In their final season in the Colonial Athletic Association the Georgia State Panthers have gone through an up and down season, as they enter this weekend with a 7-11 record (2-3 CAA).
Unfortunately for head coach Ron Hunter his bench will be a bit thinner for the remainder of the season, as the school announced on Friday that junior forward Denny Burguillos and redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Solomon are academically ineligible.
Burguillos and Solomon were on the lower end of the Panthers’ eight-man rotation, as they averaged 12.9 and 11.2 minutes per game respectively. Burguillos, a 6-7 forward from Venezuela who arrived at Georgia State by way of Casper CC in Wyoming, averaged 1.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17 games (six starts). Solomon was the more productive scorer of the two, averaging 5.4 points per game.
The question for Hunter is who can he call on to take some of the minutes now open with Burguillos and Solomon ineligible. Freshman David Travers is coming off of a game in which he scored eight points in 11 minutes of action (74-58 win over William & Mary) but is averaging just over six minutes per game on the season.
Fellow guard Ryann Green played 12 minutes in the win over William & Mary, and if the move isn’t to simply disperse those 24 minutes among the six players who have been consistent members of the rotation Travers and/or Green could be in line for an increase in playing time.
Georgia State plays four of its next five games on the road, beginning with Old Dominion on Saturday night. Three games behind first-place Northeastern (and two behind Towson, who they visit on Monday) it will be tough for the Panthers to make a run and put themselves in position to land a postseason bid.
With their decision to move to Conference USA, the Panthers won’t be able to take part in this season’s CAA tournament (conference bylaws prohibit departing schools from taking part).
Given what the CAA has been to this point in the season (favorites Delaware and Drexel have disappointed) this would be a good year for a team like Georgia State to have the conference tournament to shoot for.
“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
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
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.
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.
“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.