Checking in on high-profile coaches entering Year 2
Thirteen major-conference teams installed new coaches prior to the start of last season, and that crop is starting to build bodies of work at their respective programs. As the coaching class looks toward year two, it’s as good a time as ever for Rivals to take the temperature on how each of the six most prominent hires is shaking out thus far.
More: Where things stand with top 2023 prospects
2023 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position
2024 Rankings: Top 125
Transfer Portal: Latest news
CHRIS BEARD, Texas
2021-2022 RECORD: 22-12 (lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament)
2022 RECRUITING RANKING: No. 5
HOW THINGS ARE TRENDING: Texas finished fourth in the Big 12 last season, which isn’t where UT fans want to be but certainly isn’t a disaster considering the quick work Chris Beard did to rebuild the team’s roster. That’s all to say that the big picture in Austin is hardly troubling, even if last season didn’t quite match lofty preseason expectations. Beard led the Longhorns to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015 and has a top-five recruiting class headlined by freak athlete and possible one-and-done forward Dillon Mitchell ready to roll this season.
Iowa State transfer and reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year Tyrese Hunter will have a massive impact on Texas’ season, as will freshman guard Arterio Morris who plays an exciting brand of downhill ball. The Longhorns will be anything but boring in Beard’s second year regardless of which way the wind blows from a success standpoint. Beard seems to be a master of the transfer portal, which should serve him well in the sport’s new era.
FIVE-WORD TAKEAWAY: Cautious optimism has taken hold.
HUBERT DAVIS, North Carolina
2021-2022 RECORD: 29-10 (lost in national title game)
2022 RECRUITING RANKING: No. 21
HOW THINGS ARE TRENDING: The debut season of the Hubert Davis era was a dream for North Carolina fans. A slow start, especially defensively, caused some early concern but the ship righted itself to the tune of a run to the national title game that made everyone forget any early-season trouble. Davis followed that up by landing the commitment of No.1 overall prospect in the 2023 class GG Jackson, capitalizing on his early success on the court. As far as the Tar Heels' 2022-23 outlook goes, things are intriguing to say the least. Davis returns almost everyone from last year’s squad and the Tar Heels 2022 class is a well-rounded, three-member haul headlined by talented point guard Seth Tremble.
FIVE-WORD TAKEAWAY: What more could you want?
MARK ADAMS, Texas Tech
2021-2022 RECORD: 27-10 (lost in the Sweet 16)
2022 RECRUITING RANKING: No. 24
HOW THINGS ARE TRENDING: Rumors of Texas Tech’s demise as a powerhouse seem to have been greatly exaggerated. The anxiety that resulted in following Chris Beard’s departure for in-state Texas has faded away thanks to 65-year-old Mark Adams, who was promoted from within and met with a side-eye from some on the national level until he rattled off 27 wins and Sweet 16 berth in his first year in charge. Losing Kevin McCullar Jr. and Terrence Shannon Jr. to the transfer portal was less than ideal, but Adams is no novice when it comes to replacing talent. The Tech head coach worked the portal this offseason adding a number of possible impact players, including North Carolina expat Kerwin Walton and Texas transfer Jaylon Tyson. Incoming freshmen Elijah Fisher and Richard “Pop” Isaacs should also impact the upcoming season. Adams has a pair of Rivals150 prospects in the fold for 2023, as guards Drew Steffe and Jason Jackson have committed to the Red Raiders.
FIVE-WORD TAKEAWAY: Tech is hard to kill.
MIKE WOODSON, Indiana
2021-2022 RECORD: 21-14 (lost in NCAA Tournament first round)
2022 RECRUITING RANKING: 13th
HOW THINGS ARE TRENDING: Any way you slice it, the trajectory in Bloomington is positive. Mike Woodson’s first year as a college coach resulted in the Hoosiers’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2016. The season wasn’t without its valleys, but there’s no question that Woodson earned a passing grade. First-team All-Big Ten selection Trayce Jackson-Davis opted out of the NBA Draft and will return this season, making Indiana one of the favorites to capture the Big Ten crown. Add in the fact that Indiana landed a top-15 recruiting class headlined by possible impact freshmen Jalen Hood-Schifino and Malik Reneau, and the future looks exceedingly bright. The expectations for 2022-23 are vastly different than they were a year ago, we’ll learn a lot about Woodson this year.
FIVE-WORD TAKEAWAY: A prove-it year incoming.
PORTER MOSER, Oklahoma
2021-2022 RECORD: 19-16 (lost in the second round of the NIT)
2022 RECRUITING RANKING: No. 23
HOW THINGS ARE TRENDING: Few expected Porter Moser’s first year in Norman to be a particularly memorable one. Oklahoma was picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 preseason poll and ended up finishing eighth, so it’s not as though the new head coach drastically underperformed. That said, there will be more critical eyes on Moser in his second season. Oklahoma hasn’t missed the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years in more than a decade, and Moser certainly doesn't want to do it in his first two seasons. OU’s top-25 recruiting class is expected to help long term even if it lacks top-tier talent. Nobody expects Moser’s squad to be a Big 12 title contender this season, but another missed NCAA Tournament would create some groans.
FIVE-WORD TAKEAWAY: Must show signs of life.
TOMMY LLOYD, Arizona
2021-2022 RECORD: 33-4 (Lost in the Sweet 16)
2022 RECRUITING RANKING: No. 70
HOW THINGS ARE TRENDING: The work Tommy Lloyd did in year one should be celebrated, as the first-time head coach arrived from Gonzaga to take over a proud program marred by scandal and delivered 30 wins and Arizona’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 2017. Not a bad opening act, right? The Wildcats 2022 recruiting ranking is a bit misleading, as the class features just one American prospect in big man Dylan Anderson. International prospects Filip Borovicanin and Henri Veesaar both bring length and positive reviews from those that have seen them live overseas. Texas transfer Courtney Ramey has proven capable to impact games at the high-major level and will be a major part of Lloyd’s second season. The early 2023 recruiting outlook also has a positive tone to it, as the Wildcats have a pair of talented guards (Kylan Boswell and KJ Lewis) already in the fold and are considered one of the favorites to land five-star forward KJ Evans.
FIVE-WORD TAKEAWAY: Cats are back on track.