SBJ/April 10-16, 2017/Colleges

If you’ve got to win one game, who would be your coach?

Editor’s note: This is part of our sports media roundtable from the Final Four. For the main portion, click here.

O’NEIL: Can I say Brad Stevens?

WOLKEN: No, he’s in the NBA.

O’NEIL: This is my own little world. I’m taking Brad Stevens.

ELMORE: I would start with Tony Bennett. He’s in a tough neighborhood and with the academics, he’s not going to get the same kids Kentucky gets. Yet, he maintains a high-level program and, more importantly, I’ve seen him run some guys off that didn’t want to go to class.

CULPEPPER: Billy Donovan.

O’NEIL: I’d throw out another name that doesn’t come up a lot: Mike Brey. They’re always good. He’s very human, I would trust my kid with him.

WOLKEN: No one is going to mention Mark Few?

BOIVIN: Yeah, I would say Mark Few.

FORDE: I might say (Tom) Izzo. I know he’s a little crazy, but …

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo was top of mind as a go-to coach for several of our panelists.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES


ELMORE: Stay king of your castle.

WOLKEN: The more interesting question is when we’ll see a female coach in the men’s college game.

O’NEIL: Mark Hollis.

WOLKEN: He’s going to be a little bit stained with what’s going on with the sexual assaults.

O’NEIL: Before, I would have said Jeremy Foley.

ELMORE: I’d take Gene Smith.

WOLKEN: Gene is very good.

ELMORE: Gene runs a huge program.

WOLKEN: Whit Babcock is a young administrator who’s super, super sharp and absolutely knows what he’s doing. He could be the AD anywhere he wants to be.

BOIVIN: Just because I’ve seen him up close at Arizona, I’d say Greg Byrne. I’ve seen how he treats people behind the scenes.

WOLKEN: I’d put Chris Del Conte in there as well.

Podcast highlights from the discussion:


FORDE: For basketball?

WOLKEN: Izzo.

CULPEPPER: Saban.

O’NEIL: Krzyzewski.

BOIVIN: Izzo, too.

ELMORE: Pitino.

CULPEPPER: I’ll switch to Pitino.


At the Final Four, ‘It’s hard not to look around and think money’

CULPEPPER: We have an entire position that does nothing but that. It’s supposed to be general, but for him, it’s turned out to be a lot about college sports.

BOIVIN: At ASU, we now have specific classes on the business of sports that were never there before. And these are to educate journalists for their jobs because the business is changing so much. In my class, we’ve talked about salary caps and DraftKings and virtual reality. It’s a big emphasis now.

ELMORE: It’s allowed me to take some of the stuff from the Knight Commission or teaching or my legal expertise and bring that to television broadcasts and have it be relevant.

FORDE: I should probably cover it more. When you come to these events, it’s hard not to look around and think money. You walk into the locker rooms and they have graphics covering the whole thing.

WOLKEN: I know, what do you think that cost? $20,000?

O’NEIL: At least, and you’ve got them up for just a few days. Fatheads and everything else.

FORDE: That’s all I thought about was how much did all this cost?

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