• untitled.png

    Tubby’s not in the photo this year.

    1. Bill Self

    2. Lon Kruger

    3. Bob Huggins

    4. Tubby Smith

    5.Trent Johnson

    1. Shaka Smart

    2. Steve Prohm

    3. Travis Ford

    4. Scott Drew

    5. Bruce Weber

  • collage.jpg

  • @wrwlumpy

    Weber can flat out coach, he cannot recruit…or keep players.

  • Just seeing Shaka Smart makes me feel ill.

  • image.jpg

    This is how I think of weber

  • I’d go

    1. Self
    2. Kruger
    3. Smart
    4. Johnson
    5. Huggins
    6. Drew
    7. Prohm
    8. Smith
    9. Ford
    10. Weber

    I’m higher on Smart than most. Also probably higher on Drew, but I think he really knows the game and has elevated Baylor higher than most anyone could have expected when he took that job.

    Weber is on his way out at KSU. He may not be there next season. Heck, he may be in his last year of coaching a major college team.

  • @wrwlumpy

    I’m tempted to put Huggy Bear as #2. I am a fan of Lon Kruger, and he is a great coach… but Huggy is mentioned by his players (positively) probably more than any B12 coach in the league. Yes… more than Self! I know he is full of expletive language, but that doesn’t mean he can’t coach.

  • @justanotherfan can’t weber and ford tie?

  • Respect to National Championship winning coaches in my book. Trent Johnson, not sure why he’s up at 5, but to each his own. Shaka made an impression on me with his win against us. Drew seems to have competitive teams every year too, so he gets some kudos from me.

    Bill Self

    Tubby Smith

    Lon Kruger

    Bob Huggins

    Shaka Smart/Scott Drew

    Travis Ford

    Bruce Weber

    Trent Johnson

    Steve Prohm

  • I’ll never understand why KU fans incessantly do this. Shed your bias for a second. I know Bruce Weber is the butt of a lot of K-State jokes, and he’s quite frankly an easy target, but if you really think he’s the worst coach, overall, in the Big 12, you either don’t watch Big 12 basketball or you don’t understand basketball on a very deep level.

    Let me ask, why is Tubby Smith ranked so high? Probably because he won a national championship. That’s fair. He’s been fairly consistent, but not a lot more so than Weber, and he’s been doing it a lot longer than Weber. So that puts him in the top 5. I don’t agree with that, but I can deal with that.

    What I can’t deal with is a guy who hasn’t won a tournament game at OSU with an immense level of talent being ranked ahead of him. To me Travis Ford is easily the worst coach in the Big 12 by a large margin. This is a guy that’s had some phenomenal players in that program and can’t get out of the round of 64. I mean, wow. Ford is truly awful. I have no idea how he’s still at OSU, I don’t know why he hasn’t been fired. He’s an awful judge of character, manager of personalities, whatever you want to call it. I loathe Travis Ford.

    Beyond that, I’ll give Drew credit where it’s due, but 2 Elite Eights does not equal a Final Four and a second place finish in the national championship. Look, all these guys do things well or successfully. That’s why they’re coaches in the Big 12. This certainly includes Drew. That being said, is there a coach in the league who has made more untimely decisions? Or decisions that you could point to and say, “we won in part because Drew stuck with/did X.” He probably deserves the most credit for turning around a program that was in absolute disarray, but like Ford, he has absolutely flushed a ton of talent down the toilet. Again, a good recruiter does not equal a good coach.

    Past those two clowns, you flat out can’t tell me Steve Prohm is the seventh best coach in the league. For what? His round of 32 finish on a 31-2 season? I flat out don’t care. At KU, we measure success in national championships and to a lesser extent Final Fours (that needs to be clear to everyone…) and a round of 32 finish means nothing. I understand that at Murray State that may mean something, but again, when you’re ranking him above a guy that came very close to winning it all, I don’t buy it.

    The jury’s still out in my opinion on Shaka Smart. Outside of his Final Four run ( 😞 ), what has he done again? Never made it out of the first weekend? Ya, that’s about right. So he’s better than Weber because what? He had a good year? Meh. I don’t know about that. What he does deserve credit for is winning with what he’s had. We’ll see what he can do at UT.

    Personally, I think there is a rather large distinction between strategic coaching and recruiting. Case in point, Travis Ford. Absolutely terrible coach. Good recruiter. What’s that spell out? Mediocre program.

    To me, based on everything I see and have seen in the Big 12, here’s how I’d rank 'em.

