In just his second season leading the Louisville basketball program Chris Mack has been named a finalist for a prominent national Coach of the Year Award.
Mack is one of 15 finalists for the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Award presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
In his second season with the Cardinals, Mack has guided No. 11/11 Louisville to a 22-5 record and a 13-3 ACC record which places UofL atop the league standings with four games remaining in the regular season. It is the best start for a Louisville team in six years and marks the most conference victories for the Cardinals in their six years in the ACC. This year is the just the fourth time in Louisville history that the Cardinals have remained among the top 13 of the Associated Press poll through the first 16 polls of the season (also 1966-67, 1974-75, 2012-13; poll for 1966-67 was only 15 weeks total).
Louisville is among the national leaders in three-point field goal percentage (.384, 11th in the nation), field goal percentage defense (.385, 16th), rebounding margin (+6.6, 19th) and scoring margin (+11.4, 21st). Louisville ranks among the nation’s top 35 teams in both offensive and defensive efficiency and stand at No. 9 in the nation in the NCAA’s NET rankings.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton is the only other ACC coach on the list with Mack. The others included on the late season watch list are Patrick Chambers, Penn State; Scott Drew, Baylor; Brian Dutcher, San Diego State; Mark Few, Gonzaga; Anthony Grant, Dayton; Bob Huggins, West Virginia; Ben Jacobson, Northern Iowa; LaVall Jordan, Butler; Greg McDermott, Creighton; Bruce Pearl, Auburn; Steve Pikiell, Rutgers; Brad Underwood; Illinois; and Kevin Willard, Seton Hall.<