Poll Names Fran Dunphy Most Underrated Coach in Country, Says Opposite for Jay Wright

Poll Names Fran Dunphy Most Underrated Coach in Country, Says Opposite for Jay Wright

Always good to work in a little college basketball in August.

CBSSports's college basketball bloggers spent "the July open recruiting period hobnobbing with nearly 100 coaches" and took some surveys about how those coaches view the current landscape.

Concerning two in our local Big 5, those polled produced wildly divergent opinions on the statures of Temple's Fran Dunphy and Villanova's Jay Wright.

Just wait until you read what one of the polled said about the latter.

Starting with Dunph, he was named the most underrated coach in the country by his peers, taking in 14 percent of the vote. Randy Bennett (Saint Mary's), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Bill Self (Kansas) and Buzz Williams (Marquette) round out the top five.

Each list had a subsection of quotes about the individuals in question and a few big picture takeaways from the voting:

On Fran Dunphy: "His teams always win. They are just like him. Quiet, unassuming. He's a good guy and just wins."

Takeaway: Dunphy is about as well-liked as anyone in the country, so that probably played into it a bit. However, his track record is also pretty impressive. He won more than 300 games and went to nine NCAA tournaments in his Ivy League stint at Penn -- and has done a phenomenal job since following John Chaney at Temple. The Owls have finished first or second in the A-10 for each of the past five seasons.

As for Wright, a separate list released Wednesday, also voted on by his coaching peers, named him the fifth most overrated head man in the nation. With six percent of the vote, he sits behind Roy Williams (North Carolina), Rick Barnes (Texas), Scott Drew (Baylor), Steve Lavin (st. John's) and ahead of Ben Howland (UCLA), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Tommy Amaker (Harvard).

On Jay Wright: "I'll tell you this about Villanova and Jay Wright. In all our prep over the years, he's the only coach we never prepared a scouting report for."

Yikes. But you know what? Take a look at that list again.

The criticisms most commonly hurled Williams' way -- especially after the Stilman White/Kansas-UNC/triangle-and-two debacle in last year's Elite Eight, which, by the way, also probably benefitted Self on the other list -- are ones not uncommonly ascribed to Wright -- a great recruiter who masks X's and O's deficiencies with talent. Two other guys on that list, Barnes and Boeheim, have noted histories of recruiting the nation's elite.

Wright's local cred also took something of a hit last season when his Wildcats took a harsh tumble down the Big East rankings after a prolonged period of success.

Then you have a guy like Dunphy, whom you won't hear a negative word about, but who struggles to win NCAA tournament games after his Owls put together consistently impressive regular seasons and routinely knock off Top 10 opponents. His recruits can be from a slightly different pool than Wright's, and yet he hits home runs more often than not with the kids he does get to commit.

These lists are all a matter of perspective and how you look at college coaches. Is their job to maximize what talent they can recruit, or simply to acquire as much of it as they can? Of course, the answer is both, but different coaches have different skill sets, resources and backgrounds. It's worth a reminder, though, that both are just a year away from sharing a conference, which will obviously eliminate some of the differences.

Bottom line, always great to see the national love for Fran. As for Jay, it's easy to beat on a guy while his program is down. And as Roy Williams and Jim Boehiem will tell you, they'll even beat on you when you're (mostly) up.

Best of NHL: Canadiens score 10 goals in rout of Avalanche

Best of NHL: Canadiens score 10 goals in rout of Avalanche

MONTREAL -- Max Pacioretty had four goals, Brian Flynn scored twice during a six-goal first period and the Montreal Canadiens routed the Colorado Avalanche 10-1 on Saturday night.

Flynn, Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen each scored against Calvin Pickard in the opening 7:12, and then Pacioretty, Paul Byron and Flynn each had a goal among the first four shots on Semyon Varlamov.

Pacioretty completed his hat trick in the second period and added another in the third to give the captain seven goals in his last four games.

Alexander Radulov and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal, which has shown no drop-off without injured scoring leader and first-line center Alex Galchenyuk. Montreal outshot the Avs 36-16 (see full recap).

Malkin, Crosby lead Penguins past Lightning 4-3
TAMPA, Fla. -- Sidney Crosby had another eventful night.

