University of Memphis Athletics

Report: Memphis assistant Damon Stoudamire to join staff at Arizona

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After two seasons as an assistant coach under fellow Arizona alum Josh Pastner at the University of Memphis, Damon Stoudamire will reportedly return to Tucson to join Sean Miller’s staff.

Stoudamire fills the vacancy left by the departure of James Whitford, who left Arizona to become the new head coach at Ball State. Prior to his two seasons at Memphis, Stoudamire was an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies from 2009-11.

Adding Stoudamire to the staff gives Coach Miller an assistant who not only has experience at both the collegiate and professional levels, but also a prominent figure in the history of Arizona basketball.

It’s one thing to be able to tell current players stories regarding some of the names hanging up in the rafters. It’s another for the players to have the ability to interact with one of those legends on a daily basis.

Stoudamire currently ranks sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list, and during his time in the “Old Pueblo” Stoudamire helped lead the Wildcats to two Pac-10 titles, four NCAA tournament appearances and a Final Four appearance in 1994.

In two of Miller’s first four seasons at Arizona the program has reached the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, only to fall to UConn in the 2011 Elite Eight and Ohio State in the Sweet 16 last month.

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

Knee injury temporarily sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.

Duke figuring out approach for this season

Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks with the media about the Blue Devils' 2013-14 basketball season, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
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Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.

“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.

“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”

Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group.  Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.

As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.