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The Most Underrated Coach in College Basketball??

I am always apprehensive to tag any coach or player the most overrated or underrated of their profession.  It is often subjective, but I am willing to bend my philosophy for one man. When Billy Gillispie left College Station for Lexington in the Spring of 2007 most people assumed that would be the end of success for the Texas A&M basketball program.

You see, in 2006-2007 under the guide of Billy Clyde, the Texas A&M Aggies were 27-7 and a missed lay up away from their first elite eight in program history.  Gillispie’s replacement was a relatively unknown, mild mannered gentleman from the midwest named Mark Turgeon.  Those in basketball circles knew Mark Turgeon could coach.  In 2006 Turgeon coached the Wichita State Shockers (best nickname in basketball) to the sweet sixteen.  Billy Gillispie is charismatic, personable, animated, and blew into College Station like a west Texas dust devil.  Turgeon is reserved, soft-spoken, stoic, and arrived in College Station as anonymously as a traveling brush salesman.  Aggieland had faith in their new coach, but had their apprehensions he could take them where it seemed like Gillispie would.

In his first three seasons, all Turgeon has done is won at least 24 games and has made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament.  This season has been the best under Turgeon.  The fighting Aggies are 16-1 and ranked number ten in the coaches poll, eleven in the AP.  The formula has been pretty simple; good guard play and smothering defense.  I understand that Turgeon inherited a program on the rise from Billy Gillispie, but he has maintained the success and has the Aggies headed towards their best season in school history.  However, he is NEVER mentioned among the nations best coaches.  It’s time the rest of the nation pay attention to what Mark Turgeon is doing in College Station.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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