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Two Big 12 Coaches Are Praised By NBA Brass
June 16, 2014
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman interviewed more than 40 NBA executives about which college coaches do the best job preparing their players for the next level. Two Big 12 coaches made the 12-coach list.

Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State Cyclones: The Mayor played in the league and was also in the front office for the Timberwolves, so he’s taken plenty from the NBA and utilized it in Ames. Hoiberg’s calm demeanor helps, and while he hasn’t necessarily produced a ton of pros yet, both DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim have a chance to get drafted this year. “He puts guys in NBA situations and as a result has changed the game offensively in college,” said one NBA executive. “He runs NBA sets.” 

Bill Self, Kansas Jayhawks: There haven’t been a ton of NBA stars yet, but that could change with Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins - who will almost certainly be chosen in the top three picks in the 2014 draft. Self has coached plenty of quality players, from Mario Chalmers to Xavier Henry and the Morris twins. “The way he pushes guys in practice and the way he incorporates pro concepts into his offense,” one NBA coach said of his strengths. 

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