Forbes Study Finds Fran Dunphy the Second-Best College Basketball Coach in the Country 'for the Money'

Forbes Study Finds Fran Dunphy the Second-Best College Basketball Coach in the Country 'for the Money'

Resources and past success have a tendency to breed continued excellence in college athletics. That statement isn't exactly groundbreaking.

"You mean there's actually a reason top-tier recruits gravitate toward the Power 6 conferences and not the Sun Belt?"

Shocking revelations -- we know.

Still, over time, it can become tougher to judge which coaches are really doing a "good job" and which are riding off their particular institutional advantages.

Over the summer, CBS Sports published separate lists -- based on a poll of nearly 100 anonymous coaches -- of the most underrated and overrated coaches in the country. Speaking, at least in part, to the paragraph (sentence) above, Temple's Fran Dunphy was named the nation's most underrated coach while Villanova's Jay Wright was named the fifth-most overrated. (All of which gave me an excuse to harp on how badly Bill Self showed up Roy Williams in last year's Final Four when it came to the difference between recruiting talent and coaching talent.)

Well, Forbes has now broken the argument into monetary terms and compiled a list of the best coaches in the country "for the money."

In compiling this list, we concluded that the best way to rank a coach relative to his peers is not to do so based on the number of wins and loses alone, but instead on how much a coach wins and losses as compared to the resources he has.  Thus, the list we created is a ranking of the top college basketball coaches in the country based off the coaches “cost-per-win”, calculated by dividing the total number of wins against Division I opponents during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons by their respective schools basketball budget for each year. In essence, this creates an equation in which the variable numerator among coaches, resources, is divided over a constant denominator, wins and losses against the same pool of competition.

The study was split between high-major and mid-major institutions to account for the gross disparities between some of Division I's 340 basketball-playing schools.

And, in the high-major list, Forbes' study found Dunphy the second-most cost-effective coach in the nation. The numbers:

D-I Wins: 50

Cost-Per-Win: $123,570


Under Dunphy, the Temple Owls have gone to five straight NCAA tournaments and won a total of five A-10 Conference Regular Season and Tournament Titles.

If you were
curious as to who topped the list, St. Bonaventure's Mark Schmidt is your
winner with 36 wins for the low, low price of $88,467 per. Very nice to
see some praise for a guy who often goes under-appreciated even
in Atlantic-10 circles given the job he's done rebuilding an SBU program
that won last year's A-10 tournament. (Two words: welding certificate.)

Anyhow, before anybody gets too bent out of shape about Fran's national accolades one way or the other, it's worth mention that despite the due honors for his success -- Temple is the only program to beat a Top-10 team as an unranked opponent in each of the last five seasons -- the 2012-13 Owls have lost four of their last seven games (Kansas, Xavier, Bonaventure, Butler) and generally underwhelmed to date. They shoot too many threes relative to their percentage (31.8 percent on 21 attempts per game) and have largely failed defensively. Dunphy, in specific, has had difficulties figuring out his rotation. In two of the three games they have won since the New Year, they've barely gotten by against far lesser opponents (George Washington, Penn). Temple has made a habit of playing up and down to competition all season.

To tie all this back to where we started, as Dunphy's team has perhaps underachieved, Wright's Wildcats, from whom little was expected, knocked off two Top-5 teams (Lousiville, Syracuse) in the last week despite turning the ball over an average 16 times per game this season. All of which either proves or disproves everything or nothing everyone has ever said about the latter (as a coach).

So, while we're here, if you're so inclined, leave your list of the City 6 coaches from best to worst in the comments below based on whatever justifications you see fit. There's a ton of room for variation.

Mackanin benches Maikel Franco and Michael Saunders as Howie Kendrick ramps up rehab

Mackanin benches Maikel Franco and Michael Saunders as Howie Kendrick ramps up rehab

Having seen his team's offense produce just six hits and one run in the previous two games, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin benched Maikel Franco and Michael Saunders on Tuesday night.

The benchings could last more than one game.

"I'm not going to tip my hand because I don't know what my hand is yet," Mackanin said. "I feel like I have to do something to get some offense in the lineup and there comes a point in time where I’m trying different things.

“At this level you’ve got to produce. You want to play, you’ve got to hit and they have to understand that. Nobody is here on scholarship."

