Why Boeheim is nation's top coach

Plus a look at other candidates who have met or outperformed expectations

Updated: February 11, 2014, 11:57 AM ET
By John Gasaway | ESPN Insider

SyracuseRich Barnes/Getty ImagesJim Boeheim has guided Syracuse to a 23-0 record and the nation's No. 1 ranking this season.

I've decided I can't wait until March to start handing out awards. This week I'll be updating my list of the top 25 players in Division I, and today I want to bestow my very own Coach of the Year award.

Make that Coach of the Year So Far. I realize there's basketball yet to be played in 2013-14, but with what we've seen to this point I feel as though we have a winner: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.

Before I explain my choice, though, I want to honor all the nominees who came very close to winning this prestigious award. First I have a special category for coaches who in the preseason were expected to have excellent teams -- and then proceeded to live up to that hype.


Special 'delivered on expectations' honorable mention

Sean Miller, Billy Donovan, Gregg Marshall, Bill Self and Tom Izzo have all seen their teams through to more or less successful fulfillment of the lofty preseason expectations placed upon their programs. That is no small thing, and in the case of Marshall he's not only met expectations but raised them considerably over the course of his tenure at Wichita State. To this quintet of high achievers, I say: Well done, men.


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