The Penguins star returned after passing concussion protocol following a first-period hit to get his 20th goal, and that stoked Pittsburgh's rally for its latest victory.

Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both scored their second goals on third-period power plays, helping the Penguins come back to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Saturday.

Crosby was shaken up by Luke Witkowski's check with eight minutes to go in the first but returned for the start of the second period (see full recap).

Late barrage helps Blue Jackets beat Islanders 6-2
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jack Johnson, Cam Atkinson and Seth Jones each had a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the New York Islanders 6-2 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

Josh Anderson, Brandon Saad and Lukas Sedlak also scored for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky had 25 saves.

Josh Bailey and John Tavares scored for New York, which had earned a point in a season-high five straight games (4-0-1). Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves until he was pulled after the Blue Jackets scored four consecutive goals in the third period.

Anderson put Columbus ahead 3-2 at 2:19 when he picked off a defensive pass and banged it in from the slot seconds after coming onto the ice for his shift (see full recap).

Matthews, Hyman score in 2nd, Maple Leafs beat Bruins 4-1
BOSTON -- The Toronto Maple Leafs found a way to overcome a poor opening period.

Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and the Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.

"The last three games the first period kind of did us in," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "We didn't start on time. We were able to hold on. It still wasn't the first period we wanted, but we didn't give up the goals and we were able to execute a little bit."

After managing only two shots on goal in the first, Toronto was happy to get to the dressing room with the game scoreless (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Grizzlies dominate throughout, crush Warriors

Best of NBA: Grizzlies dominate throughout, crush Warriors

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Marc Gasol and Tony Allen scored 19 points each and the Memphis Grizzlies rolled over the Golden State Warriors 110-89 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

The Grizzlies led by as many as 30 points in the second half - the biggest advantage by any Warriors opponent this season. Seven Memphis players finished in double figures.

Kevin Durant led Golden State with 21 points, while Stephen Curry added 17 points and Ian Clark finished with 10 points. Curry and backcourt starter Klay Thompson (eight points) were a combined 8 of 28 from the field, including 3 of 14 outside the arc.

Memphis built a double-digit lead early, led 61-38 at halftime and kept building in the third quarter (see full recap).

Butler, Wade lead Bulls to 105-100 win over Heat
CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade added 28 against his former team and the Chicago Bulls held off the struggling Miami Heat 105-100 on Saturday night.

Butler scored Chicago's final 10 points to help the Bulls come out on top after Miami pulled within one.

Wade keyed a big third-quarter run in his second game against the Heat, and the Bulls hung on after handing San Antonio its first road loss two nights earlier.

Goran Dragic led Miami with 21 points and 11 assists. An energetic Hassan Whiteside added 20 points after being benched for part of Friday's blowout loss in Cleveland. Tyler Johnson scored 15, but the Heat dropped their fifth straight (see full recap).

LeBron scores 44, reaches assist mark as Cavs down Hornets
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 17 of his season-high 44 points in the fourth quarter and reached another career milestone as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their fourth straight, 116-105 over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.

James did it all, adding 10 assists and nine rebounds in 43 minutes. He took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 straight during one stretch to help the Cavs hold on.

As the final seconds ticked off, James stood at midcourt and spun the ball on his index finger as the crowd roared.

James, who moved into ninth place on the career scoring list Friday, recorded his 7,000th assist in the first half, becoming the first frontcourt player in NBA history to reach the plateau. James is the only player with 27,000 points and 7,000 assists (see full recap).

George has 37 points to lead Pacers over Blazers 118-111
INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored a season-high 37 points to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Portland Trail Blazers 118-111 on Saturday night.

George made five 3-pointers, and Thaddeus Young hit six 3s while getting 24 points and nine rebounds. Myles Turner added 14 points for the Pacers, who had lost five straight regular season games to Portland.

C.J. McCollum made a career-high seven 3-pointers and had a season-best 34 points for the Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard had 33 points behind five 3s.

George scored 13 straight points in the fourth quarter for Indiana. He was fouled on the go-ahead basket with 4:36 remaining and completed the three-point play to give the Pacers a 108-105 lead (see full recap).