We all knew that Ronald Nored would eventually wind up in the collegiate coaching ranks. It wasn’t even a matter of when; it was simply how soon.
The answer? Now.
Nored, the former Butler guard and Brownsburg (IN) HS head coach, has been hired by Matthew Graves, a Butler alumni himself and the new head coach at South Alabama. Graves was a member of the Butler staff when Nored was a player there.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to join Coach Graves’ staff,” Nored said in a statement released by the school. “In the four years I played for him I saw his unbelievable knowledge and dedication to make us the best we can be. I look forward to being a part of a staff that does things the right way, and allows young men to become better basketball players and people.”
“Ron is the best leader that I have ever coached,” Graves said. “His ability to raise the energy level by simply walking in the room is amazing. He will be an outstanding role model for our student-athletes.”
Few will disagree with the notion that Nored is going to be a terrific coach one day. He play in both of Butler’s national title game appearances, but he was never the star of the team or the face of the program. That honor was bestowed upon Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward.
Nored was the defender. He was the leader. He was the coach on the floor. He was the heart and soul of those two teams. Take any sports cliche you want, and it probably fits Nored to a ‘T’.
(Image via South Alabama athletics)
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.