St. John’s officially announces hiring of former UCLA/NBA guard Darrick Martin as assistant

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St. John’s has officially hired former UCLA guard Darrick Martin to replace Mike Dunlap on its coaching staff, the school announced Friday.

“I have known Darrick personally for more than 20 years, and our staff is pleased he has chosen to become a member of the Johnnies basketball family,” head coach Steve Lavin said in a statement. “With our current team being one of the youngest in school history, the timing is ideal for Darrick to join forces with our staff to assist in our efforts to return St. John’s to college basketball prominence.”

Martin played his college ball at UCLA before joining the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1994. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, averaging 6.9 points and 2.9 assists per game over the course of his career.

“I am really excited for the opportunity to work with Coach Lavin, our staff and student-athletes,” Martin said in the release. “There is a huge comfort level for me, having played for Coach Lavin and knowing Rico Hines coming in. I have met the staff and I am looking forward to working with this talented roster, and helping the student-athletes develop on and off the court.”

Martin joins the staff after Dunlap left in June to take the head coaching job with the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. Dunlap had been with the staff since Lavin took over in Queens in 2010.

Martin, a former point guard, will likely be pegged with helping to develop a young backcourt that includes leading returning scorer D’Angelo Harrison, Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch, who becomes eligible in December, and Chicago native Phil Greene.

The school also announced the promotion of assistants Rico Hines and Tony Chiles within the staff.

“Coach Hines and Coach Chiles are clearly deserving of this promotion,” said Lavin. “From the outset of my tenure at St. John’s, these two talented coaches have been tirelessly working alongside me, and their contributions have been vital to our efforts as we diligently work toward putting the Johnnies in position to be a consistent winner.”

The Red Storm finished last season with an overall record of 13-19, including 6-12 in the Big East. Star forward Moe Harkless has departed for the NBA, having been drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2012 draft.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

(YouTube)
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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.