Franco and Saunders opened the season hitting fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Phillies' batting order.

Entering play Tuesday, Franco was hitting just .221 with a .281 on-base percentage and a .377 slugging percentage.

Saunders was hitting .227 with a .273 on-base percentage and a .383 slugging percentage.

Franco was leading the team with 28 RBIs and tied for second with six homers, but his inconsistency and inability to harness his free-swinging approach was wearing on Mackanin. Franco swung wildly at breaking balls on Monday night and struck out twice. The 24-year-old third baseman has worked hard on developing a more disciplined approach with hitting coach Matt Stairs, but has been unable to consistently incorporate those adjustments into his game.

Mackanin said he was surprised by Franco's consistent struggles. He hoped the benching would take some pressure off the player.

"Befuddled is a good word," Mackanin said. "As much as he works in the cage and on the field in batting practice and does it right, when he gets in the game his head is still flying and his bat is coming out of the zone.

"You’ve heard me say this many times: Hitting is like riding a bike. I can’t teach you to keep your head in there. I can tell you to do it, but you have to do it on your own and he’s got to figure it out. Guys have to figure it out. They have to figure out how to get the job done. Whether it’s cut down on your swing, choke up, use a different bat, use a different stance, do something different. If you make outs the same way over and over, it’s not going to change."

Andres Blanco started at third base in place of Franco and Ty Kelly was in the lineup in left field with Aaron Altherr moving into Saunders' spot in right.

Quite notable was that on the same day that Franco and Saunders went to the bench, Howie Kendrick ramped up his rehab from an abdominal strain. He took batting practice outdoors for the first time since the April 15 injury. He could be ready for a minor-league rehab assignment later this week and be ready to play in the majors next week. Kendrick can play both corner outfield spots and both corner infield spots, so he could push Franco and Saunders for work if he hits and they continue to struggle.

Lifeless Phillies should call up red-hot Roman Quinn ... why not?

Lifeless Phillies should call up red-hot Roman Quinn ... why not?

The Phillies are a lifeless team right now.

For a while the starting pitching was the biggest issue, then it was the bullpen, now it's the offense. The Phils have hit .224 since May 12, which was when their 2-7 road trip began. 

Their .268 on-base percentage over that span is worst in the majors and their .613 OPS is better than only the Mariners.

Players up and down the lineup are slumping. Odubel Herrera has hit .207 with a .246 OBP since the ninth game of the season. Michael Saunders hasn't given them much at any point. Maikel Franco had an eight-game hit streak snapped Monday, but even still is hitting .221 with a .281 on-base percentage. 

At this point, why not bring up Roman Quinn and play him every day? It makes too much sense right now.

Daniel Nava went on the 10-day DL Monday with a hamstring strain suffered Friday in Pittsburgh. It doesn't seem to be a serious injury, but why not use the open space as an excuse to bring Quinn up for at least a few days and see what he's got?

Quinn could infuse some energy and life to the top of a sputtering lineup. Bat him second, play him in the corner outfield and see what happens. At the very least, he'd be a defensive upgrade over Saunders. At the most, Quinn's hunger to stick in the majors could result in a hot streak that sparks the top of the order the way Herrera does when he's hot.

Quinn is hitting lately at Triple A, batting .333 with a .424 OBP over his last 15 games. He showed last September that he can be an offensive catalyst with his ability to beat out infield singles, bunt for hits and spray the ball. Yes, he strikes out too much for a leadoff-type hitter, but it's just hard to see the downside of a call-up right now.

The argument against bringing Quinn up now is that it's too early to sour on Saunders, a player the Phillies signed in hopes of trading at some point. But think about how much Saunders would have to do to have worthwhile trade value. Yeah, you could flip him somewhere for a negligible return or some salary relief, but he'd have to be extremely productive for at least a month to get a team interested in trading a minor-leaguer of any value for him.

Pete Mackanin has tried many things to spark the Phils' lineup, moving Herrera and Franco down, sitting guys, challenging guys. The best solution, perhaps the only solution right now, might be a move made over his head to promote the Phils' speedy, switch-hitting outfielder who has a future with them so long as he stays on the field, which he has this season.

As for Rhys Hoskins and Jorge Alfaro, who have also hit very well at Triple A, they just happen to play the same positions as Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp, who have been the Phillies' most reliable bats the last few weeks.