If given the opportunity to assemble your own coaching staff -- one head coach and three assistants -- whom would you take? How important are X's and O's compared to recruiting ability?
These questions and more were posed to Fran Fraschilla (who was head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico) and Miles Simon (who played on Arizona's 1997 national title team and was an assistant coach at his alma mater).
Fraschilla made his selections as if his program were based in the Midwest, and Simon in the West. Here's a look at their fantasy coaching staffs.
If you were asked to assemble a "fantasy" staff of a head coach and three assistants for a college basketball team in the Midwest, I can guarantee you'd be hard-pressed to find a starting point. In my case, I can name dozens of coaches who would be excellent fits on my fantasy staff. I respect so many of them, and I'm friends with many of them -- my interview line would be out the door and around the block, and omission from the list below would be no insult. But it's also something I would have fun with as an athletic director assembling my dream staff. And that's what I'm doing here.
It is critical that a head coach has the right balance of personality, talent and responsibility. Plus, chemistry is extremely important to the success of a coaching staff, and that was a crucial part in making my ultimate selections. So here's my fantasy staff for the Midwest -- some of my choices may surprise you.
Head coach: Bill Self, Kansas Jayhawks
Tom Izzo, Billy Donovan, Bill Self and John Calipari are likely to be the next four active coaches headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame, so choosing between these guys and a number of other outstanding coaches would be extremely difficult. But given the part of the country I am picking a head coach for, the Midwest, I am going with Self.