Ben Jacobson

Ben Jacobson, Northern Iowa agree to a 10-year extension

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Another college basketball coach has locked up a lengthy extension.

Friday afternoon, Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson agreed to a 10-year deal that will keep him as the Panthers head coach until 2023. He joins the likes of VCU’s Shaka Smart and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg as coaches to ink long-term deals with their current teams this offseason.

Through his first six seasons as a head coach, Jacobson has tallied a 129-70 record, with five straight 20-win seasons. The new deal keeps his annual salary at $525,000 with $25,000 annual raises built in, according to The Des Moines Register. This deal extends his contract three years longer than the one he signed back in 2010.

In 2010, Jacobson broke out as a head coach when Northern Iowa made it to the Sweet 16, knocking off top-seeded Kansas during that run. The game was highlighted by Ali Farokhmanesh’s courageous 3-pointer with 35 second remaining; the dagger in the Panthers 69-67 win over the Jayhawks.

Jacobson has been considered for big coaching jobs, including the vacant Minnesota job, according to ESPN. According to the Des Moines Register, Jacobson has repeatedly said he is happy in Cedar Falls.

Northern Iowa finished third — behind Creighton and Wichita State — in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 21-14 (11-7 MVC) record. The Panthers are currently in the semifinal Tournament. Northern Iowa takes on Weber State on Saturday.

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

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

Kedren Johnson
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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.