Last Word On Basketball

2023 NCAA Tournament: Ranking Coaches and Players In Final Four

Is Jim Larranaga the best coach in the 2023 NCAA Final Four?

Mar 30, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga during a press conference at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 college basketball season is in the final weekend, with three games left, in what has been a crazy NCAA tournament. The Florida Atlantic Owls face the San Diego State Aztecs in the first national semifinal on Saturday. That game is followed by the Connecticut Huskies and Miami  Hurricanes. How do the players and coaches stack up in the 2023 Final Four rankings?

2023 NCAA Tournament: Ranking Coaches and Players In Final Four

2023 Final Four Rankings: Coaches

1. Jim Larranagra, Miami 

Jim Larrangra has made a career out of rebuilding programs and making them successful. The 64-year-old former national coach of the year is in the Final Four for the second time – he led George Mason on a magical run in 2007 – and has nearly 700 career wins (255-148 with Miami). He is 16-10 in 11 NCAA tournament appearances, six of which have been with the Canes.  

2. Dan Hurley, UConn:

Dan Hurley guided the Huskies to a third straight NCAA tournament berth. This is the furthest any 50-year-old’s teams have gotten, and the Huskies’ 29 wins is a personal best. Hurley is 253-160 in 13 seasons overall, 102-55 in five seasons with the Huskies,  and 6-4 in “the Dance.” 

3. Brian Dutcher, San Diego State 

Brian Dutcher, a two-time MWC, has done a fantastic job since taking over for Steve Fisher. Dutcher has directed SDSU to six straight 20-win seasons, including two 30-win campaigns and three NCAA tournament appearances. The 63-year-old is 150-46 in six seasons with the Aztecs, including 4-3 during the tournament. 

4. Dusty May, Florida Atlantic 

Dusty May has done a fantastic job since taking over the program in 2018. The 46-year-old, named the 2022-23 CUSA Coach of the Year, is the Owls’ all-time winningest coach with a 101-59 record. He has led FAU to five straight winning records, including a program-record 35 victories this year.    

2023 Final Four Rankings: Point Guard

1. Nijel Pack, Miami

Nijel Pack is a scoring point guard who is an excellent shooter but struggles on the defensive end. He doesn’t turn the ball over though he also doesn’t record many assists. Pack was the 2023 Midwest MOP as he reached the 20-point plateau twice and averaged nearly 19 points along with 3.2 3-pointers a game on over 50% shooting from the field and 44.8% from the 3-point line. 

2. Darrion Trammell, San Diego State

Darrion Trammell is a scoring point guard, although he hasn’t had to be with the Aztecs this year. Trammell, a poor shooter, is also a quality two-way player who has cut down on his turnovers in each of three collegiate seasons.  

3. Tristen Newton, UConn 

Tristen Newton is a pure point guard who is not a good shooter – a career below 40% shooter – though he knocked down a career-best 36.8% from beyond the arc this year. Newton is a quality defender who does have some issues with turnovers.

4. Nick Boyd, Florida Atlantic

Nick Boyd is a strong 3-point shooter who does not turn the ball over much. He is a solid rebounder and defender that has shown his moxie during the tournament.  

2023 Final Four Rankings: Wings

 1. Jordan Hawkins/ Andre Jackson, UConn

Jordan Hawkins, West Region’s MOP, and Andre Jackson are perfect wing compliments. Hawkins, a pure scorer, is fantastic off the catch from beyond the arc, although he is arguably the defensive weak link for the Huskies. Jackson is not really a scorer; he is a tough and tenacious defender that does all the little things offensively. 

2. Jordan Miller/ Isaiah Wong, Miami 

Jordan Miller is a slasher who has improved defensively since transferring to Miami. A strong rebounder, Miller is coming off a career night against Texas as he poured in 27 points on 7 of 7 from the field and 13 of 13 from the charity stripe.   

Isaiah Wong is one of the top NBA prospects playing this weekend. He is a three-level scorer who is solid defensively. Wong, who pumped in 47 points combined against Indiana and Houston, is also a playmaker. 

3. Matt Bradley/ Lamont Butler, San Diego State

Like Hawkins and Jackson, Matt Bradley and Lamont Butler complement each other well. Bradley is a scorer who shoots it very well and is an excellent defender. Meanwhile, Butler is not a huge threat offensively though he is a good distributor and a two-time all-MWC defensive team selection.   

4. Alijah Martin/ Bryan Greenlee, Florida Atlantic

Alijah Martin and Bryan Greenlee are two of FAU’s top 3-point threats. Martin, FAU’s second-leading scorer, is a very good rebounder – particularly on the offensive end – and a strong defender. 

Power Forwards

1. Alex Karaban, UConn:

Alex Karaban is the Huskies’ designated shooter, a job that the 6-8 freshman does very well. Karaban hits the offensive boards hard, a respectable defensive rebounder and a strong defender. 

2. Johnell Davis, Florida Atlantic 

Johnell Davis is the Owls’ top offensive player and defender. The 6-4 sophomore can score at all three levels, although more than half of shots come from beyond the arc, and is an outstanding defensive rebounder. He demonstrated his playmaking ability and all-around game throughout the tournament, earning All-East Region honors. 

3. Keshad Johnson, San Diego State

Keshad Johnson is an athletic 6-7 forward that does the small things for the Aztecs. Johnson can score around the rim though he is inconsistent. He is also a good rebounder, shot-blocker, and excellent defender.  

4. Wooga Poplar, Miami

Wooga Poplar is a physical player who is the Hurricanes second best individual defender. The 6-5 sophomore has shown tremendous improvement offensively and a fantastic shooter, producing a shooting slash line of .483/.390/.867.   


1. Adama Sanogo, UConn

Adama Sanogo has been the most dominant big man in the NCAA tournament. The 2023 All-Region selection, who produced two double-doubles, scored in double figures to go along with at least eight rebounds and one blocked shot in all four games.

2.Norchad Omier, Miami

Norchad Omier is a hard worker who thrives around the rim. The undersized five-man is a great rebounder, particularly on the offensive end, and a physical defender that can block shots.   

3. Nate Mensah, San Diego State 

Nate Mensah is a very similar player to Keshad Johnson in the sense that he is limited offensively and great on the defensive end. The two-time MWC DPOY thrives on the backboard on both ends and as a rim protector.  

4. Vladislav Goldin, FAU

Vladislav Goldin is FAU’s most important player this weekend. The 7-1 center is superb around the rim, especially on the glass. He is an outstanding defender and rim protector. 


1. FAU

The Owls have one of the top-scoring second units in the nation. They go nine deep with all four of their reserves averaging 15 or minutes, led by Giancarlo Rosado and Michael Forrest.

2. UConn

The Huskies also are a deep team, with four reserves playing regular minutes. The Huskies don’t get a lot of scoring from their bench, but they are all quality defenders. 7-2 freshman center Donovan Clingan leads the way.

3. San Diego State
SDSU goes nine deep with each player averaging at least 16 minutes a contest. The Aztecs don’t have anyone who can come off the bench and light up the scoreboard, but they are all quality defenders.

4. Miami

The Hurricanes have a decently talented bench. Hover, the Canes go just eight deep and their reserves aren’t overly productive.

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