There is no mystery as to who currently dominates the recruiting game. John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski and Bill Self continually enroll blue-chip prospect after blue-chip prospect.
However, there is a slew of up-and-comers that will be rubbing elbows with the recruiting goliaths in the coming years and, by the time 2030 arrives, could be household names within the sport, a dozen names that are currently either leading mid-major programs, assisting a power conference schools or another that already holds two national titles to his name.
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Wes Miller - UNC Greensboro
The former North Carolina guard won a national title but didn’t enjoy similar success whenever he overtook the Greensboro program on an interim basis during the 2011-12 season. In his first full year as the head coach, he won just nine games but it has been a steady incline ever since.
Things really took over in 2016 as the Spartans have won at least 25 games and finished second or higher within the Southern Conference since then. A well-respected name throughout the region and showing a great eye for under-the-radar talent that fits his system, Miller is still only 36 years old and will likely be leading a high-major program by the time 2022 arrives.
Craig Smith - Utah State
Headlining a unit that is top-25 in the national polls, could this be Smith’s final season at Utah State. If it is not, it is only a matter of time before a power conference school poaches Smith from the Mountain West.
The 46-year old head coach has spent just over a full season at USU but has a winning percentage over .800, this following great success at North Dakota where he won 48 games throughout his final two seasons. While it may take the right job for Smith to walk away from the monster that he has created in Logan, Smith has shown that he can develop, recruit his region and internationally, and win the X-and-Os game, which should place him on the short list of a number of high-major coaching searches in the near future.
Billy Donovan - Oklahoma State Thunder
No, Brad Stevens is not coming back to the college ranks. Could Donovan, though? Rumors continue to swirl especially with a number of elite programs set to have coaching vacancies within the coming years.
The Oklahoma City Thunder may be in for a few down years as they have a plethora of draft selections in their pocket. Will Donovan be in for the long haul, though his contract is up after this season, or might he be intrigued enough to head back to the college ranks?
His name carries plenty of cache and chances are, if things go down the wrong path in OKC and the proper opening presents itself, Donovan could make his long-awaited return to the college ranks.