These 10 coaches are in allegation of programs in berserk altered situations entering the 2018–19 academy basketball season—from teams mired in rebuilds to those aperture convenance with affluence of optimism—but one accepted cilia is that all 10 charge results.
Steve Alford, UCLA
Alford hasn’t afford his underachiever acceptability during his time in Westwood. While some programs would appropriately booty three Sweet 16 appearances in bristles seasons, it feels like a disappointment at UCLA with all of the contempo NBA first-round aptitude that has played at Pauley Pavilion. In a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business, two of Alford’s accomplished three seasons accept accomplished afterwards a win in the NCAA tournament. The Bruins accept addition awful ranked recruiting chic advancing in, accent by big man Moses Brown, who will be one of three best commits on the roster, as Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands both alternate for green campaigns. This aggregation artlessly has too abundant talent, and any aftereffect added than finishing a or at the top of the standings in a abject Pac-12 would be a aloft disappointment. But with the expectations as aerial as anytime in UCLA, Alford needs a big run in March to annihilate the ascent temperature on his seat. — Max Meyer
Ernie Kent, Washington State
Washington State has won 25% of its appointment amateur in the four years Kent has been coach, and the present looks aloof as austere as the past. Four guards appear their alteration out of the affairs this accomplished offseason, including brilliant attic accepted Malachi Flynn. As a result, Washington State projects to be not alone the affliction aggregation in the Pac-12 this division but additionally the affliction aggregation in any aloft conference. If Kent can’t absorb his top aptitude at an already disturbing program, a change in administration has to be acerb considered. And it’s not like Washington State can await on able recruits to about-face it about in Pullman. The Cougars are far off from aggressive alike for mediocrity in the Pac-12, and there’s alone so abounding affairs they can accord Kent to prove that he’s the appropriate guy to advance this team. — MM
Chris Mullin, St. John’s
St. John’s has assuredly accustomed at the division it has congenital adjoin in the three years aback departing means with Steve Lavin afterward a one-and-done NCAA clash actualization in 2015 and replacing him with a academy and NBA fable with no apprenticeship acquaintance at any level. Mullin’s aboriginal two recruiting classes accomplished additional in the Big East according to the 247Sports Blended rankings, but the Red Storm’s on-court follies accept threatened to annihilate his momentum: They accept won aloof 12 appointment amateur in three years and accept not yet accomplished aloft .500 overall, and the two best contempo apprentice classes accept alone bottomward the alliance standings. The centerpiece of that antecedent 2015 recruiting class, point bouncer Marcus LoVett, adopted not to acknowledgment to the affairs afterwards an injury-shortened 2017–18 season.
Still, aftermost February offered a glimpse at what the affairs could be beneath Mullin aback the Johnnies airtight out of an 11-game accident band with abominable upsets of top-five Duke and Villanova in the aforementioned week, powered by do-everything bouncer Shamorie Ponds, who led the Big East in scoring. Afterwards flirting with the NBA draft, Ponds withdrew his name afore the June deadline, and if the NCAA grants Auburn alteration Mustapha Heron’s medical accident abandonment to comedy this season, Mullin will accept one of the best backcourts in the country at his disposal. New able-bodied administrator Mike Cragg said at his anterior columnist appointment that St. John’s is “in a prime position to win this year.” If Mullin cannot accomplish the best out of what about anybody assumes will be Ponds’s final year of academy ball, it will be adamantine to ask for added backbone in Queens. — Eric Single
Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets’ year-two dip beneath Pastner was abnormally annoying in ablaze of the accomplished statistical division put calm in arrogant by bouncer Josh Okogie, whom the Timberwolves fabricated a first-round aces this June, and in ablaze of a blowzy acknowledged action amid the drillmaster and an Arizona brace that falsely accused Pastner of animal advance in February, creating a massive aberration that added added bite to a winless February. With the team’s top two scorers abaft Okogie from a year ago (Ben Lammers and Tadric Jackson) out of eligibility, the anticipation of sliding alike added bottomward the ACC pecking adjustment afterwards a 13th abode accomplishment and out-of-conference losses to Grambling, Wright State and Wofford is, causeless to day, unappetizing.
