South Carolina Basketball: Lamont Paris disrespected by coaching ranking

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris was ranked much lower than he should have been by College Basketball Report.
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris orchestrated one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent college basketball history, he was the SEC Coach of the Year, and he was a finalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year.

Yet, what he accomplished in the 2023-2024 season was not enough for at least one college basketball outlet.

College basketball report released their rankings of the SEC basketball coaches, and on their list 1-16 (yes, 16, as the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners are now part of the conference), Lamont Paris ranked a disappointing 12th.

Frankly, that ranking is disrespectful to Lamont Paris, and it is, flat-out, a bad take.

Coach Paris was ranked below Ole Miss' Chris Beard, Kentucky's Mark Pope, Texas A&M's Buzz Williams, Florida's Todd Golden, Texas' Rodney Terry, and Oklahoma's Porter Moser, all of whom one could make an argument belong below Paris.

Beard and Golden are good coaches, but neither had a better 2023 than Lamont Paris. Pope, Terry, and Moser have never coached in the SEC, and there are large numbers of all three of their fanbases who don't even seem to want them to be their coaches. Buzz Williams likely would have entered the 2024-2025 season on the hot seat had it not been for A&M's near-upset of Houston in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.

Lamont Paris probably should not be in the top-5 when his body of work is compared to the longer-term successes of those coaches (other than Chris Beard). However, a spot somewhere in the top-10 seems appropriate for the man who won the conference's Coach of the Year honor just a month ago.

With Paris recently signing a big contract to stay with the South Carolina basketball program for a long time, he will have plenty of time to push his name up lists like this one.

The entire College Basketball Report ranking can be seen below:

  1. Nate Oats, Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Rick Barnes, Tennessee Volunteers
  3. Chris Beard, Ole Miss Rebels
  4. John Calipari, Arkansas Razorbacks
  5. Bruce Pearl, Auburn Tigers
  6. Mark Pope, Kentucky Wildcats
  7. Buzz Williams, Texas A&M Aggies
  8. Todd Golden, Florida Gators
  9. Rodney Terry, Texas Longhorns
  10. Chris Jans, Mississippi State Bulldogs
  11. Porter Moser, Oklahoma Sooners
  12. Lamont Paris, South Carolina Gamecocks
  13. Dennis Gates, Missouri Tigers
  14. Mike White, Georgia Bulldogs
  15. Matt McMahon, LSU Tigers
  16. Mark Byington, Vanderbilt Commodores

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