Commentary

Super Six coaches on the rise

Updated: January 20, 2011, 5:40 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

On Monday night I had a discussion on-air with my partner, Dan Shulman. We discussed coaches who we thought are on the rise. Dan gave me a homework assignment, and I have developed my Super Six coaches on the rise:

Let's start with Matt Painter at Purdue. He is well on his way to his fifth straight 20-win season. He led the Boilermakers to a 29-6 record last season. If Robbie Hummel wasn't hurt last season or this one, we would be talking about a team competing for two national championships.

In a short time, Sean Miller already has Arizona back on the map. The Wildcats will compete for the Pac-10 title this season, and the future is bright in Tucson. Miller did a super job at Xavier before heading west.

Mark Turgeon had great success at Wichita State and continues to do so at Texas A&M. He received a contract extension last year, a good move for the fans in College Station. The former Kansas guard has done a solid job.

Mike Anderson has that "40 minutes of hell" style at Missouri. The Tigers have been ranked most of this season, and the school has him signed to a long-term deal.

I love the job Randy Bennett has done at Saint Mary's. Last season, this team provided its share of surprises to make the Sweet 16. No Omar Samhan this season, no problem. The Gaels are ranked again and quietly proving to be a dangerous team.

Alabama's Anthony Grant has had struggles early on, but I believe that in the long run he will produce solid win numbers in Tuscaloosa. His team recently scored a big win over Kentucky.

There you have it, six coaches whose stock is going up.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.