Household like Mr. Crean or Mr. Clean?

4 02 2008

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How stacked is the Big East in terms of basketball coaches?

I didn’t really think about it but the conference has a lot of household coaching names. Even more quality coaches are in its ranks.

Jim Calhoun (Connecticut) and Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) are both Hall of Famers already. Bobby Huggins (West Virginia) and Rick Pitino (Louisville) aren’t too far away from taking a trip to Springfield either.

I would venture to say that Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), John Thompson III (Georgetown), Tom Crean (Marquette) and Jay Wright (Villanova) are in that third-tier of coaches. All of them are excellent coaches and recruiters in their own right. Dixon and Thompson have really cemented their value in the past few years.

Stan Heath (South Florida) got a pretty raw deal while at Arkansas. The man coached his Razorbacks to two straight 20-win seasons and he gets the can. Granted, they imploded last year with the injury to Ronald Steele and they finished with a 7-9 conference record, Heath should have been cut some slack.

Mike Brey (Notre Dame) is also a very good coach, having amassed almost 250 wins and winning 65% of his games thus far.

And with some sport writers predicting that up to nine Big East squads qualify for the Big Dance, things are on the up-and-up for the super conference. Until March though, all twelve programs will jockey for positioning. Things are as wide open as Michael Strahan’s front teeth.

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