Jim Platt

Jim Platt hired as assistant at Saint Louis

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Longtime college basketball coach Jim Platt has been hired as an assistant at Saint Louis to help on a staff that is now without head coach Rick Majerus, who took a leave of absence due to health concerns in late August.

Platt, who has spent 32 years as a head coach or assistant at the Division I level, has been on staff at schools that include Charleston Southern and Arkansas-Little Rock, most recently serving as an assistant at Army from 2005-10.

“SLU represents the very best in collegiate athletics,” Platt said in a statement. “It’s a school with tremendous academics and one that is competing at the highest level of college basketball. It’s the best combination to represent as a college coach.”

While at Army, Platt spent four seasons working under Jim Crews, who is now the interim head coach at Saint Louis in Majerus’ absence.

“Jim has been a great mentor for me during my career,” Platt went on to say. “I believe that under Jim’s leadership, experience and value system, the basketball program is going to be represented in a manner that emulates the values of Saint Louis University and Billiken athletics.”

As for Majerus, he announced last month that an ongoing heart condition would force him to take a leave of absence, coming off a season in which he guided the Billikens to a 26-8 overall record and a near-upset of No. 1 Michigan State in the NCAA tournament.

Saint Louis opens its season on Nov. 9 against USC Upstate.

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

North Carolina to wear black jerseys December 19 vs. UCLA

UNC Athletic Communications
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While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.

Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.

Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.

Villanova forward to undergo hip surgery

Jay Wright
Associated Press
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Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.

“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”

Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.

Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.