Furman head coach Jeff Jackson resigns after seven seasons

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In seven seasons at Furman head coach Jeff Jackson managed to eclipse the 20-win plateau just once, winning 22 games in 2010-11. After flirting with the .500 mark last season (15-16) the Paladins went 7-24 (3-15 SoCon) this season, ultimately leading to Jackson stepping down Friday as reported by multiple outlets.

Jackson, who also coached three seasons at New Hampshire (1996-99), leaves the school with an overall record of 85 wins and 131 losses.

“We respect Coach Jackson’s decision to resign and pursue other career opportunities, whether in coaching or other areas,” said athletic director Dr. Gary Clark in a statement released by the school.  “We appreciate the manner in which he has represented Furman University and Furman athletics.

“He has recruited quality young men who have performed in the classroom and represented Furman with class on the basketball court.  We wish Coach Jackson all the best in his future endeavors.”

Of Furman’s top four scorers just one, 6-9 forward Colin Reddick (12.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg), is a senior but obviously in coaching changes there’s no guarantee that the entire roster will return to play for the new head coach.

According to scout.com the Paladins don’t have any verbal commitments (or early signees) in the 2013 recruiting class. Bob Richey has been named interim head coach by the school, with assistants David Wilson and Shammond Williams remaining as his assistants.

“I would like to take this time to thank everyone in the Furman community for the support they showed our program, especially Dr. Clark and President Smolla,” said Jackson in the statement.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given to coach at Furman.”

Photo credit: Furman University Athletics

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.