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You gotta love a Thursday morning before 7am Woj bomb, right?

That’s exactly what we got when he reported the Lakers were seriously courting UConn head coach Dan Hurley and were expected to make a long-term, lucrative offer to the 2-time national champion. It’s obvious this would be a massive move that would have implications in both the NBA and college game.

But immediately after the report my X timeline was filled with mocking due to the long list of college coaches who have failed at the next level…Rick Pitino, John Calipari, John Beilein etc. And still I’m intrigued by the potential move by Hurley. Will his maniac style work for 82 games in the NBA? Will he try to fight fans like he did in the college game? And how will he get along with Lebron James? All of these are valid questions as this story plays out over the next several days.

So, let’s move Hurley aside and focus on other college coaches who I think could cut it at the NBA level. I’m sure readers will have disagreements on some of these names. Who did I miss? Take a look and let me know…

The post 5 College Coaches who could translate to the NBA appeared first on 93.5 / 107.5 The Fan.

5 College Coaches who could translate to the NBA  was originally published on

1. Nate Oats, Alabama

Nate Oats, Alabama Source:Getty

Coming off his first Final Four there’s not many better coaches in the college game than Oats. In the past four years with the Tide, Oats has won the SEC twice, made the second weekend three times, and the aforementioned Final Four last season. 

Why would he work in the pros?

Oats runs an up-tempo NBA style system that is predicated on motion, dribble drive, and either hitting threes or finishing at the rim (14th in tempo, 2nd in offense per KenPom). His “five out” is popular in the pros and resembles some of the stuff that made Jay Wright popular a decade ago. He’s used to coaching NBA level talent with having his 2024 class being ranked third in their rankings.

2. Hubert Davis, North Carolina

Hubert Davis, North Carolina Source:Getty

Admittingly, I was skeptical when Hubert Davis took over for Hall of Famer Roy Williams in 2021 with no head coaching experience. He’s no doubt proven me wrong. Davis has won the ACC, been to a national championship game, and was in the Sweet 16 last year. Not to mention he’s kept the talent level high at North Carolina.

Why would he work in the NBA?

Besides being a 12-year NBA vet, Davis has proved that he can connect with players while also running some of the same stuff that made Roy successful…dynamic guards while still establishing a dominant big. Per Evan Miya, North Carolina ranked 11th in both of his offensive and defensive rankings. KenPom ranked the Tar Heels 15th in offense and 8th on defense. I think he’s a well-rounded coach that could succeed in today’s NBA.

3. Matt Painter, Purdue

Matt Painter, Purdue Source:Getty

Don’t get mad at me Purdue fans. I’m a big fan of Painter and so is seemingly everyone else in the “basketball world”. I think he’s elite at 2 things…X’s & O’s and player development. Players come into Purdue unknown and leave remarkably better. 

Why would he work in the NBA?

Those very reasons. I think he’s a tactician that can help guys get better. Not to mention Painter can adapt. If his team has a Zach Edey type, he’ll run the offense through the frontcourt. If you have Carson Edwards, you shoot a ton of threes. It’s pretty simple.

Obviously, the numbers for Purdue the last few years have been pretty gaudy.  Last year the Boilers were top 12 in both defense and offense and top 40 in effective FG%, per KenPom.


4. Bill Self, Kansas

Bill Self, Kansas Source:Getty

There was about a period of five years that I thought Self would become the head coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Of course, that never happened, and I doubt Self would jump to the NBA at this point in his career. 

I could bore you with how great Self has been at Kansas (80.8% winning percentage). I’m a firm believer that he’s a good coach with the ideal demeanor for a long NBA season. 

5. Micah Shrewsberry, Notre Dame

Micah Shrewsberry, Notre Dame Source:Getty

Out of anybody on this list I could actually see Shrewsberry being an NBA coach at some point. Remember that he worked under Brad Stevens in Boston (and Butler) and was also a top assistant for Matt Painter at Purdue.