Iowa State men’s basketball: Fred Hoiberg is 15th best college basketball coach


ESPN ranks Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg as the 15th best coach in college basketball.

Here’s just some of what Eamonn Brennan said about the team in lengthy biography on Hoiberg’s tenure with the Cyclones. It began with an interesting introduction on how he was pretty much ignored during media day in 2010 and is now being courted by NBA general managers because of his style of play.

"They aren’t merely good. They’re aesthetically thrilling. The Cyclones play an inventive spread style; typically, all five of players on the court can play on the perimeter and the low block, can shoot 3s and pass and rebound. (Niang, Hoiberg’s best recruit to date, is especially adept in this regard.) Last season, the Cyclones finished 16th in the country in adjusted tempo, eighth in Ken Pomeroy’s possession length rank and sixth in adjusted offensive efficiency. They were simultaneously one of the best and fastest offensive teams in the country. They were so, so fun to watch."

More from Men's Basketball

On ESPN’s list, Hoiberg currently ranks ahead of Baylor’s Scott Drew (50), Texas’ Rick Barnes (44), Kansas State’s Bruce Weber (40), Texas Tech’s Tubby Smith (39), UCLA’s Steve Alford (36), Iowa’s Fran McCaffery (33), West Virginia’s Bob Huggins (30), and Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon (25).

But that’s not all. Just look at who he beats from 22 to 16, respectively: Tommy Amaker, Larry Brown, Thad Matta, Jay Wright, Steve Fisher, Mark Few, and Roy Williams.

The comment section is, of course, full of people that can’t believe someone like Hoiberg is above Williams — a lot of crap from Kentucky fans, strangely enough — but those idiots that didn’t even know Iowa State was a thing until Hoiberg took them to multiple NCAA tournaments obviously don’t pay attention to what Hoiberg brings to the community.

Mar 28, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg talks with Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) during the second half against the Connecticut Huskies in the semifinals of the east regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

While they look at results and are simply irate at somebody like him can break the top 15, Hoiberg is the perfect package of head family man, doing everything he can for his community (EX: Hoiburger has given over $3,000 to United Way in its first two weeks), and he’s certainly figuring out college basketball pretty fast since going 3-13 in the Big 12 in his first season with the Cyclones.

That’s probably why he’s getting a lot of recognition — likeability. He’s less of a salespitch guy that oozes more TV fakeness than what’s caked into his hair. And instead of having a freshmen dog mill, he knows how to put a cast of outsiders together, some with troubled pasts, with a transfer system that’s setting up the Cyclones to be in contention for a national title for at least the next two years.

Maybe that’s why, Kentucky fans. But your head coach will be ranked higher and get more air time on ESPN, so I’d take those results and relax.

This is a solid achievement for Hoiberg. Iowa State is deservedly a contender for the Big 12 next season as they continue to reload with transfers. The continuous chemistry that’s been on this team with a different group of leaders every year is impressive, and don’t expect that to change as long as that dreamy head coach is at the top.