Top recruiting assistant coaches

Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend has earned a reputation as an elite recruiter. Darrell Walker/Icon SMI

Head coaches are obviously critical to a program’s success, but putting together a quality staff is one of the more underrated aspects of college basketball. Many great coaches have been fired because their staff isn’t up to par.

Part of what goes into being an elite assistant coach is the ability to teach and develop players, part is the ability to scout and prepare players for their next opponent. But ask just about anyone and they’ll tell you that the most important aspect for any assistant coach is his ability to land talented players.

We surveyed more than 200 college coaches and got their thoughts on who the most feared assistant coaches are on the recruiting trail. That doesn’t mean that these guys can’t coach, but it means that when they walk into the gym their colleagues take notice -- and don’t necessarily want to go against them to land a recruit. We’ve focused on the high-major assistants today. On Thursday, we'll look at the most feared head coaches in recruiting circles.

Here are 21 guys who have the respect/fear of their peers:

1. Kurtis Townsend, Kansas Jayhawks
The list for Townsend --- who also spent time at Michigan and USC -- is pretty darn impressive: Andrew Wiggins, Sherron Collins, Darrell Arthur, Julian Wright, Brandon Rush, Jeff Withey at KU and Jamal Crawford and Lavell Blanchard at Michigan. He also got some quality talent in his tenure at USC. Townsend gets after it, has strong connections throughout the country and has one of the best brands -- and head coaches -- to sell.