Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 3 HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by The Hoop Group. The coaches are now eligible to receive the HoopDirt.com National Coach of the Year Award presented by the Hoop Group which will be announced at the conclusion of the 2016-17 college basketball season.
Nominations for next week’s award can be emailed to: [email protected] – please include a brief statement as to why the coach should be recognized as well as any other information that may be helpful.
The Week 3 winners are:
NCAA DI: Scott Drew, Baylor
Drew’s Bears have played one of the toughest schedules in the country so far and are walking away still unblemished at 8-0. Last week saw a predictable rout of Sam Houston State followed by a very impressive shellacking of 7th ranked Xavier 76-61. The Bears have four ranked wins to date including three in the top ten, and have justifiably been rewarded with a #4 ranking in the AP Top 25. This week the Bears have off for break but will pick it up again next week with three games.
NCAA DII: Kyle Tolin, Arkansas Monticello
UAM is one of the most surprising stories in DII basketball this year. Picked to finish dead last in the conference after winning only 8 games last season they’ve jumped out to a 6-0 start, aided by two road wins last week. Both games were within single digits and decided near the end, with the scores being 87-81 and 79-78 respectively, showing impressive gumption for a young team. They’ll look to go to 7-0 this week with a home game against Baptist Bible.
NCAA DIII: Tom Slyder, Northpark
Coach Slyder and the Vikings of Northpark have been playing nail-biters all season long. In amassing a 5-0 start the Vikings have four wins that have all been by single digits, the lone exception being a 13 point win over Adrian College November 26th. Last week Slyder’s crew took down 17th-ranked Augustana College (IL), propelling them to their first top 25 ranking in fifteen years, debuting at 18th nationally. They take on 16th ranked Illinois Wesleyan Wednesday night on the road this week.
NAIA: Craig Doty, Graceland College
Doty is a familiar face to HoopDirt.com, having been named as the JUCO National Coach of the Year last year. He took on a tough task at Graceland this year, with the Yellow Jackets picked to finish 10th in the conference. They have defied those expectations thus far, winning five straight conference games, including three this last week highlighted by a 30 point road win against 23rd ranked Central Methodist.
JUCO: Steven DeMeo, Northwest Florida State
DeMeo’s group faced lofty expectations to start the year with a preseason #1 ranking, and have done their part in living up to them. The Raiders have jumped out to an 11-1 start, with four double digit wins last week. The traditionally fast paced offense has dropped below 90 points just twice this season, and last week had a season high 132 points against Alabama Southern. This weekend they look to add on two more wins in Gainesville and keep up their fast pace.
Week 1 Winners:
NCAA DI: Tom Crean, Indiana
NCAA DII: Brian Beaury, College of Saint Rose
NCAA DIII: David Hixon, Amherst College
NAIA: Jeff Britt, Bethel College (TN)
JUCO: John Pigatti, South Suburban College (IL)
Week 2 Winners:
NCAA DI: Chris Holtman, Butler
NCAA DII: Ben McCollum, Northwest Missouri State
NCAA DIII: Ron Rose, Illinois Wesleyan
NAIA: Kevin Burton, Union College (KY)
JUCO: Martin McCann, Palm Beach State