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Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Coaching survey: Smartest guys around

By Dana O'Neil

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- During last week's EYBL Peach Jam, ESPN.com surveyed 15 head coaches on a range of topics. Here are their responses on a topic involving their fellow coaches.

Who is the smartest coach in college basketball right now?

Rick Barnes, Texas: “I don’t know if I can name one guy.’’

Mark Fox, Georgia: Mike Krzyzewski. “He’s on a different level than everyone else. Conceptually, philosophically he’s just ahead of everyone else.’’

Darrin Horn, South Carolina: Tom Izzo. “His consistency and to do what he’s done at a place that isn’t Kansas or UCLA, with 50 years of amazing tradition, that’s just incredible.’’

Ben Howland, UCLA: Brad Stevens and Jamie Dixon. “He looks pretty darned smart to do what he’s done. And Jamie’s winning percentage at Pittsburgh is incredible.’’

Bob Huggins, West Virginia: John Calipari. “I cannot understand how he can have all these things going on and still be as good as he is. Who can do that? To be involved in all he’s involved in, that’s incredible. I don’t think anyone realizes what a great job he’s done the past two years basically starting over with a new team. And he’ll do it again this year and still be good.’’

Tom Izzo, Michigan State: Mark Fox. “I watch what he’s been able to do with his program and I’m really impressed. His demeanor, the way he runs his program and handles his players. I think he’s a really great young coach.’’

Kerry Keating, Santa Clara: Jim Calhoun. “Whoever won the last championship has to be the smartest guy because he figured it out. We are all only as good and as smart as our last game. Plus, Coach Calhoun was smart enough to recruit Kemba.’’

Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph’s: Jim Boeheim. “I don’t think people appreciate how well he knows the game. You could ask him the top freshmen right now and he could tell you. He really studies the game.’’

Fran McCaffery, Iowa: John Calipari. “He’s so innovative, off and on the court.’’

Josh Pastner, Memphis: Mike Krzyzewski. “He takes everyone’s best shot every night and he never wavers. The teams that they’re supposed to beat by a large margin, they beat by a large margin. To be up like that all the time just speaks volumes to the level of motivation he gives that team.’’

Rick Pitino, Louisville: Mike Krzyzewski. “He’s the most experienced and no matter what the situation, he never panics.’’

Mark Turgeon, Maryland: Kevin Stallings. “He’s a very intelligent guy and an excellent coach.’’

Bruce Weber, Illinois: Tom Izzo and Roy Williams. “They both run competitive programs. They recruit kids that graduate. They win championships and they have good reputations.’’

Roy Williams, North Carolina: Mike Montgomery and Mike Krzyzewski. “I think Mike Montgomery is pretty darned sharp and I have no problem saying that I think Mike Krzyzewski is, too.’’

Jay Wright, Villanova: Mike Krzyzewski. “He’s got it all. He’s a great X’s and O’s coach. He has the personality. He’s a great motivator and he develops his players.’’