As a Villanova grad who started at Nova the same year Jay Wright arrived, I can’t pretend that Wright wasn’t at or near the top of my man crush list from the time I was 18 until about… um, when Villanova missed the tournament this year. That said, it’s clear to many who watch the team on a daily basis each year that Wright is a better recruiter, motivator and game planner than he is in-game coach. Though I hesitate to make this analogy right now, he reminds me a lot of Andy Reid in that regard– players love him, and he can pull a wacky and successful gameplan out of his ass when needed, but his in-game management skills leave much to be desired. And inbounds plays. Wright couldn’t draw up a successful inbounds play for a 5-on-0 practice session.
Anyway, faults aside, Wright has done job a fantastic job in just over a decade at Villanova. Without looking it up (because I don’t have to and because I charted the team’s 2005-2006 wins on Post-It notes inside my cubicle when I worked for the Inquirer, much to the chagrin of my boss), Wright has led Villanova to two Sweet 16 finishes, an Elite Eight, and a Final Four. Not bad for a small Catholic school with a home arena that looks like a cheap tent. So it comes as some surprise that a polling of anonymous coaches found Wright to be the fifth most overrated in the country: [CBS Sports]
1) Roy Williams (North Carolina): 23 percent
2) Rick Barnes (Texas): 17 percent
3) Scott Drew (Baylor): 11 percent
4) Steve Lavin (St. John's): 9 percent
5) Jay Wright (Villanova): 6 percent
6) Ben Howland (UCLA): 6 percent
7) Jim Boeheim (Syracuse): 4 percent
8) Tommy Amaker (Harvard): 4 percent
What’s worse, this:
One anonymous coach:
On Jay Wright: "I'll tell you this about Villanova and Jay Wright. In all our prep over the years, he's the only coach we never prepared a scouting report for."
That’s somewhat understandable because Villanova basically runs the same motion offense on every play, with a sprinkling of three-four set plays per game. But no scouting at all? Again, ow.
Of course, this list can also double as some of the most successful coaches in the country. I’m sure Roy Williams doesn’t mind topping the list as he shines his trophies. And Ben Howland probably hasn’t even noticed as he stares at dem asses on the UCLA campus.
As for Jay? Well, he's still the best-looking coach.
I’m sure the comments from you St. Joes and Temple folks are going to be extremely reasonable here.
H/T to the fine folks at PhilaHoops.com, who do a great job