Rick Majerus

Rick Majerus will not return as Saint Louis coach


Friday, Saint Louis University announced that head coach Rick Majerus will not return as basketball team’s head coach.

Majerus, who took a leave of absence from the Billikens in late August, is still undergoing evaluation and treatment for an ongoing, serious heart condition.

The 64-year-old head coach, took Saint Louis to the NCAA tournament last season finishing 28-6 (12-4 Atlantic 10)

“Coach Majerus’ health is of the utmost importance, and our thoughts and prayers are with him as he faces his challenges,” said Director of Athletics Chris May in a press release. “We are thankful for Rick’s efforts as he succeeded by all accounts as our head men’s basketball coach. This is an exciting season for the program, and we think it is important to communicate, with transparency, to the student-athletes, staff and our loyal fans that Rick will not be returning.

“The focus for this season does not change,” said May. “Rick built this team to be in a position to compete for championships, and we will move forward with that same goal. We will continue to invest all of our resources to ensure that this team, under the leadership of interim head coach Jim Crews, is put in the best position possible to succeed.”

In five seasons at SLU, Majerus posted a 93-67 record. The former Utah and Ball State coach, helped build Saint Louis into a contending program in the A-10, a conference the Billikens joined in 2005.

Even without Majerus on the sideline Saint Louis still entered the season with high expectations. The Billikens received 10 first-place votes and were picked to finish second in the conference, behind St. Joseph’s.

SLU is 1-1 on the season, playing Texas A&M on Monday.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.