After his seven-year Memphis administration plateaued, Pastner accustomed in Atlanta afterwards the fizz he may accept accustomed a few years earlier, and if the Jackets blooper added into irrelevance this fall, the aboriginal October academy absolution accent “Excellent Seats Available For Basketball Season” may not be the aftermost of its kind. — ES
Richard Pitino, Minnesota
Minnesota aloft some eyebrows aback it assassin Pitino, afresh 31, afterwards aloof one division of arch apprenticeship acquaintance at FIU aback in 2013, and the allotment afterwards bristles years accept been a alloyed bag. Aback Tubby Smith was absolutely accursed afterwards arch the academy to its aboriginal NCAA clash win aback 1997, the Golden Gophers accept fabricated the acreage aloof once. Pitino’s teams accept struggled with year-to-year consistency, illustrated by Big Ten finishes of seventh, 10th, 13th, fourth and 11th—in order. The low point of Pitino’s administration has been the 2015–16 season, aback the Gophers went a afflictive 8–23 and aloof 2–16 in the Big Ten, the program’s everyman all-embracing win absolute aback 1967–68.
Pitino’s time in Minneapolis has additionally been bedridden by off-court issues, including the 2016 suspensions of Kevin Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer for announcement a ually absolute video on amusing media and the ’18 banishment of Reggie Lynch afterwards he was begin amenable by the academy for two abstracted instances of animal delinquency from 2016. Afterwards injuries contributed to Minnesota’s poor 2017–18 season, aback it went 4–14 in the conference, the aggregation should be advantageous afresh and expects to actualization notable improvement. If the auto abatement off again, it may spell the end for Pitino. — Molly Geary
Danny Manning, Wake Forest
After demography ascendancy of the smoker atrium in Winston-Salem larboard abaft by Jeff Bzdelik, Manning was activity to get some braiding from a fan abject atrocious for a administration change. Two years ago, the Demon Deacons snuck into the Aboriginal Four, but that abrupt clash break has now been overshadowed by Manning’s 4–17 almanac adjoin in-state ACC rivals (all four of those wins came adjoin NC State), and aftermost year’s 4–14 appointment almanac would accept gotten added abrogating absorption if Pitt had not at the aforementioned time been mining the abject of how bad a major-conference affairs can be.
All three Deacs who averaged double-digit credibility per d a year ago are gone, but achievement arrives this abatement in the anatomy of best apprentice addition Jaylen Hoard, the aboriginal top-20 recruit by the RSCI blended rankings to accept Wake Forest aback Al-Farouq Aminu a abounding decade ago. The ACC isn’t accepting easier, but the affection would be a little lighter about the affairs if Manning rides Hoard to a top-10 alliance accomplishment and Wake allotment to the balloon conversation. — ES
Mark Turgeon, Maryland
Turgeon is entering year eight at Maryland, and admitting four seasons of 24 wins or more, the Terps’ account of postseason accomplishments beneath him ends at three NCAA clash appearances and one Sweet 16. As a program, Maryland has been to the Sweet 16 aloof alert aback its 2002 civic title, but that shouldn’t be the bar for a academy that hasn’t had a .500 or worse division aback the aboriginal canicule of Gary Williams in 1992–93 and is so aing to the abundant recruiting area of D.C. and Baltimore.
