Monday, March 27, 2006

Ranking the SEC East head coaches

I'm looking at overall season not just what they did (or didn't do in the NCAA tournament (or NIT).

Bruce Pearl- I have to give him an A. 12-4 in conference play and big wins over Texas and Florida (2x) in his first year is quite an accomplishment. Say what you will about his antics he did a heck of a job this year. His team did disappoint in the SECT and NCAA, but overall what he's accomplished in a year is amazing.

Billy Donovan- Also an A. He lost his top 3 scorers and started out 17-0 (I believe) reaching as high as #2 in the rankings. The Gators went into a semi-tailspin in February, but rebounded with another SECT championship and as of now a trip to the Final Four.

Tubby Smith- I might be too hard on him, but IMO this year was a C-. Blowout losses to Indiana, Kansas and 4 home SEC losses is an oddity in Wildcat basketball. Even with Randolph Morris sneaking back (via fax found 6 months later) they struggled all year. They're Kentucky and should be better than that.

Dave Odom- C- as well. We might have to call Odom the king of the NIT if he wins it again. I can hear the fans i Columbia now... we're #66 2 years running. Yeay. The Gamecocks were up and down... beat the Gators twice, Bama, and lose at home to Vandy, swept by UGA. I expected more from Odom... he had success at Wake.

Dennis Felton- I give him a C just for having to clean up Harrick's mess. They play hard (or overly physical depending on your view), but lack the talent to keep up with the upper echelon of the SEC. I think we know more about his abilities as a HC next season.

Kevin Stallings- It's Vandy and they don't care about sports... C. They were competitive in just about every SEC game, but lacked the killer instinct to win. Stallings is a good HC, but he'll need more talent to compete in the SEC East.

Comments/complaints welcome.


Anonymous said...

No real disagreements with your rankings. Donovan probably gets an A+ for the making the final four. I believe those tough road losses in Fayetteville and Tuscaloosa gave them the toughness to handle 'Nova.

Carolina fans have to be in a quandry. Odom can't get them to the NCAAs anymore but they seem to fall just short and then dominate the NIT. I'm sure they'd rather be in the NCAA. I think Odom and Stallings are on the hot seat next year. Both really need to make the big tourney.

Here would be my SEC west grades:

Brady - A (14-2 in SEC plus final 4)

Gottfried - B+ (taken down a notch b/c of performance WITH Chuck)

Heath - B- (outstanding run at the end to save his job but loss to Bucknell takes him down)

$tandsfield - C+ (horrible start but competitive at the end given key personnel losses)

Lebo - C (really no clue)

Evans - D (expected more this year with good incoming class)

bobbyjack said...

Odom might be on the hot seat as well. The NIT isn't what Gamecock fans desire.

As for your west rankings... I'd give Heath a C despite his late season run to the tourney. They lost quite a few close games and many of them were lost due to bad decision-making by him and his staff. Arkansas has higher expectations than an 8 seed.