Pat Chambers Ranked Seventh-Best Coach At Developing Talent

It’s not often that you see Pat Chambers ranked alongside coaches like Jay Wright and ahead of Coach K and Bill Self, but ESPN’s John Gasaway did just that on Tuesday.

Chambers was ranked No. 7 on a list of college basketball’s best coaches in terms of developing talent with a 0.85 Growth Above Replacement Player (GARP) rating. He ranked above Arizona’s Sean Miller and Purdue’s Matt Painter, who checked in at No. 8 and No. 9 with GARP ratings of 0.79 and 0.73, respectively.

The list was based on GARP — a statistic that measures how players grow on a year-to-year basis. Gasaway derived the statistic from the expected year-to-year growth of players’ Box Plus/Minus (BPM) and Real Plus/Minus (RPM) ratings. These stats focus on how well a team performs when a certain player is on the court — BPM is based on players’ contributions per 100 possessions, while RPM is simply a count of how many points a team scores and allows while a certain player is on the court.

Gasaway cited standouts Tony Carr and Josh Reaves as the biggest reasons for Chambers’ high ranking on this list. Carr and Reaves each produced improvements in their BPM ratings that were unprecedented. Victor Oladipo — an established NBA shooting guard today — posted similarly high numbers during his NCAA career with Indiana.

Even so, Gasaway says this doesn’t necessarily mean Chambers is “some kind of extreme player-development wiz.”

“All I know is returning Nittany Lions have tended to be better than would’ve been expected based on their prior season profiles,” Gasaway wrote. “Make of that what you will.”

According to Gasaway, most coaches hover around a 0.00 GARP rating, which isn’t bad at all. Having a rating close to zero actually means that players are developing as expected. For example, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Kansas’ Bill Self don’t appear in the top 15 of this list, but that’s because it’s difficult for the blue-chip recruits they bring in to exceed expectations and develop into better players than their teams’ previous stars.

But enough of that nonsense. Is Pat Chambers better than Coach K and Bill Self? According to this metric, the answer is a resounding yes.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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