    1. Coach Self
    2. Lon Kruger
    3. Huggy Bear
    4. Smart - I begrudgingly put him here for no other reason than it gets kinda tough to really separate the turds from the stool after 4th.
    5. Smith - Only reason I put him above Weber is because a NC > Runner up
    6. Weber
    7. Scott Drew - I don’t necessarily buy that Drew is a better coach than Johnson, but the sample size is a lot larger, and the results are what they are.
    8. Johnson
    9. Prohm, based on lack of pretty much everything.
    10. Travis Ford. No doubt about it. I don’t even know how he has a job.

    One final note, I think all the Big 12 writers you see projecting K-State to finish 8th are clueless. I think K-State could be historically bad this year. I’m talking Mizzery bad this year. Like less than 10 wins bad. And so help me god if one of those wins comes against us… As always, RCJH.

  • @MoonwalkMafia Recruiting is 50% of the job. Bruce Weber is a terrible recruiter which significantly hurts him as a head coach. You cannot separate recruiting and in game ability when evaluating a coach because they are both part of the job description for a head coach. Weber has had a couple of good years when he first got to Illinois and KSU, but those programs progressively got worse under his watch. I would say 8th is probably where he goes on this list, maybe 7th depending on Prohm.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I don’t necessarily disagree, but if that’s the case who’s he behind? A guy who has coached 4 seasons? Nope. And is squandering talent worse than performing poorly without talent? They’re not really different. So while yes, I would agree that recruiting is 50% of the job, an overemphasis gives you a flawed perspective. Because Weber has shown that he can coach, I think that goes without saying. What he hasn’t shown is that he can recruit, and probably to an even greater extent that he can’t put a decent coaching staff together. But again, I think it’s obvious that the guy can coach the game. I mean, it’s not like the 2013 KSU team was stacked by any means, and even more so in subsequent years. The teams that Ford had in 2013 and 2014 were stacked. They also went winless in the tournament. The Baylor teams from about 2010 to 2013? Those teams were pretty talented. The missed the tournament 2 out of 3 of those years.

    So if all you’re telling me is that these guys have achieved minimal success with extremely talented teams, all you’re showing me is that they can recruit. I can show you that Weber can coach.

    But overall I do agree on Weber, Weber is a cancer. His ability to run a program is questionable to say the least. I can’t believe K-State gave him the contract they did. In all honesty it would’ve been something to see ISU get Weber for a year and then dump him. But again, the question is about coaching. The question I think everyone is answering is what are the best programs in the Big 12. Not coaches.

  • @MoonwalkMafia I would put Weber ahead of Ford and Johnson. My personal list would be:

    1. Self: Future HOF coach, won all but 1 Big 12 titles, taken 3 schools to the Elite 8 or deeper, has a title and multiple Final Four appearances.

    2. Huggins: Taken multiple schools to the Final Four and his teams consistently finish in the top half of the league.

    3. Kruger: He just wins wherever he’s at and is almost always a threat to win a conference title.

    4. Smith: Has the national title, but with Pitino’s players and Kentucky dropped from an elite program to just a steady team always in the tournament at Kentucky. His run at Minnesota was nothing special, but his teams were also never bad there either.

    5. Smart: He has the Final Four and alwaulys had VCU in the tour in harder leagues to make the tournament in because of the fewer bids.

    6. Drew: Had some really talented teams, but until last year, he had never made consecutive tournament appearances so he gets bumped down for the inconsistencies.

    7. Prohm: His Murray St. teams won the regular season conference title all 4 years he was there so even with only 1 NCAA tournament appearance, his teams were always a threat to make the tournament from a one bid league.

    8. Weber: Very good in gane coach, but just sucks at recruiting and his teams consistently get worse every year.

    9. Ford: Consistently has had top 3 talent in the Big 12, but he just consistently underachieves to the talent level of his team.

    10. Johnson: He’s a consistently average coach. His one regular season conference title came in a year when the SEC was beyond awful.

  • Coach Self

    Coach Huggy/Coach Kruger

    Coach Fungible

  • @wrwlumpy 's picture list is pretty close for me.

    Note to the SHAKA-LOVERS–> let’s consider the body of work from Shaka, not just judging 1 flat KU game from 2011. After all, we had a Topeka-Y flat outing vs Trent Johnson’s TCU, didn’t we? What can you make out of a game that KU did more to lose than the opposing team did to win?

    Body of work? Well, that is the not-so-small matter that Smart did NOT win his own JV-level conference 4 out of the last 5 years. So now, we put him in the BigXII and see how he does?

    Go read the stats about IowaState’s new coach, and he could be a worthy up-and-comer.

