Robert Kirby

LSU assistant Robert Kirby resigns to join Memphis

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After spending one year on the coaching staff at LSU, long-time assistant Robert Kirby is once again leaving the SEC, this time to join Josh Pastner and the Memphis Tigers.

Jim Kleinpeter of The Times-Picayune reports that the first-year LSU assistant resigned as an assistant coach on Monday night in order to take a similar position at Memphis. Kirby’s information has already been removed from the LSU coaching staff page.

“I totally enjoyed my year here at LSU,” Kirby told NOLA.com. “It was very educational as well as enjoyable with the players that we had here to work with as well as the coaching staff. Baton Rouge and the LSU family is a great family and they welcomed me with open arms and I will never forget them. I will never forget the times I had here and the people I worked with. They were just outstanding.”

Kirby has spent the majority of his career — through two different stints — with Mississippi State. Before joining Johnny Jones’ coaching staff, Kirby spent two years with John Thompson III at Georgetown.

Kirby’s hiring is waiting approval of the University and Tennessee State Board of Regents. If that goes through, Pastner adds one of the top assistant coaches in the country, who has 28 years of experience. Kirby will also help on the recruiting trail, being named one of the top 25 recruiters by Rivals.com. Adding a Memphis native will help add to Pastner’s success recruiting in the Bluff City.

“We’re excited to have Coach (Robert) Kirby join our staff,” Pastner said in a school statement. “He’s one of the elite coaches in the country in both recruiting and on-the-floor coaching. He’ll be great with our guys in establishing relationships with them.

“Coach Kirby is also from Memphis, and it’s good to get him back home. We’re honored that he’s a part of our staff.”

The Tigers finished 31-5 (16-0 Conference USA), ending the 2012-2013 campaign with a 70-48 loss to Michigan State in the third round of the NCAA tournament. Memphis will be playing in the American Athletic Conference this season.

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

Ellis, Lucas lead No. 6 Kansas past No. 10 West Virginia

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) blocks a shot by West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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In the first meeting between No. 10 West Virginia and No. 6 Kansas, the Mountaineers dominated in their 74-63 win in Morgantown. Bob Huggins’ “Press Virginia” attack forced 22 Kansas turnovers, with the Jayhawks playing far too fast and loose with the basketball while also getting out-toughed by the Mountaineers. In the rematch Kansas (20-4, 8-3 Big 12) looked far better equipped to deal with West Virginia in both of those areas, winning by the final score of 75-65.

Kansas committed 15 turnovers, with Devonte’ Graham responsible for five of them, but they did not allow West Virginia (19-4, 8-3) to use those chances to kickstart their offense. The Mountaineers scored 13 points (one fewer than Kansas, which took advantage of ten WVU miscues) off of those turnovers and did not register a single fast break points. Having to play in the half-court more than they would have liked, West Virginia could not execute at the level they did in beating Baylor Saturday.

As a result Bob Huggins’ team shot 37.3 percent from the field and 5-for-20 from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers have shown signs of being able to win games in which they don’t force a high turnover count, but that wasn’t the case at Allen Fieldhouse.

If not for West Virginia grabbing better than 34 percent of their misses and scoring 14 second-chance points, the margin is likely even greater than the ten-point outcome due to the contract in offensive execution. Kansas pushed the ball early, getting out to an 8-0 lead, and as the game wore on the Jayhawks were much better in finding quality shot opportunities. Bill Self’s team shot 56.1 percent from the field with Perry Ellis scoring 21 points to lead five Jayhawks in double figures.

The tandem of Ellis and Landen Lucas, who grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, won the battle against a WVU front court missing the suspended Jonathan Holton. Devin Williams, who went for 17 and 12 in the first meeting, finished the rematch with a respectable 14-point, nine-rebound effort but he didn’t get much help in the post from the likes of Elijah Macon and Nathan Adrian.

After having Self question their toughness in a home win over Kansas State six days ago, the Jayhawks have responded with wins over TCU and West Virginia. Obviously it’s tough to read too much into beating the Horned Frogs, because even with that game being in Fort Worth it’s one Kansas was expected to handle with ease. The Mountaineers posed a different, and far more rigorous test, and Kansas got the job done.

As a result the Jayhawks have brought West Virginia back to the pack in the Big 12 title race, making Saturday’s game at No. 3 Oklahoma even bigger than it already was.

VIDEO: North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapses on sideline

Roy Williams
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North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapsed during the second half of No. 2 North Carolina’s visit to Boston College on Tuesday night:

Roy Williams has dealt with vertigo in the past; it’s not abnormal for him to collapse on the sideline during games, and given that his team is currently losing to Boston College, it’s understandable that he may have screamed himself dizzy.

He had to be helped off the floor:

It does appear that this isn’t something serious, according to a North Carolina release, that said Williams is “doing OK”.