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Jay Wright’s Program

The best dressed man in college basketball is going home to Philly with some new hardware.

April 03, 2018 - 12:46 pm
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Let me tell you something that's more terrifying for college basketball than an FBI investigation. Jerold Taylor Wright Jr. Nobody deserves full government more than the man running the Nova Dynasty. Because the best dressed man in college basketball is going home to Philly with some new hardware. And a guy who used to get tagged with the rap that he can't win the big one and that he runs a gimmicky little offense, just put a freaking buzz saw through the bracket. 

That's two for him. And unlike that icy dagger Kris Jenkins dropped in 2016, my man could've kicked up his wing-tips and enjoyed a victory stogie and a bottle of red for most of that second half.  

I'm never going to be the guy who builds Mount Rushmores or creates pantheons or power rankings of coaches. Never have. Never will. But here's what I will say. Jay Wright's a master craftsman. Jay Wright's as good as there is when it comes to coaching basketball -- at any level. And Jay Wright looks like he's only getting better. What he's been able to do during the one-and-done era is absolutely insane. 

Because here's how Jay Wright dominates the one-and-done era? By having zero one and dones. By running out a starting lineup with four redshirts, and then bringing another one off the bench in tournament superstar Donte DiVincenzo. You know how you stay out of the muck that comes in the era of recruiting with AAU coaches and runners and bagmen and NBA agents? By staying out of the muck and not recruiting that type of player. 

Now don't get this twisted. You don't win 165 games over the last five seasons and cut down two nets if you aren't recruiting good players. And Wright can land those guys if he needs to. Omari Spellman was a McDonald’s All-American. So was national player of the year Jalen Brunson. Both those guys picked Nova and both those guys have balled out. But they're the perks of the system Wright's created; they aren't the fuel that keeps it alive. You know Jay Wright could own a living room if he wanted to. You know he could win more than his share of battles with Cal and Coach K and Bill Self and Roy Williams if he wanted to. That's just not how he rolls. 

And that's what makes this run so terrifying. This is a slow boil. This is a foundation laid brick by brick. This program is gassed up, snacks in the car, a playlist loaded up, a thermos full of Java, absolutely ready for the long haul. Josh Hart leaves, Jalen Brunson takes his place. Brunson jets for the NBA? Just plug in Divincenzo next. And there's another wave that's already signed on the line that's dotted, ready to keep this machine churning. 

I know the NBA is out there. I know any GM in the association  with could  pick up the phone and offer to quadruple the paycheck of the 24th highest paid coach in college hoops. I also know that Philly is Wright's home town, Nova is his wife's alma mater, and he might be the one coach who is legitimately telling the truth when he says he's got his dream job. And at just 56 years old, he could be running this monster for a long, long time. And if I’m Villanova, I give this guy whatever he wants. Because if you don’t, someone else will. And right now, not only is there not a better team in the country, there’s also not a better program. Yeah, I said it. And before you tell me to slow my roll, just know, Jay Wright has more national titles than Jim Boehiem, John Calipari, Bill Self and Tom Izzo. No one, and I mean no one is doing it better than Wright. He’s just second coach in division I history to lead his team to four straight 30 win seasons. This dude is a stone cold killa. And not only one of the best in the game, but when you consider what he built there, and what they’ve accomplished in the last five years, he’s one of the best to ever do it. And shows no signs whatsoever of slowing down.