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Why Isn’t Ben McCollum A Prominent Coaching Candidate Everywhere?

Somebody needs to back a truck full of money up to his driveway because the guy is a brilliant coach

Northwest Missouri State v West Texas A&M
EVANSVILLE, IN - MARCH 27: Head coach Ben McCollum of the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats looks on against the West Texas A&M Buffs during the Division II Men’s Basketball Championship held at The Ford Center on March 27, 2021 in Evansville, Indiana.
Photo by Joe Robbins/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Saturday featured some amazing story lines, drama and great defense.

And also a great mystery.

As schools like Indiana, Texas and Oklahoma, among others, began to search for coaches, we’re seeing names like Porter Moser, Paul Mills, Eric Musselman and others pop up.

DePaul may be looking at Chicago native and Duke assistant Jon Scheyer.

But what if everyone is making a colossal mistake? What if there’s a great coach who, somehow, never seems to get mentioned for such openings?

On Saturday, Northwest Missouri won the D-II title.

Well someone had to. It happens every year.

But look more carefully: the Bearcats won a national championship by 36 points. They won their last three games by a total of 78 points and finished the season 28-2.

NWMS has now won three national championships in the last five years and keep in mind that the tournament was not held last season due to the pandemic, so really it’s three out of four.

Over the last four years, the Bearcats have run up a 159-6 record. That’s an incredible accomplishment.

We mean no disrespect to Scheyer when we say this, because he is going to be a great coach, but he has only coached one game so far.

Ben McCollum has gone full Wooden in D-II, and it’s as if no one has even noticed. We can understand why an AD might not mention his name. There’s the D-II thing and of course discretion. No one wants to tip a hand too soon. And it could be as simple as he’s just rejected every offer because he’s quite happy where he is and has no intention of moving.

And obviously we’re talking from a great remove and there may be other reasons why no one has really courted him. We wondered for years why Gregg Marshall didn’t get an ACC job and whenever we asked, anyone, there was a weird silence. Well, we found out this fall, didn't we? There were very good reasons not to hire Marshall.

But McCollum is the greatest success in the game currently and he’s just 39. Where’s Garry Parrish? Where’s Jeff Goodman? Where’s Andy Katz? Where’s Rece Davis? What about Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas?

Why is there no meaningful national attention for such extraordinary accomplishments? Why do we feel like we’re the only ones who are pointing out the obvious: Any sane coaching search should include a guy with such stunning accomplishments. If he’s not worth a gamble, then who is?