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ZagNative
02-07-2017, 12:42 PM
From Luke Winn, for SI: (http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/02/07/coach-year-candidates-mark-few-scott-drew-sean-miller)

Five ways of evaluating coach of the year candidates

“Who should win Coach of the Year?” is reliably the most debatable topic in college basketball, mostly because the criteria are even more debatable than the résumés. There are conflicting philosophies that contend it should be a which-coach-has-the-best-team award, an overcoming-“adversity” award, an outperforming-expectations award, and so on. Whom you vote for is mostly determined by what you believe the rules are. Thus my February breakdown of the race is not a singular list, but Five Ways of Looking at Coach of the Year:

I. The Most Mainstream Approach: Blending Team Performance with Degree of Difficulty

1. Mark Few, Gonzaga. TV-panel debates over COY have tilted heavily toward Baylor’s Scott Drew and Arizona’s Sean Miller, but Few has emerged as the most logical candidate. He lost two NBA frontcourt players (Domas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer) and two senior glue guys (Eric McClellan and Kyle Dranginis) from last year’s Sweet 16 team, and has managed to put out an even better product in 2016–17, ranking No. 1 in the polls, and in kenpom.com’s efficiency ratings, while remaining undefeated into February. Few seamlessly integrated three major-conference transfers (Nigel Williams-Goss, Jordan Mathews, Johnathan Williams) with pro aspirations into his rotation—that’s not always an easy thing to pull off, chemistry-wise—and they’re all playing at higher levels than they did at their previous destinations.


III. Defying the Preseason Polls

This is the approach that measures success versus human expectations—specifically, the voting points a coach’s team received in the latest AP poll versus its voting points in the preseason poll from October. In this case, there are four coaches who have a gain of at least 700 AP voting points from the preseason:

1. Scott Drew, Baylor (Preseason votes: 0, Current: 1,255): I covered most of Drew’s case above, but not a single poll voter believed in the Bears in the preseason, and they’ve leapt to elite in a matter of months.

2. Mark Few, Gonzaga (Preseason votes: 699, Current: 1,619—a +920 gain): The Zags were 14th in the preseason AP poll, due to some natural skepticism of the loss of leading scorers Wiltjer and Sabonis. It was, obviously, less of a problem than voters expected.

I can't think of anything that would make me happier for my Zags - aside from a national championship, of course!

DixieZag
02-07-2017, 01:16 PM
We've talked about disrespect in the press, discounting us b/c of the WCC. I don't think it's nearly as bad this year. But, THIS is where I could get really offended if Few isn't at the very top of that list. He's replaced 2 serious NBA guys and 4 out of 5 of his starting line-up. And, I'm not sure he could have a better resume.

MickMick
02-07-2017, 02:00 PM
The winningest coach, who has never failed to qualify for post season, yet has not already won COY, shows me all I need to know.

If anything, last season was probably his best coaching performance.

Shoulda won it long ago.

gonzagafan62
02-07-2017, 02:17 PM
Awesome piece

U Zig, I Zag
02-07-2017, 02:27 PM
Sean Miller pops up in the convo every year (perhaps rightfully so) but doesn't he get quality players? Doesn't AZ have good recruiting classes all the time? They haven't been to FF since '01 and certainly Miller didn't take them there... I wonder if they get bagged on by the fans/media? Seacat?

Ezag
02-07-2017, 03:03 PM
Sean Miller pops up in the convo every year (perhaps rightfully so) but doesn't he get quality players? Doesn't AZ have good recruiting classes all the time? They haven't been to FF since '01 and certainly Miller didn't take them there... I wonder if they get bagged on by the fans/media? Seacat?

Yeah they are usually up their in the tops for recruiting year after year. What Mark has done is much more impressive, year in and year out.