Ridiculous Upside typically doesn't focus a lot on college basketball until right around the time of the NBA Draft, but there's an under-reported story happening with a former D-League coach out in Pocatello, Idaho, that seemed worth mentioning.
Deane Martin, former assistant coach for both the Dakota Wizards and Bakersfield Jam, is being lauded as a potential Coach of the Year candidate with the Idaho State Bengals.
Martin, a grinder if there ever was one on the basketball coaching circuit, took an assistant coaching job with Idaho State this summer after spending last season coaching in Mexico. He was promoted to head coach when Joe O'Brien resigned following a 2-8 start and has been working on turning the program ever since.
Comcast Sportsnet's Greg Crawford has more on Martin's impressive turnaround of the Bengals' program in this week's column:
Idaho State should post the job opening, do all the background work, but no one around deserves become the permanent head coach of the Bengals next season than their present interim coach, Deane Martin. In his first year at Idaho State and his first head coaching position in college basketball, Martin has done the impossible and there is no other way to describe it.
Idaho State presently sits alone in fourth place in the Big Sky with a 5-4 record after a great home court victory last Saturday over Big Sky powerhouse Weber State. Since taking over December 19th after head coach Joe O'Brien abruptly resigned, Martin is probably doing the best job of coaching in the country. Before the season started you could not find one person who would have told you that the Bengals would win five league games and they were a unanimous choice to finish last in the Big Sky by every single poll and person who knows basketball. This is a really good story, will not get much national attention, but Deane Martin has to be considered for national coach of the year. His performance is beyond words, what he has accomplished.
Good to see good people doing good things.