    Shaka is a flash in the pan, a dimming spark on a past horizon (2011), who hasn’t done much since. He could be like Marshall, a decent coach, but not a recruiter of top talent. That is the reason Marshall keeps turning down bigger schools-- never in his career has he been a top30 talent recruiter, and he knows it. Great coach with an attitude problem/inferiority complex, but NOT the complete pkg! Same goes for Shaka Smart. Smart to leave VCU before he was told to leave.

    I’m not buying those t-shirts TX printed up “Texas: Smart and Strong”. Especially about the “Smart” half of that equation. Shaka’s got a ton to prove. Why? Because he hasn’t yet. That run by VCU was nothing more than Florida Gulf Coast’s cinderalla run that 1 year or George Mason’s run that other year.

  • Bruce Weber? Best summary I ever heard was at AFH live game, during a timeout, when the crowd was quiet…a lone KU voice hollered in steady and strong fashion: “Bruce, your team sucks!”

  • My WORST coaches on this list: Travis Ford, Shaka Smart. I have a bit of respect for Trent Johnson and Tubby Smith & the IowaState guy hired.

  • As @Texas-Hawk-10 said, recruiting is half the job, particularly at the major college level, so when I am ranking coaches from a major conference, I take recruiting into the equation.

    I think Tubby Smith is a coach that once upon a time would have ranked in the top 5 among this group, but he has fallen off as a recruiter and his in game skills have not upgraded significantly enough to overcome that decline. That’s why I ranked him 8.

    Scott Drew I ranked 6 because he has taken what was, at the time, the worst job in the conference and made Baylor a team that is 1) no longer a laughing stock and 2) nationally competitive. The guys I put behind him (Prohm, Smith, Ford, Weber) are guys that I do not believe could have engineered the turnaround that Drew has at Baylor.

    I also think Huggins is starting to decline with age. At one time, I certainly would have made a case that he was a top 3 coach among this group, but that was probably 5-7 years ago. Coaching skills are not static.

    Lon Kruger is a very good coach that has had success at five stops along the way. He has never quite cracked the elite group, but he has been very consistent, and has some NBA experience as well, making him a better game coach.

    Right now, the Big 12 has one elite coach (Self), two former top notch coaches that are now declining (Smith and Huggins), two coaches making the jump from mid majors with varying degrees of success (Smart and Prohm), two very solid coaches with success at multiple stops (Kruger and Johnson), one guy that has done a successful rebuild, but hasn’t taken his program higher (Drew) and two guys that may be out of a job before practice starts in Fall 2017 (Ford and Weber).

    @MoonwalkMafia If you believe that KSU could be historically bad, why are you so high on Weber as a coach? He is a weak recruiter, has trouble retaining players and it doesn’t seem like you are high on him as a game coach. Is it that you think Drew, Johnson, Prohm and Ford are all that bad? Or are you higher on Weber’s in game skills than I initially understood?

    @ralster Smart did something that is extremely difficult as a mid major - he made the NCAA tournament five straight years, many times as a non-automatic qualifier. That’s quite a feat. Most mid majors have to qualify by winning their conference tournament. Only those that also show well during the regular season against major conference teams have a chance to get an at large invite. Compare that with Steve Prohm, who only went to the NCAA’s once in four years, despite continually winning the Ohio Valley because he did not perform well enough outside the conference, even last year when he went undefeated in his league.

    I think that equips Smart to make the jump to a major conference much more than it equips Prohm. Both men may succeed, but if I had to bet on only one, it would be Smart.

  • @justanotherfan I think they’re gonna be historically bad because they have nobody, absolutely no talent. I cede that Weber is a bad recruiter, but I DO think he is a good coach from a strategic point. And I can’t emphasize this enough, I think Travis Ford is a god awful coach overall. Not just in one aspect.

  • One lesson I think our favorite coach from Okmulgee, Okla. took from that loss to VCU is perhaps glimpsed on by his quote after the game about how, on the court, “those guys (VCU players) can play, and they matched our athleticism–their guys didn’t look any different than our guys”. If we recall, only Jamie Skeen was a 4star recruit, and their PG Rodgriquez (?) was a 3star.

    Jaybate suggested our Hudy-muscled guys got outrun by the VCU athletes, our out-conditioned, as he put it.

    I think Self thinks now that carefully selecting guys 50-80ranked can still yield college bball players, that also may come with a chip on their shoulder, as they obviously have something to prove against the McDAA types. Think Frank Mason, perfect example, of maybe Self expanding his recruiting, and using his very experienced talent-eye to find gems like Mason and Graham. Although it doesn’t apply to Tyshawn’s recruiting (pre-VCU lessons), he is another example who Self’s eye happened to find, and that kid was unguardable. It must also be recalled that Tyshawn and Marcus were the only 2 jayhawks productive in that loss to VCU (Marcus with about 20pts, Tyshawn with 14), those 2 came to play, without question.

