After posting Jeff Goodman's pre-season Coach of the Year...(Jeff Capel)...I'm now wondering what qualifications could even be used to predict how a coach will do during an upcoming season. It just makes zero sense to make such a prediction. How a coach handles adversity with injuries or losses, or how they continue to encourage their team on a winning streak to keep up the momentum, or how they handle drawing up a play to win a game with 2 seconds left; these are all things that are impossible to know beforehand.
So instead, I'm polling to see which coach you think has done the best job of improving their team over the summer. Aspects include recruiting, hiring/firing of assistants, player or personnel discipline, these are a few things that can be gauged in logic...not prediction.
The only rule is that you cannot vote for your favorite team's coach.
Since I went to Baylor, I'll let others make the obvious argument on how Scott Drew has made Baylor the most improved team in the conference this summer.
My pick has to go to Rick Barnes. Not only did he coax Dexter Pittman and Damion James to stay one more year, but he's brought in what could turn out the be the best recruiting class in Texas history.
Yes, better than Terrance Rencher or Luke Axtell's classes under Penders. Better than Durant and Augustine.
First , you have two 5-stars in Jordan Hamilton (who might not even start) and Avery Bradley, who could be Texas' best overall player this year.
Shawn Williams and the recently cleared J'Covan Brown make for nice back-ups to Bradley and Hamilton off the bench.
Throw in Florida transfer Jai Lucas (aka JL4), and you suddenly have a Lucas/Bradley/Hamilton (or Johnson)/James/Pittman starting lineup.
Think about that.
With senior Just Mason, Williams, Brown, Johnson or Hamilton, a healthy Wangmene, an improving Clint Chapman off the bench...along with Balbay, (who might, but probably won't beat out JL4 at point) and now you have a second set that could strongly compete as its own team in the Big 12. Even a major injury, or two, and the Horns will still be a factor in the title chase.