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Gregg Marshall, Billy Donovan among finalists for Naismith Coach of the Year award

Mar 20, 2014, 6:31 PM EST

MVC Missouri St Wichita St Basketball AP

Thursday afternoon the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced its five finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year award, with Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and Florida’s Billy Donovan among the five finalists.

The other three finalists for the award, with the winner to be announced on April 6 in Dallas, are Michigan’s John Beilein, Virginia’s Tony Bennett and SMU’s Larry Brown. Of the five finalists four won at least their conference’s regular season title, with three of those four (Bennett, Donovan and Marshall) pulling off the regular season/tournament conference title double.

Brown is the only finalist whose team did not reach the NCAA tournament, with the Mustangs being one of the last teams left out of the field. SMU began Postseason NIT play with a win over UC Irvine on Wednesday.

Both Brown and Bennett have won this award in the past, with Brown doing so in 1988 after leading Kansas to the national title and Bennett doing so at Washington State in 2007.

  1. mt10425 - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    How stupid. To have coaches whose teams were supposed to be good (Wichita State &Florida) on the list is insulting to coaches with teams with little expectations of success. Larry Brown should win over Steve Fisher.

    • shockertalk - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:44 PM

      I can kinda see your point with Florida. Billy’s team has been to the elite 8 the last 3 years and the seniors were picked to get back there agains.

      But, although WSU figured to be good, NOBODY figured they would be 34-0 good. They lost a lot of starting player-time to graduation. Top scorer and big man, Carl Hall graduated. Senior point guard, Malcolm Armstead graduated. In addition, all the heighth they had, 7 ft. Orupke graduated, along with first of the bench Demetric Williams. This year’s team is on 6’9″ at its tallest, so different strategies had to be put in place. A Juco transfer had to be trained on the system so he could contribute substantially. So, all this change, and adaption, plus an undefeated season make Coach Marshall’s nomination anything but “stupid”.

  2. mt10425 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    Okay, Marshall should finish third. Point taken.

    • shockertalk - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      mt10425,
      No, pointssssssss ignored!
      Top scorer replaced. Senior point guard replaced. Center not replaced but adjusted to. 34-0 record for only the second time in NCAA history. Man, these Shockers just can’t get any respect. Marshall is coach of the year hands down.

  3. ollie33613 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    WHY WOULD BILLY NOT BE COACH OF THE YEAR? HE’S DONE EVERYTHING BUT DRIVE THE TEAM BUS, AND MIGHT HAVE DONE THAT. ON A SERIOUS NOTE, I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY EVERY BODY HATES A WINNING COACH, AND A WINNING PROGRAM (GATOR MEN’S BASKETBALL). I GUESS FOR THE SAME REASON PEOPLE HATED THE OLD NEW YORK YANKEES, WHEN THEY WERE WINNERS. REGARDLESS, IF BILLY ISN’T COACH OF THE YEAR, THEN DON’T GIVE OUT THE AWARD.

  4. mt10425 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Calm down Ollie, no need to yell. BD has some of the best talent every year. He should win. When he has teams that aren’t picked preseason to win the conference or finish in the top three, but excels beyond those expectations, he should be considered for a great coaching year. However, there are coaches who actually had to coach less talented rosters. SMU came from complete obscurity, as mentioned, WS overcame huge roster changes and went undefeated. SDSU was picked to finish fourth in the conference because it was supposed to be a rebuilding year but won the conference. 29-4, two losses to #7 seed New Mexico (with a win against them too) and one to Arizona. Fisher is not even on the list.

  5. mt10425 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    The real surprising thing is the list omits Coach K because he had to play with a freshman and Self because…well, just because it’s Kansas.

  6. lionscountrynorth - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    This is a joke. Tim Miles took a Nebraska team who was picked last in the best conference in the country and finished fourth and winning 10 of 12 to end the year. Billy Donovan? Why not Pitino or Coach K. Dumb.

    • chumthumper - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      Agree. I am of the opinion COY should go to the guy who has little or nothing and makes it into something. Miles certainly did that. I guess someone figured he had already been thrown a bone with conference Co-COY.

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