    Proof-of-concept here, is of course Frank Mason. As athletic as they come (can get elbow above rim), plus he is aggressive as can be, taking it to Duke personally in Madison Sq. Garden as a “raw” frosh in only his 3rd or 4th game as a Jayhawk. Mason, Ellis, and Traylor traded punches with Duke for most of the game, allowing Wiggins (mostly) and a bit of Selden to dazzle in the last few min to put it away.

  • @justanotherfan That’s a good point about making the 64, to qualify without an automatic bid. What that tells me, analytically is that his “havoc defense” can shock those teams (any team) that is unawares and not prepared (the non-conf opponents he likely beat to earn the non-auto bid), but that his in-conference opponents know his havoc-D and may have effectively countered?

    So, Shaka may indeed surprise a few BigXII opponents, but I doubt he can fool Self. Got a feeling Self will have his team ready for the Shaka havoc-D.

  • @ralster can’t wait!

  • Bottom of pile: Drew (a lot better recruiter than he is a coach, but he has improved–maybe equal to Trent Johnson)

    Weber (down-draft spiral, per usual. The fact he may by decent at X’s, O’s…is nullified by the fact he cannot recruit, chases off players, and basically ends up with teams that wont play for him. Would you do anything for that “Gipper”?) Waves of departed players and lackluster recruiting have sealed his fate a few months from now.

    Ford. (If his players cannot win it by themselves, OSU will lose, as there isn’t much help from Ford. And the fact that their senior 6’8 “OAD” (LeBryant Nash) had to stay all 4 years, and could be easily goaded into mental mistakes and taken totally out of his game (by Jamari Traylor playing his role perfectly…), proves Ford cannot develop players, certainly not mentally. Marcus Smart’s Yr2 antics is further proof that ole T.Boone needs to pull Ford’s plug.

  • To be a bit fair, Shaka maybe deserves a bit more coaching credit than I am giving him–> but his barely-relevant, yet inflammatory comments a few months ago only incited me to see him fail. I want to see him thought of as a TX-sized blunder.

    It was only a couple of weeks after his comments that I had a chance, so I brought it up with Self personally during an informal event I attended–he downplayed it. My goal was to ignite a fire, but as competitive as Self is, I bet its already “lit”. He probably got stoked the minute he heard Shaka was being hired by TX. You see, it becomes a pissing contest after a while: my guys can outplay your guys, and I can outfox you too… That’s exactly the frame of mind I want one Bill Self to have regarding Shaka Smart.

    Welcome to the big league(s).

  • Tubby, God Bless him, somehow found his way down to Lubbock Texas. How do you recruit to a place that looks like the Lunar surface, 110 in the shade in the summer and frozen tundra in the winter. I’ve had some great steaks before games down there at Cagle’s Steak House, “2 inches thick”, but what else would be the selling point to Lubbock? Maybe tumbleweed?

  • Bruce Weber’s brother was coaching HS ball at Glenbrook North, a Chicago suburb. He had a star named Jon Scheyer who went into Chicago’s toughest HS tournament at Proviso West and scored 49 points against the home team, including 21 points in 75 seconds. He was a MCD’s AA, averaged 29 points a game his senior year, was on everyone’s list, but chose Duke over Illinois and Bruce Weber. Bruce’s brother couldn’t deliver his once in a lifetime star to Illinois. That’s all you need to know about Bruce Weber. He wrecked Illinois basketball.

    Actually, Illinois wrecked Illinois basketball. When they eliminated Chief Illiniwek they provoked the Chief to put a curse on Illinois athletics. Football and basketball have sucked big time since the Chief was banned. The curse lives on, and as we saw last night, they’re not the only Illinois sports team living under a curse! (way to go Mets!)

  • @ralster

    “So, Shaka may indeed surprise a few BigXII opponents, but I doubt he can fool Self. Got a feeling Self will have his team ready for the Shaka havoc-D.”

    “You can fool me once, shame on you… fool me again… shame on… uh…” ~ quote from President George Bush

  • @wissoxfan83

    “The curse lives on, and as we saw last night, they’re not the only Illinois sports team living under a curse! (way to go Mets!)”

    Yep… I wouldn’t want to have the name “Murphy” and live in the Chicago area…

    Thing was… you could see this coming a mile away.

Log in to reply