November 7, 2010

Preseason Power Rankings: Coaches

MORE RANKINGS: Point guard | Shooting guard | Small forward | Power forward | Center | Freshmen

He won a national title last season and has his team atop the rankings to open this season.

So it should come as no surprise that Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is the No. 1 coach in the preseason edition of the Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

Duke went 35-5 last season and won its fourth national title under Krzyzewski. He also led the Blue Devils to championships in 1991, '92 and '01.

Krzyzewski is 868-279 in 35 seasons and heads into the 2010-11 season needing 35 wins to become the winningest basketball coach in Division I history.

The power rankings consider career achievements as well as recent performances. The top five coaches on our list all have won national championships.

Here are the top 25 coaches entering the season.

1. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: Krzyzewski did some of the finest work of his career last season while winning his fourth national title with a team that probably wasn't one of the three or four most-talented in the country. He should become the winningest coach in Division I history late this season or early next season.

2. Tom Izzo, Michigan State: Izzo has one national title and six Final Four appearances to his credit. He managed to get back to the Final Four last season even after star PG Kalin Lucas was hurt in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

3. Roy Williams, North Carolina: Williams is coming off a disappointing season, but he still has led the Tar Heels to two national titles. He has reached the Final Four seven times with Kansas and North Carolina.

4. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse: Boeheim posted his NCAA-record 32nd 20-win season last season while leading Syracuse to a 30-5 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. He has 829 career wins to rank second among all active Division I coaches.

5. Bill Self, Kansas: Self has won one national title and six consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships at Kansas. He's one of four coaches in Division I history to take three schools (Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas) to a regional final.

6. Bob Huggins, West Virginia: Huggins won a regional final with West Virginia last season to make his first Final Four appearance since he was at Cincinnati in 1992. He has won 670 games at five schools (Walsh, Akron, Cincinnati, Kansas State and West Virginia).

7. John Calipari, Kentucky: This master recruiter has shown he's a premier tutor of point guards. The past two NBA Rookies of the Year (Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans) played for Calipari in Memphis. His most recent point guard, John Wall, was the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft.

8. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut: Although he's coming off an extremely disappointing season, Calhoun has as good a track record as just about anyone in the game. Calhoun has 823 career wins, two national titles and a third Final Four appearance.

9. Rick Pitino, Louisville: Pitino remains the only coach in history to lead three schools (Providence, Kentucky and Louisville) to the Final Four. Louisville made back-to-back regional final appearances in 2008 and '09 before losing in the first round of last season's NCAA tournament.

10. Thad Matta, Ohio State: Matta has won at least 20 games in each of his 10 seasons as a coach. He is 156-54 in six seasons at Ohio State and reached the NCAA championship game in 2007.

11. Gary Williams, Maryland: The winningest coach in Maryland history won a share of the ACC regular-season title last season. Williams won a national title at Maryland in 2002 and also reached the Final Four in 2001.

12. Billy Donovan, Florida: Donovan hasn't won an NCAA tournament game in the past three seasons, but he led the Gators to back-to-back national titles in 2006 and '07 and also reached the Final Four in 2000. He has a team equipped to go on a long NCAA tournament run this season.

13. Brad Stevens, Butler: He didn't exactly capitalize on a favorable draw while leading Butler to the NCAA title game last season. The Bulldogs won consecutive games against Syracuse, Kansas State and Michigan State before falling to Duke.

14. Mike Anderson, Missouri: His fast tempo is particularly effective in March, when he faces opponents unaccustomed to that pace. Missouri advanced to a regional final in 2009 and pulled a first-round upset in last season's NCAA tournament.

15. Jay Wright, Villanova: Wright has produced six consecutive 20-win seasons at Villanova, including a Final Four appearance in 2009. The Wildcats have gone 69-33 in Big East play during that six-year stretch.

16. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh: Dixon's 188 career wins has tied an all-time NCAA Division I record for the most by any coach in his first seven seasons. His .696 winning percentage in Big East games is the best in conference history.

17. Mark Few, Gonzaga: Few has led Gonzaga to 10 consecutive West Coast Conference regular-season titles. The return of four starters could help Few lead Gonzaga to a second Sweet 16 appearance in three seasons.

18. Matt Painter, Purdue: Painter helped Purdue reach the Sweet 16 last season even after an injury to star forward Robbie Hummel. His 112-56 mark in his five-season tenure at Purdue suggests he can make sure the Boilers overcome an injury to Hummel once again this season.

19. Bo Ryan, Wisconsin: Ryan's .764 career winning percentage ranks behind only North Carolina's Roy Williams among active coaches with at least 600 wins. His .713 career winning percentage in Big Ten games is the best in league history.

20. Tubby Smith, Minnesota: Three years into his Minnesota tenure, Smith has led the Gophers to back-to-back NCAA tournament berths. Minnesota won just nine games the season before his arrival. Smith has won 450 career games and led Kentucky to a national title in 1998.

21. Ben Howland, UCLA: Howland would have ranked much higher on this list if UCLA hadn't finished below .500 last season. Howland led UCLA to three consecutive Final Four appearances from 2006-08.

22. Mike Montgomery, California: Montgomery led California to its first Pac-10 title in a half-century last season. He owns a 593-266 career record and has been named Pac-10 coach of the year four times.

23. Scott Drew, Baylor: Drew took over a program that was in shambles and gradually has built Baylor into a winner. He has led Baylor to three consecutive 20-win seasons, including a regional final appearance last season.

24. Frank Martin, Kansas State: We use these rankings to reward recent performances as well as career achievements, so we can't overlook how Martin led the Wildcats to a regional final appearance. Kansas State got plenty of criticism for hiring Martin. Nobody's complaining anymore.

25. Sean Miller, Arizona: Miller is 136-62 in six seasons as a coach. He sent Xavier to four consecutive NCAA tournaments before moving to Arizona before last season. Arizona went 16-15 last season, but Miller earned plenty of praise for the Wildcats' steady improvement.

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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