5. Tony Bennett, University of Virginia HC

Tony Bennett is the leader of one of the best defenses in college basketball. He’s the outside the box hire. The college coach who could be looking for a challenge at the next level.

According to kenpom.com, over the last five seasons Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers have ranked 6th, 24th, 5th, 1st, and 5th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

He borrowed the vaunted “Pack-line” defense from his father Dick Bennett, former head coach at Washington State. Bennett’s defense is simple. One man relentlessly pressures the ball handler while the other four defenders sag off, hoping to encourage penetration into the help defenders. The defense is designed to force contested kick outs to jump shooters and double-teams in the post.


Bennett may want to return to the NBA as a coach, as his run as a player didn’t go smoothly. He was drafted in the second round by the Charlotte Hornets in 1992, and after three seasons his career ended due to a foot injury.

His name hasn’t been brought up as much as Jay Wright or John Calipari, but the defensive-oriented Bennett would be an interesting fit in New York.