.

Adolph Rupp won a ridiculous 399 SEC games while at Kentucky.  Dale Brown won 238 at LSU.  Currently Donovan sits at 160 and he’s only 46-years-old.

Calipari has Kentucky rolling, but for now this is still the Age of Donovan in SEC hoops.  Frank Martin, Frank Haith and Billy Kennedy… welcome to it.

 


6 comments
Richard Girth
Richard Girth

Cal is 7-1 versus Donovan at UK.  Cal > Donovan.

sfprman
sfprman

Not to quibble, but a division title is greater in your eyes than the postseason tournament.  Really?

sfprman
sfprman

Regarding your conf/div champs column....I think postseason conference tournaments are = to conference titles.  More so, a postseason conference tournament is > a divisional title.  I just think you should include conference tournament championships in that total.  If so, both Anderson and Haith have one from the Big XII.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

Richard Girth...

 

An adult moniker for an adult thought.  

 

Donovan built a program, Calipari took over the best program in the history of basketball.  Donovan has two national titles.  Calipari has no titles and two vacated Final Four stops.  Donovan > Calipari.  For now.

 

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

sfprman...

 

Three games versus 16 or 18?  Yes, a regular season title is much more difficult than winning a conference tourney.  That's not even close.

 

One involves getting hot at the right time and hoping or good draws and breaks in a bracket.  The other requires three-months worth of roster management, overcoming injuries, making adjustments, and prepping to play every single team in a league... with half the games played in a hostile environment, not a neutral court.

 

Conference tourneys are fun, but they aren't the equal of regular-season titles.  

 

In 2008, Dennis Felton led Georgia to a last-place finish in the SEC East with a 4-12 record.  But his team got hot -- actually won two games in one day (due to a tornado) -- and won the tourney.

 

Bruce Pearl led Tennessee to a 14-2 record in the SEC and a first-place finish in the East and the SEC's overall title.  So, yes, I think someone doing what Pearl did -- as an example -- did a better job than someone doing what Felton did.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

sfprman...

 

I couldn't disagree more on the conference tourney thing.  I don't think one weekend's worth of work equals a 14-, 16-, or 18-game conference season.  That -- for the sake of space -- is why I didn't include 'em here.

 

Thanks for reading the site, though.

 

John

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