10 College Basketball Coaches Who Could Go Pro

10 College Basketball Coaches Who Could Go Pro

Brad Stevens Celtics
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The NBA season is just about ready to come to a close, and while all of the talk now surrounds whether Miami can three-peat or not, another hidden story is which teams will change head coaches.

Every year rumors swirl about prospective college coaches making the jump to the NBA, and last year Brad Stevens left Butler to join the Boston Celtics. Here are 10 college basketball coaches who could go pro this year.

10. Sean Miller

Sean Miller Arizona
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10. Sean Miller

Sean Miller Arizona
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A coach who has risen atop the college basketball world, Arizona's Sean Miller is starting to establish himself as an elite coach in college basketball. In his short tenure at Arizona, Miller has turned the Wildcats back into a national power.

Miller was so close to reaching his first Final Four and the Wildcats would likely have won it all if Brandon Ashley didn't get hurt at mid-season. Miller is only going to go up from here on out.

9. Thad Matta

Thad Matta Ohio State
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9. Thad Matta

Thad Matta Ohio State
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Despite some lean years recently at Ohio State, Thad Matta's history of coaching future NBA players would make him a good candidate to jump to the NBA. Matta has coached players like Evan Turner, Mike Conley Jr. and Greg Oden.

Matta's tenure is starting to go on the decline at Ohio State as he has not been able to recruit the blue-chip players he used to have at the school.

8. Fred Hoiberg

Fred Hoiberg Iowa State
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8. Fred Hoiberg

Fred Hoiberg Iowa State
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Fred Hoiberg has quietly turned Iowa State back into a contender after several lean years. If not for Georges Niang's injury in the tournament, Iowa State would have had a great chance to reach the Final Four.

Hoiberg's experience as an NBA player and his recent run of success at Iowa State makes him a great candidate to make the jump to the pros.

7. Kevin Ollie

Kevin Ollie Connecticut
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7. Kevin Ollie

Kevin Oiilie Connecticut
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Kevin Ollie turned around a powerhouse that was banned from postseason tournaments and made the Connecticut Huskies National Champions in only his second year on the job.

Much like Hoiberg, Ollie's experience as an NBA player has helped him at the college ranks and would translate well to the NBA scene.

6. Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan Florida
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6. Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan Florida
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Billy Donovan already had an offer to join the Orlando Magic after his back-to-back championships at Florida in 2006 and 2007, but he declined and has stayed at Florida.

After four consecutive Elite Eight appearances and a Final Four appearance this past season with four seniors, Donovan most likely will be going through a minor re-building project this year with Florida. If ever there was a time to jump, it would be now for Donovan.

5. Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo Michigan State
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5. Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo Michigan State
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Much like Donovan, Michigan State's Tom Izzo has been rumored for both the Cavaliers and the Pistons head coaching positions. Again, like Donovan, Izzo has not been able to reclaim the championship magic that he earned in 2000.

With the Pistons job all but open now, Izzo would be hard pressed to ignore this opening.

4. Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino Louisville
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4. Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino Louisville
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Rick Pitino flopped as a coach for the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics in the 1980s and 1990s, but after cementing his place among the best of all time, Pitino would be an excellent fit for an NBA team in the near future.

Pitino's shot at back-to-back championships came to an end after losing to Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Much like the other coaches on this list, Pitino is losing many great players this year.

3. Larry Brown

Larry Brown SMU
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3. Larry Brown

Larry Brown SMU
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As the master of flip-flopping and quick exits, Larry Brown turned SMU into the NIT Champions this past year after a long stretch of losing for the Mustangs.

It would be no surprise to anyone if Brown spent another year or two at SMU and then decided to jump back into the NBA with the right situation in place.

2. Mike Krzyzewski

Mike Krzyzewski Duke
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2. Mike Krzyzewski

Mike Krzyzewski Duke
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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had seriously considered joining the Lakers in 2004 after Phil Jackson retired but smartly stayed at Duke. Coach K has accomplished everything at Duke, and sometime soon the urge must be there for him to join the professional ranks.

Krzyzewski's teams in recent years have struggled in the NCAA Tournament, getting upset by double-digit seeds Lehigh and Mercer.

1. John Calipari

John Calipari Kentucky
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1. John Calipari

John Calipari Kentucky
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The coach who has sent more one-and-done players to the NBA since the rule was adopted, Kentucky's John Calipari, is repeatedly a target for NBA teams despite not having success in his first stint in the NBA.

Whether the rumors of Calipari joining the Lakers are true or not, the speculation will still swirl around the coach from now until he retires or jumps back into the NBA.

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  • IndyMike

    Most of these guys would be crazy to leave their college jiobs for the pros. Brad Stevens was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and took it. There aren’t very many of those around. Guys like Izzo and Coach K can still teach young players the right way to play the game. There is very little teaching in the NBA because the players don’t want to listen. It’s one thing to go from a program like Butler to the Celtics but what would the pros have to offer that Duke, Florida or MSU couldn’t?