Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin completes staff with hiring of assistant Antwon Jackson

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With the July evaluation period on the horizon it’s important that schools with openings on their coaching staff make the necessary hires.

Cincinnati became the most recent school to take care of that issue on Friday, as head coach Mick Cronin announced the hiring of Antwon Jackson as an assistant coach.

Jackson spent the last four seasons on Derek Kellogg’s staff at UMass, and also on his resume are stints at William & Mary and with the DC Assault AAU program.

“The people here at the University of Cincinnati have been fantastic,” Jackson said in a statement released by the school. “I have visited here before and always thought that I could see myself working here one day. UC has a great basketball tradition and plays in an outstanding league in the Big East Conference.

“I’m looking forward to working alongside Coach Cronin and the basketball staff. I like the way that he is real with the players. He’s very versatile in that when he needs to pump you up, he’ll pump you up, but when he needs to drop the hammer, he’ll do that too.”

With three key figures (Cheikh Mbodj, JaQuon Parker and Cashmere Wright) moving into their senior seasons and Sean Kilpatrick entering his junior campaign this is an important summer for the Bearcats on the recruiting trail.

Obviously the hope is that adding Jackson will give Cincinnati a nice boost on that front, in addition to what he can bring from a strategy standpoint.

“I’ve seen what he has been a part of at UMass and also William and Mary, rebuilding programs with a hard-working mentality, and I know he understands what it takes to be successful in college basketball,” said Cronin in the statement announcing the hiring of Jackson and strength and conditioning coach Mike Rehfeldt.

“That shares our belief that having the right attitude is imperative to success. He will help us on the floor, in the locker room and also in the key area of recruiting. Antwon has built great relationships and I am confident he will be able to help us as a recruiter.”

Photo credit: University of Massachusetts

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Syracuse wins Atlantis, Miami gets upset

Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP
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(This will be updated throughout the day.)

GAME OF THE DAY: Syracuse 74, No. 25 Texas A&M 67

The Orange got 20 points from Michael Gbinije and 15 points and five assists from Trevor Cooney as they won the Battle 4 Atlantis title on Friday afternoon. We wrote on this game earlier. Are the Orange for real this year?


No. 10 Gonzaga 73, No. 17 UConn 70: Eric McClellan and Kyle Dranginis made some big plays down the stretch as the Bulldogs held on to win a game they led by as much as 21 in the second half. Kyle Wiltjer scored a team-best 17 points for Gonzaga, which finished third at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Rob Dauster wrote more about the Bulldogs and their second-half performance here.

Alabama 64, No. 20 Wichita State 60: Not only did the Shockers drop their second straight at the AdvoCare Invitational, but they also saw Anton Grady leave the game on a stretcher after being involved in a scary second-half collision. He was awake and alert shortly after leaving the court. While the Shockers’ losses to USC and Alabama don’t help them from an NCAA tournament standpoint, the bigger issue is the team’s health.


Quincy Ford, Northeastern: Not only did he score 24 points in the upset win over No. 15 Miami, but he hit the game-winning jumper, too. Video here.


Wichita State’s bigs: Five of them (Anton Grady, Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly, Bush Wakumota, Eric Hamilton) finished a combined 3-for-21 from the floor with 14 points and 14 fouls. Wakumota shot one of the worst threes you’ll ever see with Wichita State down 62-60 with 10 seconds left.

Grady suffered a scary neck injury late in the game, but early reports sound positive.


  • Jamal Murray went for 21 points and three assists without a turnover at No. 1 Kentucky rolled over South Florida. The big question: How bad is Tyler Ulis’ elbow injury?
  • Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart both had 13 points as No. 8 Villanova knocked off Georgia Tech to win the Preseason NIT, 69-52.
  • No. 23 Xavier raced out of the gates against USC and led by as much as 32, going on to win 87-77 in Orlando. Trevon Bluiett led four Musketeers in double figures with 16 points and James Farr added 12 to go along with nine rebounds off the bench.


  • Stanford finished third at the Preseason NIT with a 69-66 win over Arkansas, closing the game on a stunning 21-1 run. Rosco Allen scored eight of his career-high 25 points during that run, and Marcus Allen’s goal-tended layup with 2.6 seconds remaining gave the Cardinal the lead for good.

Good luck Goodluck: UNLV’s Okonoboh to transfer

Goodluck Okonoboh
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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UNLV sophomore Goodluck Okonoboh is transferring out of the program, a source told NBCSports.com.

The 6-foot-10 center was the No. 31 recruit in the Class of 2014, but he never was able to find a place in the UNLV rotation. He averaged 2.9 blocks as a freshman, but is a career 34 percent free throw shooter that never proved he could be more than just an athlete.

With Ben Carter getting eligible and UNLV landing Stephen Zimmerman this season, Okonoboh’s minutes dried up. He played just 19 minutes total against UCLA and Indiana.