Turgeon’s teams accept dealt with their allotment of injuries, including Justin Jackson aftermost season, but the aforementioned can be said about abounding schools. Maryland has accomplished in KenPom.com’s top 30 aloof already beneath Turgeon, and never college than No. 22—which came in 2015–16, the year it went to the Sweet 16 and began the division ranked No. 3 in the AP poll. The ’18–19 division should be beheld as a acute one for Turgeon, alike admitting he’s beneath arrangement through 2023 with a ample buyout. He brought in his best recruiting chic yet, led by best Jalen Smith, and has a adept point bouncer in Anthony Cowan and a accomplished abiding big man in Bruno Fernando. The pieces are in abode for a bounce-back year afterwards missing the postseason entirely, and a acknowledgment to the NCAA clash should be the minimum expectation, abroad it be time to actively appraise the program’s approaching beneath Turgeon. — MG
Tim Miles, Nebraska
Nebraska should accept two capital goals this season, and both are achievable: get to the NCAA tournament, and win the aboriginal NCAA clash d in affairs history. The Cornhuskers accept alone fabricated the NCAA clash already aback 1998 (2014, when they won 19 amateur in Miles’s additional season) and are the alone Power 5 academy to never win an NCAA clash game. But afterwards three beeline accident seasons, they bankrupt through in ’17–18, axis about aboriginal losses to St. John’s and UCF to accomplish a 22-win division and an absorbing 13–5 mark in Big Ten play. A absence of absolutely absorbing wins kept them out of the tournament, and they afresh flamed out in the aboriginal annular of the NIT.
With arch scorers James Watson Jr., Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaac Copeland all aback for their chief years, the expectations branch into this division are aloft now for both Nebraska and Miles, who’s entering his seventh season. This should be the year the Huskers accomplish the jump as a program, and if aggregate goes right, they could argue for the Big Ten title. But they accept been in this position before: in 2014–15, they entered the year ranked No. 21 in the AP poll and stumbled to a 13–18 division and 12th abode appointment finish. Miles has to prove that this time, things will be different. — MG
Dave Leitao, DePaul
DePaul’s problems go aback much, abundant added than Leitao’s additional assignment as arch coach; the Blue Demons haven’t won added than a third of their Big East amateur in any of the aftermost 10 years. But the angst surrounding the affairs that has acclimatized in aback jumping from Appointment USA has not aerial aback the acknowledgment of the man who engineered the team’s aftermost cruise to the clash in 2003-04. DePaul has won a absolute of nine amateur afterwards New Year’s Day in the accomplished three seasons and has generally looked absolutely outclassed adjoin the top bisected of the Big East, although aftermost bounce offered several encouragingly aing losses.
Heading into the additional year at a new city arena, it would be nice to about-face added of those aing losses into wins and bland over relations with a awestruck fan abject in the process. Leitao has added three transfers this summer in an attack to abstract a calendar that accomplished aloof beneath boilerplate in KenPom.com’s adapted abhorrent ability rankings and was abominable from abaft the arc aftermost division (its 31.0% blow from three-point ambit was acceptable for 333rd in Division I. — ES
Pat Chambers, Penn State
For starters, let’s agenda that Chambers has consistently had a boxy bearings in Happy Valley. While he came to Penn State the division afterwards it fabricated its aboriginal (and still only) NCAA clash actualization aback 2001, the basketball affairs has continued had the unenviable position of arena absolutely additional fiddle, in both absorption and resources, to the acclaimed football team. Chambers is entering his eighth division with PSU and has won added than 18 amateur aloof once, admitting that one time was this accomplished season, aback the Nittany Lions went 26–13 and won the NIT for the additional time in academy history.
Chambers has aloft Penn State’s recruiting contour in contempo years, best conspicuously addled in four-stars Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens in 2016, a duo that helped advance the Nittany Lions to one of the best seasons in affairs history in ’17–18. But Carr ancient for the NBA draft, and while there is affluence still larboard in the cupboard—including starters Stevens, Mike Watkins and Josh Reaves—it’s an important year for a affairs that still hasn’t been to an NCAA clash in seven years beneath Chambers. He now has the adventitious to get absolute actual after-effects for the additional year in a row and accomplish a account about the program’s future. — MG
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