Report: Jessie Evans to join Dickey Nutt’s staff at Southeast Missouri State

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With the first of three open evaluation periods less than a week away, this is not a good time for a college head coach to have just one assistant.

That’s what faced Southeast Missouri State head coach Dickey Nutt, who decided at the end of the season not to retain Jeremy Case and Kyle Gerdeman.

According to the Southeast Missourian, the number of assistant coaches will rise to two and the addition will be an experienced coach at that.

Jessie Evans, who has been an assistant at five schools (including Arizona, where he was part of the program’s lone national title in 1997) and a head coach at Louisiana and San Francisco, will reportedly join Nutt’s staff.

Evans has a head coaching record of 179-146 with the bulk of his success coming at Louisiana, where he led the Ragin’ Cajuns to two NCAA tournament appearances.

Evans joins Jamie Rosser on the SEMO staff, and it remains to be seen if Nutt has someone in mind for the vacant position and if they’ll be on board before July 11 (start of first open evaluation period of July).

Southeast Missouri State finished tied for fourth in the OVC with a 9-7 mark (15-16 overall), but the Redhawks failed to reach the .500 mark despite increasing their win total for the second straight season.

While the OVC will get tougher with the arrival of Belmont and defending champion Murray State isn’t going anywhere, the Redhawks’ top four scorers will return led by forward Tyler Stone (14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and guard Marland Smith (12.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg).

Can the addition of Evans and his experience help SEMO take the next step towards truly contending in the OVC? Their fans can only hope that this will be the case.

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

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.