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Dan Dakich: Why Don’t More College Coaches Make the Jump to the NBA?

ESPN’s Dan Dakich joined Jeff Thurn on Tuesday’s edition of Overtime. 

Dakich (@dandakich) hosts a radio show on ESPN, and is a college basketball analyst for the network. He is a former college basketball coach at Bowling Green and West Virginia.

Kentucky’s Julius Randle declared for the NBA Draft, leaving the Wildcats after one season. Randle helped lead Kentucky to the national championship game, and averaged 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in six games in the NCAA Tournament.

Thurn asks Dakich if there is any other way that John Calipari could run his program besides the one and done system that he has, and have the same success he is having at Kentucky? 

“Sure, he’s a good coach, but I think that every coach around would like to do what he’s doing, which is get the best players in the country and if you can do that, you got a chance. The one and done thing is probably going to change. He wants it to change because he wants those guys for two or three years. But yeah, I think so, look Kentucky recruits itself, the fanbase is crazy, John is perfect for that job. So, he chooses to do it this way, but if he did it another way, I think it would work out, too.”

Kentucky won the national championship under Calipari in 2012 and lost the national championship this season against Connecticut. Randle and James Young, both freshman, have declared for the NBA Draft in June. Twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison have yet to make a decision.

Thurn asks Dakich, which Kentucky freshman will be the best on the next level? 

“Oh, I think Randle is going to be. I don’t know about James Young. A lot guys are like Young. The Harrisons’ are okay, but I think Randle is the guy. I just think his tenacity projects. I think his size, how he gets above. He’s going to have to shoot it better. I don’t think he’s going to be a superstar, but I think he’s the guy personally. James Young is a guy a lot of people have. 6’6″ kid, he can shoot the ball. All over the NBA, but Randle is a little bit different because how hard he goes.”

Dakich on why there aren’t more college coaches that make the jump to the NBA? 

“Totally different game. You’re a slave to your players, meaning you’re at their risk. They’re are guy. You work for them, and if they don’t want to go, and have a big deal, they don’t have to go. The truth is, and John (Calipari) said this on an interview, a friend of his was going to go to the NBA, and thought his energy could bring 10 wins, and John was like, you have to have guys, and anybody in the NBA will tell you exactly what I just told you. If you don’t have guys, or ownership that is going to go get guys, then you are going to have a problem, and that’s the biggest thing. Look, I don’t know that there’s a better coach than Rick Pitino. Pitino was pretty good when he had guys in New York, but didn’t have guys in Boston. He couldn’t go.”

Billy Donovan, Fred Hoiberg, and Tom Izzo have all been rumored to be candidates for the Minnesota coaching job.

To hear more of Dakich’s interview with Thurn, listen below:

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Catch Thurn on Overtime weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on ESPN 99.1.

For comments, or story ideas, email Sam at tastadsam@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.

Rich Barnes/Getty Images

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