Mark Schmidt - St. Bonaventure

Engaging the pipeline in reverse, Schmidt has poached NBA guys to the college game in the past. Should he simply flip the switch and reverse the direction again, we’re confident he could land somewhere. Just like he landed fourteen student-athletes from St. Bonaventure in the professional ranks.

Keith Dambrot – Akron

NBA executives can’t rave enough about the job Keith did mentoring and molding King James as a young high school prince, just waiting to claim his throne. In addition to the blessed baby, he raised the entire village. Now, with the backing of both the people and the King, should he merely make a request, his appointment is sure to be granted. And by the way, his basketball practices stand tall on their own as well.

Andy Enfield – USC

The Producer has a history of making basketball magic time and time again to rival any Hollywood story.  The well-known self-made shooting coach worked with the Bucks and Celtics before entering the college ranks. Prior to revamping the USC program into a top 25 team, he propelled FGCU branding the high flying Dunk City that remains a top seller today. Bottom line, the multi-dimensional Producer can write, treat, storyboard, direct, operate and distribute a basketball story sure to sell out every venue every time not to mention concession stands and merchandising. 

Steve Forbes – ETSU

Form the JUCO ranks to D1 assistant stops at LM, MM, HM programs, to HC of a growing ETSU team enjoying success and visibility leaps and bounds beyond anything they have experienced before, Forbes is one of those rolling stones that gathers no moss as he rolls all the way to the top. The guy has proven he can win at any level. 

Tony Bennett – Virginia

Only two words keep this former NBA player from the top of this list and rejoining the league…offensive style. Should he figure that out for the next level on his own or through the hire of a brilliant NBA offensive mind (and there are tons to choose from) his family name alone would demand respect and adoration from players, executives, and fans alike.

Danny Manning - Wake Forest

Son of a former NBA player and coach, the younger Manning was always destined to succeed his father. The favored son would transition the family status from journeyman to mainstay all-star; both as a player and a coach. While Danny continues to build great things in Winston Salem NC, he is not long for the NBA should the right opportunity arise.  

Cuonzo Martin – Cal

Well equipped with the toughness and stillness to handle the next level; his grind-it-out, defensive, half-court possession game, run in transition when you can brand would match up well with NBA strength and speed. Furthermore, his stability would be enough to keep a cohesive group. 

Chris Mullins - St. John’s

While the NBA Hall of Famer was serving as a top adviser to the Kings front office, Mullins always said he would coach one day down the road. The right opportunity came in the form of his Alma Mater St John's where he has had the freedom to learn on the job and develop both himself and his team over time. From New Jersey to Sacramento the offers are still coming in from the next level as Mullins becomes more and more comfortable in the big chair.

Kermit Davis – MTSU

His work fills a large part of his life, and the only way he’ll ever be truly satisfied is to do what he believes is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Such tenacity and passion is the reason Kermit has survived long enough in his career to see what once went around come back around again. With driving momentum (not to mention RPI) he can reach as far as his desire likes. Without question his defense, physicality, and demanding yet professional nature are a perfect fit for the next level.

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Lorenzo Romar – Washington

Be it his understanding of the game, and chemistry, or filling a void lost in the generation gap; the Romar resume is impressive; as is the personality that goes with it. Still, it would have to be an opportunity with a chance of success. His ego is not one for the fame or money. When that situation comes around especially in Southern California, we think he may just make the move. 

Steve Alford – UCLA

Alford has made good on his promise to stick with the Bruins. That’s just the level of integrity he has. Assuming the Pauley Pavilion is complete (and there is absolutely nothing that suggests the contrary) he may be nearing the time to exit with a job well-done and the reward of having done it. 

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Brad Underwood - Oklahoma St.

“…A big man rated as a five-star prospect already being projected as a sure NBA talent. He's going to be a really solid player in the NBA one day…I think he's going to come.” While this NBA stand out is speaking about one of Underwood’s recruits, he might as well be speaking about the coach. The trust from NBA guys is obvious and speaks volumes about his reputation at the next level. Through hard work Underwood has positioned himself in a great spot for a jump to the NBA.

Mike White – Florida

Well connected at the next level cultivating years of budding relationships and introductions to the NBA community through the work of his brother his father and of course developing his own NBA guys first at Louisiana Tech and even more now at Florida, Mike has the proven ability in coaching and developing NBA talent as well as a keen understanding of front office and other business operations.

