Herb Sendek

Herb Sendek’s time in Tempe could be coming to an end

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For the second time in less than a week, Lorenzo Romar has made an addition to his staff at Washington.

On Thursday afternoon, the head Husky added Lamont Smith to his staff. Smith was hired by Romar at St. Louis in 1999.

“We are excited to welcome Lamont Smith on our staff,” Romar said following the Huskies ninth of 10 practices for their upcoming foreign tour. “Lamont is very energetic and a dynamic recruiter.

“I know Lamont really well. I was able to give him his first job and I coached against him when he was a player at the University of San Diego. He has a great basketball mind and will have a big impact on our program.”

Since Romar hired Brad Jackson last week, room was made for Smith when Paul Fortier was taken off the bench and moved to the Director of Player Personnel and Player Development position.

The bigger issue, however, is where Smith came from. For the second time in two days, Herb Sendek has lost an assistant coach at Arizona State; on Wednesday, Scott Pera took a position at Penn.

This is bad, bad news for Sendek. For starters, losing an assistant coach just days before the school year is about to begin is a massive setback for any program. Sendek lost two. In two days. And, unfortunately for the Sun Devil faithful, Arizona State isn’t just “any program” right now. They are one of the worst high-major programs — in the present tense — in the country. Sendek, who is 98-96 in his tenure in Tempe, won just 10 games last season and only 12 the season before that, managing all of 10 Pac-12 wins during that stretch despite the Pac-12 being fairly atrocious during that time. That doesn’t include the fact that three of Arizona State’s top four scorers — and four total from last year’s rotation — transferred out of the program.

Making matter worse is the fact that Pera was the program’s recruiting coordinator, meaning he was the guy that knew Arizona State’s targets the best. That will be an important vacancy to fill quickly, something that may not happen. You see, there is little doubt that Sendek is currently sitting on the hottest seat in the conference. Yes, he still has hometown hero Jahii Carson at his disposal, but will Carson be enough to turn Arizona State’s season around?And if he’s not, will the number of defections finally convince the Sun Devil brass that it’s time to go in a different direction with their head coach?

Or did Pera and Smith simply see the writing on the wall? When a head coach is fired, more often than not his staff ends up out of a job as well. Knowing that, how many assistants with jobs that they are currently comfortable in would be willing to take the risk?

Should I even mention that Arizona State recently hired a new athletic director?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year

Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long defends Buffalo guard Jarryn Skeete during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Iowa State got a boost to its roster for next season as senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big 12 conference.

“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”

The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry’s personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?

 

VIDEO: John Calipari vows to lose some weight

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John Calipari has a goal this offseason: to lose some weight.

“Mid-50s, I let it go a little bit,” Calipari said as he worked out on an elliptical. “Had a heck of a year. But going forward, gotta get in better shape. Gotta get the body right. Started a week ago. What I will say to you is really simple. I’m not showing you my body for a month.”

The reason why Cal needs to get into shape?

He’s going to have to coach this year, because Tyler Ulis is heading to the NBA.

“I shoulda got some of his salary,” Ulis joked.

Cal won’t have to coach too hard. He’s got one of the best recruiting classes in the country coming into the program, including three top ten players and five of the nation’s top 30 prospects.

Four-star PG Jaylen Fisher de-commits from UNLV

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Coaching changes can wreak havoc on a program’s recruiting class, and that’s been the case for UNLV thanks to the tumultuous nature of their search for a new head coach. Thursday evening one prospect who remained committed to the Mountain West program throughout the process that ultimately led to Marvin Menzies landing the job announced that he’s decided to reopen his recruitment.

Four-star point guard Jaylen Fisher, ranked 55th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, announced via social media that he’s decided to de-commit from UNLV.

“I was very much looking forward to the opportunity to be a Rebel this year,” Fisher wrote. “But there have been a lot of changes with the program since I committed to UNLV; changes that have made me reconsider whether UNLV is still a good fit for me. So with that in mind and after much consideration with my family, I have decided it’s best that I reopen my recruitment.”

Fisher’s decision leaves wing Justin Jackson as the lone member of UNLV’s 2016 class at this point, with Jackson telling Scout.com in early April that he was undecided as to whether or not he’d reopen his recruitment. The school’s search for a coach began in January when they parted ways with Dave Rice, promoting Todd Simon in an interim role.

After deciding not to retain Simon, who’s now the head coach at Southern Utah, UNLV hired former Little Rock head coach Chris Beard…who left for Texas Tech less than two weeks later. UNLV landed Menzies, who they passed over for Beard, and he’s got a lot of work to do to field a roster that will be competitive in the Mountain West next season.

As for Fisher, the Arlington, Tennessee native should be a popular prospect with his decision to reopen things. And with Memphis losing former commit Charlie Moore, the Tigers are in need of help at the point. The question now is whether or not new head coach Tubby Smith will look to reach out to Fisher.

h/t Memphis Commercial-Appeal