Ranking the Top 15 Recruiting Coaches in College Basketball
Top Recruiting Coaches in College Hoops
There have been many great coaches in college basketball over the years and there are many great coaches in the game today. This article will not be looking at coaches who have had the most success over the years, but coaches who have been the best at recruiting.
However, we will not be looking at the entire career of each coach. Instead, we will only look at their track record over the last couple of years.
There are currently so many great recruiters in college hoops and many coaches could have made this list. We will only be looking at the top 15 recruiters in the game today.
A couple of the coaches on this list are no-brainers. Spoiler alert: As much as some people may not like him, John Calipari is going to make this list. That tends to happen when Calipari just got done bringing in arguably the best recruiting class of all time.
He may be hated by a lot of people, but he is a great coach and one heck of a recruiter. Josh Pastner gets nowhere near the credit, which he shouldn’t, but you can bet that Pastner will be on this list as well.
Pastner has brought in plenty of solid recruits ever since taking over the head coaching job at Memphis.
One coach that is certainly on the rise is Billy Donovan. Donovan has done wonders for the Florida Gators and he is very quickly becoming one of the best recruiters and coaches in college basketball.
Well, find out who makes the cut in this ranking of the top 15 recruiting coaches in college basketball.
All of the recruiting class ranking information comes from ESPN.
15. Rick Barnes, Texas Longhorns
The Texas Longhorns probably should have done better the last couple of seasons, but Rick Barnes has brought in some solid recruits regardless.
Since 2010, Barnes has brought in players like Tristan Thompson, Myck Kabongo and Cameron Ridley. Those are just the five-star recruits he has brought in. 15 ESPN Top 100 players have also joined the team, which includes the 2014 class.
14. Tom Izzo, Michigan State Spartans
Tom Izzo gets the most out of his players. He may not be known as the best recruiter in college hoops, but he has done a great job over the years in that department.
Adrian Payne, Branden Dawson and Keith Appling may have not been five-stars, but they are three of the best players in the game today. Plus, they were four-stars and were in ESPN’s Top 100.
Gary Harris is arguably one of the most talented pickups by Izzo, but three other players in the 2012 class were four-stars. Harris was, of course, a five-star.
13. Rick Pitino, Louisville Cardinals
Louisville currently has one of the best recruiting classes for 2014. That tends to happen when four ESPN Top 100 players commit. The 2013 class was also considered one of the best in college basketball. ESPN deemed it the eighth best class.
Whether the case, Rick Pitino cannot only coach, he can recruit players as well.
12. John Beilein, Michigan Wolverines
Mitch McGary, Nik Stauskas, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III, Zak Irvin, Derrick Walton. Yeah, John Beilein has done an awesome job at recruiting as of late.
All of those players were highly rated recruits.
11. Josh Pastner, Memphis Tigers
The 2010 class was stacked with talent. Will Barton was the only five-star, but Josh Pastner did land four ESPN Top 100 recruits in all. In 2011, Pastner picked up Adonis Thomas, who was a five-star recruit. In 2012, Pastner picked up two more ESPN Top 100 players. The 2013 class features five ESPN Top 100 recruits and one five-star.
With that said, Pastner has had a lot of success in the recruiting department ever since taking over at Memphis. I think this is the year that the Tigers will finally prove that in the NCAA tournament, but that is a different story for a different day.
10. Scott Drew, Baylor Bears
Since 2010, Scott Drew has landed three five-star recruits (Perry Jones, Quincy Miller and Isaiah Austin). All three of those players were ranked in the top 10 of ESPN’s Top 100. Not too bad for a coach that finds himself under-the-radar.
9. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Orange
Syracuse may not have the most highly rated recruiting class every year, but it usually still has a very talented one, which is probably why this team competes for a national title on a yearly basis. Jim Boeheim being the head coach has a lot to do with it as well.
Since 2011, he has landed five-five star recruits, which includes the 2014 class.
8. Thad Matta, Ohio State Buckeyes
Thad Matta is easily one of the best recruiters in the game and a higher ranking in this article can surely be argued. Ohio State’s 2010 class was ranked No. 2 by ESPN, the 2011 class was ranked No. 6 and the 2014 class is currently ranked No. 3.
Matta managed to land Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas in 2010. Sullinger was ranked No. 2 in the class and Thomas was ranked No. 12. That one guy named Aaron Craft was also part of that same class.
Two five-star recruits are set to join in the 2014-15 season.
I could list amazing player after amazing player that Ohio State has landed, but then we would be here all day.
7. Tom Crean, Indiana Hoosiers
Tom Crean has landed some very talented players and the Indiana Hoosiers have had a lot of success over the last couple of years. Cody Zeller, Noah Vonleh and James Blackmon Jr. may be the only five-stars since 2011, but many other very talented players have joined the Hoosiers since that time.
6. Billy Donovan, Florida Gators
Whether if it is recruiting, coaching his team to a deep run in the NCAA tournament or whatever it might be, Billy Donovan is one of the best coaches in college basketball today.
Florida consistently has one of the best classes in college hoops and that will likely not change as long as Donovan is the coach. Donovan has only landed three five-stars since 2011, but he has also landed a bunch of four-star recruits and many ESPN Top 100 players.
The Gators have made three straight Elite Eight trips for a reason and it all starts with the recruits.
5. Sean Miller, Arizona Wildcats
Sean Miller made Arizona relevant again. I don’t care if he has not won a national championship with the school yet. The Wildcats would be nowhere near as good without him.
Miller has landed eight five-star recruits since 2011. That pretty much speaks for itself.
4. Roy Williams, North Carolina Tar Heels
Seven. That is the number of five-star recruits Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels have landed since 2010. That may be less than Arizona, but just listen to some of the players that Williams has recruited during that time.
Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock, Kendall Marshall, James Michael McAdoo, P.J. Hairston, Marcus Paige. All of those players were great for North Carolina and some of them are still having a lot of success with the team.
3. Bill Self, Kansas Jayhawks
Andrew Wiggins. Do I really have to say more? Wiggins may be the most talked about recruit ever. Bill Self managed to lure him to Kansas over schools like Kentucky and North Carolina.
Bill Self has also recruited six five-stars since 2010. Wiggins is arguably the most talented, but players like Ben McLemore did not do too bad (four-star recruit). May I remind you that the 2014 class features the No. 3 ranked player and the No. 10 ranked player in ESPN's Top 100.
2. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Blue Devils
Duke currently has the best class of 2014. That tends to happen when a program is set to get four-five stars. Not to mention, the No. 1 player in the class.
Kyrie Irving (five-star) may have not been the best Blue Devil of all time, but he sure was talented and is proving that in the NBA.
Duke has landed eight five-stars since 2010 and four of those players were/are ranked No. 3 or better in ESPN’s Top 100. You can’t forget about Jabari Parker. He is currently a freshman for Duke and could be the best player in college hoops--maybe Duke's most talented recruit of all time. Parker was being called the most talented player since LeBron James at one point. Just saying.
1. John Calipari, Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky has had the top recruiting class three out of the last five years. The school had the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in 2012 and it currently has the No. 2 ranked recruiting class for 2014.
John Calipari recruits the best talent. Nothing else.
17. That is the number of five-star recruits Calipari has landed since 2010. The 2013 class consisted of five-five stars alone.
Calipari is a mastermind at recruiting. No one, and yes, I mean no one, is as good of a recruiter as John Calipari.
Nerlens Noel, Julius Randle, Anthony Davis... I’ll just stop there.
In no way am I a Kentucky fan, but it is hard to deny the success that Calipari has had in the recruiting department ever since joining Kentucky. He is the best. It is as simple as that.