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Buzz Williams - Virginia Tech

Buzz maintains a balanced programing from recruiting priority prospects, winning over players, fans, and executives alike, to getting the very best out of his players and anyone around him. It’s a level headed approach with a touch of strange that is a perfect blend for life in the NBA. Beyond basketball, his absolute unquenchable hunger for information alone may tempt his appetite for the next level simply to see what it’s all about so long as it’s the best move for his family; again balanced.

Kelvin Sampson – Houston

An unprecedented resume in college taking Oklahoma to the NCAA eleven of his twelve years as HC, and making the NIT that lone season they didn’t dance, Sampson has proven his ability over and over again both as a coach and at developing top shelf talent. While currently back in the college game his five plus years as an assistant in the league with successful teams and mentors has widened his experience rendering him ready for a return at will. 

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Dan Majerle - Grand Canyon

Simply said. Thundering Dan will always be the Suns closest star. And s not forget fifth grade science class where we learned that stars and suns are one and the same. We are all simply waiting on a solar eclipse to prompt such a transition. 

 Mark Price – Charlotte

While Mark was the only NBA All-Star in the family he was not the only player. His brother Brent Price enjoyed ten seasons in the NBA. His daughter Caroline had a short stint in professional tennis. Professional coaching is in his family blood. He served as a consultant for the Nuggets, a color commentator for both the Cavaliers and Hawks, head coach of the Australian NBL's South Dragons, and shooting consultant for the Grizzlies. Now as a HC in college revamping Charlotte, there is only one stone left unturned.

Russell Turner – UCI

The former NBA assistant is long familiar with the pro level. His impact is felt through developing HOF players the likes of Tim Duncan, Josh Howard, Darius Songalia, Josh Childress, Casey Jacobson, Jarron Collins and Jason Collins. He served as Head Coach of the Golden State Warriors Las Vegas Summer League Team for five consecutive years. If Hotels.com were interested, this match would be a perfect fit for a Captain Obvious commercial.

Kevin Ollie – UConn

Year after year his name is tossed around in the wild winds of NBA rumors that almost landed him in LA. Still, wind has a way of fulling the fire, and the smoke is visible from every level. Seems like a forgone conclusion that it’s just a matter of time.

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Jim Boeheim - Syracuse 

In almost 50 years with one team he guiding the Orange to nine Big East regular season championships, five Big East Tournament championships, and 28 NCAA Tournament appearances while serving as an assistant coach for the United States men's national basketball team and chairman of the USA Basketball. The college HOF’er not only coached countless NBA guys over the years but their ego's too.

Sean Miller – Arizona

The well-organized defensive developer extraordinaire ranks top five on everyone’s list. His basketball roots tie into every level especially on the East coast and now that name has the national credibility and a slew of players already in the league to back it. 

Bob Huggins - West Virginia

Few coaches, if any, exhibit such a special bond with their players like Huggins. And that’s a priority for the front office at the next level. They need coaches and players with a mutual respect. And that should be the final piece to the puzzle, as they already know what he can do on the sidelines.

Gregg Marshall – Wichita State 

Making his current job his next job, Marshall sets new goals each year. So it’s unlikely that he will ever be complacent enough to move on. But if he were, the first thing the NBA would have to do is match his competitiveness; maybe in the form of tradition and sole ownership? Are there any GM’s willing to hand it all over? If so, everyone in the car can expect a long enjoyable thrill ride to the top.

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Mike Krzyzewski  – Duke

To say coach K may be institutionalized is an understatement. He is the law that built the prison which now entraps him in the college ranks. Nonetheless, he came close to leaving especially at the height of his popularity in the nineties for the Lakers, Trailblazers, and Celtics. His accomplishments speak for themselves, add to that his work with the Olympic teams, and no one doubts that if he would choose to give the NBA a shot, it would work.

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Tom Izzo - Michigan State

Having achieved everything at the college level, Izzo remains the hottest name to move up to the pros. After all, not only has he sent numerous first round players to the league, but he leads the NCAA in staff and assistant coaches sent to the NBA.

Top DI Coaches Best Suited for the NBA

Below are the top DI coaches best suited for the NBA who have no previous NBA coaching experience.