NBA/Philadelphia 76ers

Report: 76ers assistant Brian James to join Chris Collins at Northwestern

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First-year Northwestern head coach Chris Collins will reportedly add a familiar face to his coaching staff, hiring current Philadelphia 76ers assistant Brian James according to Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

While James isn’t a familiar face to Northwestern he is to Collins, as he was Collins’ high school coach at Glenbrook North (Ill.) in the Chicago suburbs.

James has spent the last three seasons on Doug Collins’ staff in Philadelphia and has 13 years of coaching experience at the NBA level.

James will be the second hire that Chris Collins has made since taking over at Northwestern. Collins made the decision just over a week ago to retain Northwestern alumnus Tavaras Hardy, who was a member of Bill Carmody’s staff for the last seven seasons.

A formal announcement of James joining the staff at Northwestern may not come until later in the week, as the 76ers complete their season Wednesday night.

Currently Northwestern is due to return key contributors such as guards Tre Demps and Dave Sobolewski and forward Kale Abrahamson, and veteran guard JerShon Cobb (academics) is expected to return as well after missing all of last season.

The biggest question is the status of senior wing Drew Crawford, who played just nine games (the exhibition against Chicago doesn’t count in the calculation) before being sitting out the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.

Playing in nine of Northwestern’s 32 games would work out to a percentage of 28.1%, falling just below the NCAA’s 30% threshold for a medical redshirt (a player cannot receive a waiver if they play in more than 30% of their team’s games).

If both Crawford and Cobb return to the rotation, Northwestern has a chance to improve upon its 13-19 record in 2012-13.

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

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

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.