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Ranking the Top 15 Recruiting Coaches in College Basketball

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NCAA Basketball: Top 15 Recruiting Coaches


NCAA coaches know it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, recruiting is a twelve month job.

For coaches, recruiting never ends and it couldn’t be more obvious the past few weeks with high schoolers choosing where they’ll spend their college days. Currently freshman such as Shabazz Muhammad, Nerlens Noel and several others are receiving a lot of preseason attention from the media, while next year’s rookie class has the attention of many of their coaches.

Not to say the coaches aren’t focused on the players they have wearing a uniform right now, they obviously do. However, the multi-tasking the NCAA coaches must perform is nothing short of amazing.

With less than a month to go before season tip-off, coaches are preparing their players as much as possible. Introducing freshmen to the system, re-programing returning players to forget old plays and learn new ones, finding chemistry between the old and new players, all while trying to build next year’s team. Coaches balance an eye on tomorrow with the pressures of having success today. Whether it’s signing players in October or making contacts during the season, coaches never stop recruiting.

Here is a list of the current Top 15 Recruiting Coaches.

Honorable mention:

Jim Calhoun

Yes, he's recently retired but out of respect the former the Connecticut Huskies Coach should be mentioned. He had great success over the years and could put out an all-star cast of former players. Ray Allen, Clifford Robinson, Emeka Okafor, Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Rudy Gay, Donyell Marshall, Kemba Walker and Caron Butler to name a few. With a list of success and a list of players like that, Calhoun could recruit.

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15. Mark Few

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Mark Few

Joining the Gonzaga Bulldogs in 1999, Few has never missed the NCAA tournament in any season. Piecing together quality teams, Few has shown his smaller school isn’t afraid of big schools. He might not land the top star recruit in any year, but he’s still consistently produced quality NBA players such as Dan Dickau, Jeremy Pargo, Ronny Turiaf, Austin Daye and most recently Robert Sacre.

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14. Lorenzo Romar

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Lorenzo Romar

Romar has taken the Washington Huskies to the Sweet Sixteen three times since joining the school in 2002. He’s turned the program into a consistent contender in the Pac-12 and recruits have noticed the first round picks he’s helped produce over the year. A list that includes Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson, Spencer Hawes, Quincy Pondexter, and 2012 8th overall pickTerrence Ross.

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13. John Thompson III


John Thompson III

The coach of the Georgetown Hoyas has a better than 2-1 winning record since joining the team in 2004-05, along with a Final Four appearance under his belt. Georgetown might not be what it used to be, but it’s still a winning program and recruits like winning programs. Which is why Thompson has help produce first round picks like Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green and Greg Monroe.

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12. Thad Matta

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Thad Matta

Matta recruited once of the best classes ever for the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2006. Getting NBA first round picks Greg Oden, Daequan Cook and Mike Conley and taking them to the 2006-07 championship game before ultimately coming up short. Matta has been to the Final Four and Sweet Sixteen twice since then, and has help turn Evan Turner, Byron Mullens and Jared Sullinger into first round picks. Proving he can draw top talent to his program.

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11. Tom Crean


Tom Crean

Crean has made a big difference with the Indiana Hoosiers lately that has his team has become an early season title favorite. With the signing of ‘The Movement’ and the returning Cody Zeller, Hoosier fans have a lot to be excited about this season. Historically, Crean's most famous recruit would have to be two-time NBA champion and former Finals MVP, Dwyane Wade. Something he no doubt reminds his recruits about

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10. Ben Howland

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Ben Howland

After going to three straight Final Fours, the UCLA Bruins have struggled lately but things will change with the addition of Shabazz Muhammad. Howland proved he can still get quality recruits like he has in the past with players like Jrue Holiday, Darren Collison, Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.

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9. Rick Barnes

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Rick Barnes

Barnes has never missed the NCAA Tournament with the Texas Longhorns and has helped produce several NBA players. Highlighted by Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge, Barnes can bring the top talent to Texas.

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8. Tom Izzo

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Tom Izzo

Thirteen High School All-Americans have been recruited to the Michigan State Spartans by Izzo in his time with the school. Twelve of his players have gone on to the NBA with six being first round picks. He hasn’t missed the NCAA tournament since 1997 proving he knows how to balance success and recruiting.

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7. Billy Donovan

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Billy Donovan

Donovan has been recruiting top players for the Florida Gators since 1996 with players such as Mike Miller, David Lee, Udonis Haslem, Jason Williams, and 2012 third overall pick Bradley Beal. Donovan’s best moment came with his 2004 recruiting class that included Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Taurean Green. The four-some would lead the Gators to back-to-back National Championships in 2006 and 2007.

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6. Rick Pitino

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Rick Pitino

He might not produce NBA superstars but Pitino can recruit stars to his programs. The Louisville Cardinals Coach has helped Antoine Walker, Jamal Mashburn, Earl Clark, Terrence Williams and Francisco Garica, all reach their NBA dream. He is one of the most respected coaches in NCAA history and has no trouble recruiting to keep his school competitive.

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5. Bill Self

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Bill Self

Self has helped produce over 15 NBA players in just nine years with the Kansas Jayhawks, names that include Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush, the Morris brothers and Thomas Robinson. Self has no trouble convincing top talent with NBA potential to consider Kansas as an option.

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4. Jim Boeheim

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Jim Boeheim

The 2002 recruiting class Boeheim brought to the Syracuse Orange that featured Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara is all you need to know about his recruiting potential. The class led Boeheim to his only NCAA Championship in 2003. He’s produced several first round picks and recruits pay attention when the Orange come calling.

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3. Roy Williams


Roy Williams

At Kansas he’s coached Paul Pierce, Kirk Hinrich, Drew Gooden, Nick Collison and Raef LaFrentz. With the North Carolina Tar Heels he’s coached Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Raymond Felton, Danny Green and Harrison Barnes. Williams knows how to attract top talent and his 80% winning percentage is a big reason why.

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2. Mike Krzyzewski

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Mike Kryzewski

The Duke Blue Devils Coach has sent 41 players to the NBA including names like Grant Hill, Luol Deng, Corey Maggette, Elton Brand, Shane Battier and Kyrie Irving. With four NCAA Championships, Coach K won’t have any trouble recruiting top talent the remainder of his career. Irving and Austin Rivers proved that.

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1. John Calipari


John Calipari

Calipari is the current king of recruiting in college basketball. Some wonder how the Kentucky Wildcats Coach does it but the results are undeniable when you produce first overall picks like Derrick Rose, John Wall and Anthony Davis. He’s set for life walking into a teenager’s house with a picture of Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going first and second in last year’s draft. If you’re a top talent with NBA dreams, Calipari will call you and you will listen.