Looking ahead: Coaches, tourney, draft

Creighton's Doug McDermott will captivate the nation on his way to national player of the year. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

This is the time of year when we're supposed to reflect on the regular season. But rather than dwell on the recent past, we’re going to see how it applies to the future -- namely the NCAA tournament, the coaching carousel, the NBA draft and the offseason ahead.

Which coach did the most to save his job?

Rick Barnes wasted little time getting himself off the hot seat. The Texas coach was coming off a dismal season, his first non-NCAA tourney appearance since arriving in Austin, and he had a new athletic director. But the Longhorns have been one of the biggest surprises of the season. I’ll give Barnes the nod over guys like Mark Fox (Georgia), Herb Sendek (Arizona State) and Brad Brownell (Clemson) -- three guys who can really coach.

Which coaches put themselves on the hot seat?

I’m not saying that either of these guys is in danger of losing his job after this season, but both will enter next season with a significant degree of pressure. Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford went into the season with lofty expectations -- and the Cowboys are going to squeak into the NCAA tourney with a sub-.500 Big 12 mark. Now, that can all change if Marcus Smart and the Pokes advance in the tourney, but there’s a significant portion of the fan base that isn’t thrilled with Ford, and an early exit wouldn’t help his case going forward.