Rob Dauster’s 5 Best College Basketball Coaches This Season

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Kansas head coach Bill Self directs his team during the first half of the NCAA college basketball exhibition game against Illinois Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Champaign, Ill.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable Nov 09, 2023, 11:58 AM

There are a number of factors that go into making picks in college basketball betting. One of many is how good a coach of a particular team is.

This can give a team a slight edge, or even a big one, given the discrepancy. 

While there are a number of great coaches in the college basketball game at the moment, only a few are in the elite category.

Rob Dauster, founder of The Field of 68, which has recently partnered with BetMGM, listed his five best college basketball coaches going into the 2023-24 season.

“They have a system that they know works for them that they can tweak as needed, but they build everything around what they are looking for and get the guys they want to get,” he said of the common threads between the best.

Bill Self

Self, who is the highest-paid coach in college basketball, has been at Kansas since 2003.

During that time, he has won 16 Big 12 regular-season championships, made the Final Four three times and won two national championships.

Dauster noted his record speaks for itself. 

Kelvin Sampson

Sampson has been coaching for 31 years, with Houston being his fourth school. He’s been with the Cougars since 2014. Prior to that, he coached at Indiana, Oklahoma and Washington State.

With Houston, he’s reached the NCAA Tournament five times, making the Elite Eight twice and Final Four once.

“You know you’re always going to have a team that is tough, that defends, gets after it on the offensive glass and has a certain standard that they always play with,” Dauster said of Sampson.

Rick Pitino

Pitino has been around the game a very long time, even coaching two teams in the NBA in the Knicks (1987-89) and Celtics (1997-2001).

As a college basketball coach, he’s won two national championships (Kentucky in 1996 and Lousiville in 2013). He’s also reached the Final Four seven times.

Pitino is currently with St. John’s, following a few seasons at Iona.

“He bounces around, but he wins literally everywhere he goes,” said Dauster.

Scott Drew

Drew has led the Baylor Bears since 2003. 

During that time, he’s been named the Big 12 Coach of the Year three times and won one national championship (2021).

Coaching in the same conference as Self, Drew sometimes gets forgotten. 

Matt Painter

“My hot take is by the time this season is over, Matt Painter is going to be the consensus No. 5 guy on the list because I think he’s going to take Purdue to the Final Four and maybe win a national title, and people will be saying Matt Painter is the next Tony Bennett,” Dauster said.

Painter has been at Purdue since 2005, making the NCAA Tournament 14 times. The Boilermakers reached the Elite Eight in 2019.

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”