King Rice - Monmouth
Rice is known for taking control of the recruiting efforts, building solid relationships with players and being a product of decision rather than circumstance out on the trail.
Bryce Drew - Valpo
Strategically targeting the sons of current and former NBA players, Drew has found a unique recruiting niche where it is easy to determine fit and culture speaking in basketball terms with basketball people. It’s a comfort level on both sides that instantly yields a strong bond.
Pat Kelsey - Winthrop
With plenty of connections in the recruiting world, the charismatic worker is still at it like a first year assistant. Kelsey compares recruiting to “peeling away the onion.” His job is about playing psychologist; learning about a prospect’s background and character, then try to decipher his goals and motivation.
Gregg Marshall - Wichita State
Utilizing a mix of D1 transfers, juco transfers, and high school graduates, along with his ability to identify and develop diamonds in the rough was a successful strategy for Marshall at Winthrop and he carried it over to Shock the nation at Wichita.
Johnny Jones - LSU
Always renowned as a top tier recruiter responsible for delivering a number of NBA guys to a few different campuses; guys like Shaquille O’Neal. Jones continually H.I.T. ’s the recruiting trail running; that’s Hard, Intelligent, and Together.
Leonard Hamilton - Florida State
This dynamic personality has long been known for building relationships with his kids; winning over recruits from all walks of life. “Ham” has turned a football school into a basketball school by loading up on the nation’s elite.
Scott Drew - Baylor
Scott Drew’s relentless recruiting after taking over a program at a very low point has transcended the Baylor Bears to the elite of Big 12 basketball programs.
Ed Cooley - Providence
Cooley underwent a culture shift at Providence with a willingness to take on anyone in the recruiting world. He simply won’t be limited in the pursuit of top talent. Talent like Kris Dunn who attributes Cooley’s perfect front row and center attendance record at his games as the reason for choosing Providence.
Tommy Amaker - Harvard
Since Amaker's arrival at Harvard, the Crimson have been involved with and have landed some high level athletes, never seen before in the Ivy League through the philosophy that Harvard is a “40-year decision rather than a 4-year decision.”
Mark Gottfried - NC State
NC State has been doing quite well in recruiting, having landed the top in-state point guard of 2016 in Dennie Smith. Many people believe top 100 recruit Taurean Thompson will soon follow. Gottfried has stirred up a great deal of interest and intrigue on the trail for next season.
Chris Beard - Arkansas Little Rock
Always known as a great recruiter throughout his career. But to sign 10 new players when he took the UALR job less than a year ago, and be spot-on with almost everyone is remarkable. And he is only getting started. UALR has already landed local standout Andre Jones and they are very much in the mix for top 100 recruit Deshaun Corprew. His 2016 class is arguably the best in the entire state of Arkansas.
Kevin Keatts - UNCW
Known as a high level recruiting sleuth, the Pitino pupil has deep recruiting ties as a two time prep national champion leading the prestigious Hargrave Military Academy over eight seasons. He brought in the nation's best talent while head coach at Hargrave, did the same as an assistant at Louisville, and now has rebuilt the UNCW program by recruiting the best talent in the CAA. He can recruit!!!
Steve Forbes - ETSU
With a knack for networking in the networked age, Forbes is known for his ability to evaluate and lure top flight talent. Is it any surprise that he assembled this type of talent in Johnson City, TN in only 11 months?
Tim Floyd - UTEP
Greg Foster said it best…”He is a hell of a recruiter… he recruited Tim Hardaway and Antonio Davis!” Pay attention aspiring coaches; this combination of coach and proven relentless recruiter is how to set yourself up for success.
Bruce Pearl - Auburn
Tirelessly working to elevate the War Eagles to new heights, the energetic and always lively coach is doing what he does best… relating to players and their families, while inspiring his players to give it their all. His face-time on ESPN prior to taking the Auburn job didn’t hurt either making him a national household name. Pearl could even sell ice to an Eskimo.
Shaka Smart -Texas
In Texas, Shaka smartly began focusing on development and working to build long term relationships; as opposed to reaching for the five-stars. He began laying the groundwork and the once dusty trail to Austin is now an almost completed slick gold pavement, recruits will glide in on by the dozens. Just ask commit Andrew Jones (6-4, 195 Class of 2016 ranked 29th overall)
Chris Mack - Xavier
From the first time Mack stepped on campus as a player, he knew the Xavier recruiting culture was clear; Recruiting is the lifeblood and X will compete at the highest level. With a shotgun approach to finding prospects for all positions, Mack continues the tradition at Xavier with the highly talented class of 2016 finding a mix of local, regional, and sprinkling in a few national prospects.
Archie Miller - Dayton
In the recruiting mind of Miller, every class is big and every guy is brought in for a specific methodical reason. A media frenzy from the success on the court has increased visibility to where recruits are seeing first-hand how underclassmen impact the Flyers. It’s paying huge dividends and earning credibility on the trail.
Josh Pastner - Memphis
Say what you want, but Pastner has ALWAYS been able to recruit and land some of the best talent in the country (at Arizona as an assistant, as well as Memphis as both assistant and head coach).
Sean Miller - Arizona
This visionary recruiter saw an untapped market in the Pac 12 where he could pluck the chickens from up and down the west coast and make it back to Arizona before anyone was the wiser. It worked… and continues to work to perfection.
Bob Huggins - West Virginia
Huggins passion for his players is well documented and young men know he will go to war for them. His ability to walk into a high school, post-grad, or junior college gym and lure top talent to join his family is what makes Huggs one of the best!
Tony Bennett - Virginia
Tony Bennett has a firm understanding of the type of student-athlete who will succeed in his system. He pays no attention to ratings or rankings when meticulously evaluating a prospect. Bennett simply wants the right fit and is masterful at finding it.
Bill Self - Kansas
KU is one of the those blueblood programs that is automatically in the hunt for almost any prospect they want. But the leader of the Jayhawks has to be able to seal the deal. And who better than the smooth talking and engaging Coach Self who has a scrapbook filled with wins, championships, and NBA players to help the pitch.
John Calipari - Kentucky
Coach Cal has long been recognized as one of the best recruiters in college basketball. But his secret is no real secret at all. He simply follows the premise for managing talent in the networked age. He attracts the best of the best, which keeps the cycle of NBA lottery picks making pit-stops through Lexington every year.
Tom Izzo - Michigan State
Winston Churchill has said that a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. That holds true in Lansing MI. Known as an honest recruiter unwilling to bend the rules, the right path may be a longer one but Izzo’s 2016 class makes the wait worth the while.
Our national panel of media, scouts, and coaches voted on the Top 25 Head Coach Recruiters D1. Panel members considered track record with high level signees, how those signees impacted their collegiate program, salesmanship, people skills, resilience, honesty and integrity, communication-skills, networking, follow through, and much more.