CBB coaching tiers

From The Athletic (Cliffs Notes to follow)

Tier 1 has eight names. Six of them have nattys, and the other two are Mark Few and Kelvin Sampson. So no, Muss isn’t in Tier 1. But Squid is.

Tier 2A has 10 names, one of which is Muss. Another is Chris Beard. And Barnes and Pearl from the SEC. None of these have nattys. They describe this group as “on the cusp”.

Here’s what some people said about Muss:

“Arkansas is one of the hottest teams in the country,” an industry insider says. “They’re on a rocket ship. They’ve really capitalized on NIL, and he’s a really, really good coach.” Like it or not, apparently. “He’s done a really good job, but I just wish for one game he’d act like he’s been there,” an agent says. “That stuff, it can count against you. If they had somehow beaten Duke and ended Coach K’s career, would he have run around like a moron? He would have been like the only guy who could make everyone like Coach K. But he’s a good coach.”

Tier 2B is a short list, one with a natty, one without, both in the Hall of Fame: Boeheim and Huggins.

Tier 3 is 22 names, including Buzz Williams, Nate Oats and Hubert Davis (not bad for a second-year HC).

Mike Anderson is in Tier 5.

Kermit Davis is in Tier 6, but one of the people quoted said Kermit can beat anyone on any given night.

Darrell Walker is in Tier 7. So is Patrick Ewing. Tier 7 is not a good place to be.

Listening to that “insider” I get the impression that they did not like Muss. Perhaps someone he has beaten in the past or they crossed paths in the NBA and it didn’t go so well.

I never got the impression Muss with acting that way because he beat a particular coach. I saw it as more a celebration of his kids getting to advance. I have always considered Muss to be professional in how he seems to treat others, but then again I do wear rose colored glasses.

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That insider was an agent. Did Muss steer a player away from him? Dunno. Muss doesn’t act like other coaches and I can see how it would rub some people the wrong way. Muss doesn’t care and neither do I.


How can you act like you’ve been there if you’ve never been there? That’s a bit over the top. Yes sometimes muss is over the top but there is a long long list of coaches who have definitely “been there” who show a lot of arrogance and emotion/rage, not surprisingly there are more in football than in basketball. Bob Knight, Tom Izzo, Bob Huggins, Frank Martin, Bo Ryan etc etc etc. At least when Muss shows emotion it’s not always intense anger. He has the full spectrum. You can’t blame a guy for being emotional and passionate. I mean there is some liability with that, and a good reason you don’t see it as much in the NBA ranks. But the list of coaching failures that needed to show more passion in their work is much much longer. To act like you’ve been there when you haven’t is a little disingenuous don’t you think? Ok sometimes muss does make me cringe but that reporters comment above is the cringiest! Makes me look forward to see muss take his shirt off again real soon!

I love when an “insider” makes comments like these but won’t share his identity. If your not man enough to stand on your name, I have no reason to take you serious. They might as well interviewed me for the story.

“This stuff can count against you”…c’mon man. Did it count against him at Nevada? Has it counted against him since he has been here?


Sounds like they interviewed Kim English, Jeff.

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Is Kim English an agent now? But I would agree with you otherwise.

Nobody is going to talk to them for a story like this with their name attached to it, whether the comments are good or bad.

Sounds just like him…

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How do we know it was an agent if he won’t give his name?

Jeff, you know better than that. The writers have no reason to pretend a coach is an agent, or vice versa; they’re already protecting him by withholding his name. But the writers absolutely know who he is and what he does (most likely they called this agent and asked “what do you think about Musselman?” and this was his reply).

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I do know better than to believe unnamed sources. Why in the world would an “agent” hold in credibility with talking about what the strengths are of a college basketball coach?

I would put more weight on what athletic directors, players and other coach’s thought than an “agent”.

Like I said “this stuff can count against you” tells me all I need to know about the “agent”. Show me where Muss has had an issue with the way he carries himself. Great career at Nevada, back to back elite 8’s and a top 2 recruiting class here at Arkansas.


You obviously have never read a story about politics or government, not to mention a survey about basketball coaches.

Nobody is going to be honest for a story like this if their name is attached. You leave the names on, they’re going to be mealymouthed/polite because they might have to work with/coach against Muss some day (or might be asking him for a job). As for an agent, he might want to represent a Hog some day; if he burns bridges with Muss, that ain’t gonna happen.

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No I never have…I’m just an ole boy that lives in a tree and has to go to Mcdonalds to get free wi-fi on my flip phone…my point the entire time is what the “agent” says is BS. If you don’t agree with that then we can move on. No need for you to judge me on reading stories about politics or government. Plus I just learned how to read yisterdee…LOL

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Probably a ground rule set by the publication before the story was even assigned to get sources to speak candidly. Some might not have minded if their names were used, but those were the parameters.

My impression is that Muss does everything for a reason. I think he has determined that the persona he’s cultivated since he got here is the best way to promote the basketball program(and himself) to recruits, players and fans.

I think there’s a lot of authenticity about what we see, The man has a passion for winning and for basketball, and he does seem to enjoy the moment. But I also think there is calculation in letting himself be seen as fun, passionate and different from the other top coaches. If he ever goes back to the NBA you’d see a lot different Muss. On the other hand, the current Muss persona makes a really nice resume for future gigs as a play-by-play or studio analyst.

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