Bubble teams, coach of the year candidates
by Nicole Auerbach and Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to the weekly college hoops mailbag. We’re getting closer and closer to Selection Sunday, meaning more and more of you are getting nervous about your team’s chances of dancing. We’ll help sort that stuff out for you, and we’ll also discuss some of the bigger picture college basketball news as well.
Onto this week’s Q’s:
Andrew Geiger: The Georgetown Hoyas are one of the hottest teams in the country, having won 8 in a row and amazingly are 10-1 without Greg Whittington, its 2nd leading scorer and 2nd leading rebounder. Do you consider John Thompson III to be a leading candidate for National Coach of the Year?
Prisbell: No way. Let me first say that JTIII has done a tremendous job this season, for many of the reasons you cited. Period. Has there been a better coaching job in the Big East? No, there has not been. But you might as well take the national coach of the year award right now, wrap it up nice and pretty and ship it express delivery to Coral Gables, Fla. No one is taking it away from Miami’s Jim Larranaga. He was underrated at Mason, which was viewed as the cute little engine that could. Miami has been one of the nation’s toughest power conference jobs for years and years. To make Miami basketball chic, to see LeBron and Dwyane turn out for a game, and, above all else, to win and win big, Jim is the national coach of the year. Miami has played the nation’s toughest schedule. It has demolished Duke and North Carolina. It has rallied to win dramatic games. It has seen Shane Larkin blossom into one of the three or four best point guards in the nation. I considered Miami a bubble team before the season. Now they are one of the national title favorites. I’m still trying to grasp that. And there is not a more compelling story … [For more on Mailbag: Bubble teams, coach of the year candidates, click here.]