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Andy Katz | NCAA.com | February 1, 2022

The top 10 new men's basketball coaches, ranked by Andy Katz

Top 10 new men's college basketball coaches this season, according to Andy Katz

The coaches who took over jobs in 2020 had to do so mostly remotely.

The coaches who got the gigs in 2021 had the benefit of a real summer and fall, but then had to handle the adversity of the Omicron variant raging and disrupting the season.

Managing that adversity has been difficult for everyone. And yet all but one of the coaches below in this top 10 have their teams in position for a bid. They have managed to build a roster, super seniors, transfers and newcomers to put together stellar seasons so far. This top list is fluid, but through January these are my picks for the top 10 new coaches, as discussed in the latest episode of the March Madness 365 podcast (#MM365). 

Click or tap here to listen to the latest episode of the #MM365 podcast.

1. Tommy Lloyd, Arizona: Lloyd is the front runner for national coach of the year. Sean Miller didn’t leave the cupboard bare by any means. But Lloyd has added a few pieces, opened up the offense and this team appears to be having a blast playing for him. 

2. Mark Adams, Texas Tech: Not sure anyone would have had Adams in the top two, but he has done a tremendous job in moving over a seat in Lubbock. The headline was Chris Beard moving to Texas. But the culture of defense and winning hasn’t changed. Tech is in every game and already has two big-time wins in Kansas and at Baylor. 

3. Shaka Smart, Marquette: Smart is in the perfect spot for him: A basketball-centric school. He did win the Big 12 tournament at Texas. So it’s not like he didn’t have success. But he thrived at VCU. Now, he’s done quite a reversal within the season. The Golden Eagles have wins over Illinois, Providence, Seton Hall and at Villanova. They are going not just be in but get a good seed. 

RANKINGS: Click here for the latest NET rankings | AP Top 25

4. T.J. Otzelberger, Iowa State: Otzelberger had been in Iowa State prior as an assistant so this was a seamless transition. He got the Cyclones off to a great start, but it was expected to be a grind in the Big 12. Still, the Cyclones picked at the bottom of the Big 12 will be in the NCAA tournament: Quite a season so far. 

5. Mike Woodson, Indiana: The Hoosiers are going to be in the NCAA tournament for the first time in junior Trayce Jackson-Davis’ career. TJD was recruited to stay by Woodson and that was his first big move. There is a renewed sense of energy in the program and in the fan base. And beating rival Purdue for the first time after a nine-game losing streak helped him even more. 

Indiana's Mike Woodson

6. Chris Beard, Texas: Beard doesn’t have the same quad one wins as his successor in Lubbock — yet. But he has been all in with the Longhorns and created an inviting atmosphere with the students and the fan base. I’m convinced Beard will have Texas in a Final Four. May not be this year, but it will happen. 

7. Ben Johnson, Minnesota: The Gophers are the one team on this list that has the least likely chance of making the NCAA tournament. Still, the Gophers were picked last in the Big Ten and Johnson has them in the conversation with an outstanding non-conference (winning a tournament in Asheville and road wins at Mississippi State and Pitt). Minnesota also won at Michigan. The Gophers have limited numbers, essentially no true post and have dealt with injuries. He has done a great job. 

8. Drew Valentine, Loyola Chicago: Valentine is only 30. And yet he has taken over the Ramblers with exceptional poise. The Ramblers are going to be in the NCAA tournament — either as an at-large team or by winning the Valley. He was able to keep the veteran team together. And they haven’t missed a beat. 

🔮: Check out the latest March Madness men's bracket predictions

9. Porter Moser, Oklahoma: The Sooners had to be restructured under Moser. And he got it done through the transfer portal. He will have the Sooners in the NCAA tournament, continuing the remarkably consistency under Lon Kruger. Moser wasn’t the natural choice for Oklahoma, but clearly, Joe Castiglione made a great choice. 

10. Hubert Davis, North Carolina: The Tar Heels have been consistently inconsistent. The highs of the Tar Heels have been really high but the lows have been really low. Still, Davis is the right person/coach for this program as it transitions into a new era. Davis has the goods to be a coach in Chapel Hill for a long time. 

Honorable mentions: Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State; Kim English, George Mason; Ryan Odom, Utah State; Wes Miller, Cincinnati; Speedy Claxton, Hofstra.  

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