Tad Boyle

Colorado assistants get new titles in hopes of bolstering head coaching prospects

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While the head coaching carousel is the focus every offseason the many changes within a coaching staff can also have an impact.

At Colorado, head coach Tad Boyle is fortunate to have led the same staff for each of his three seasons in Boulder, resulting in the most successful stretch in the history of the program.

With a 69-38 record and two NCAA tournament appearances, it can be argued that assistants such as Jean Prioleau and Mike Rohn deserve a sniff from some program looking to hire a new head coach.

But that has yet to happen. And with that in mind, Boyle has given both an additional title with the hope being that it will nudge Prioleau and Rohn a little closer to their goal of being a head coach.

On Thursday, Boyle named Prioleau his associate head coach and Rohn his recruiting coordinator according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

“In terms of their day-to-day duties and what they’re doing for the program, nothing changes,” Boyle said. “We’ve had a lot of success in recruiting and coach Rohn has been a big part of that, as our whole staff has. Coach Prioleau has shown everything it takes to be a head coach at this level and I think he deserves that opportunity; it’s just a matter of him finding the right fit.

“Hopefully over the next couple of years that fit will present itself.”

Boyle noted in the story that while he certainly doesn’t want to lose capable assistants such as Prioleau and Rohn, he also doesn’t want to hold them back in their quest to run their own programs.

Colorado will need to account for the loss of forward Andre Roberson and guard Sabatino Chen, two key pieces on a team that won 21 games in 2012-13.

But with players such as guards Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie and forwards Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott returning to Boulder (not to mention a talented recruiting class that includes Tre’Shaun Fletcher and Jaron Hopkins), Colorado should be among the best teams in the Pac-12.

And if the Buffaloes can continue to leave their mark on the basketball court, new opportunities could arise for Boyle’s assistants.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

BUBBLE BANTER: Key Atlantic 10, Big East bubble games

Kelan Martin, Kyle Alexander
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This post will be updated throughout the night.

Butler (KenPom: 41, RPI; 67) at Seton Hall (KenPom: 31, RPI: 37), 6:30 p.m.
LSU (KenPom: 53, RPI: 76) at South Carolina (KenPom: 45, RPI: 28), 7:00 p.m.
Nebraska at Wisconsin (KenPom: 51, RPI: 62), 7:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph’s (KenPom: 48, RPI: 30) at George Washington (KenPom: 71, RPI: 34), 7:00 p.m.
Missouri at Vanderbilt (KenPom: 35, RPI: 58), 9:00 p.m.
No. 14 Iowa State at Texas Tech (KenPom: 59, RPI: 51), 9:00 p.m.
Michigan (KenPom: 46, RPI: 56) at Minnesota, 9:00 p.m.
Washington (KenPom: 80, RPI: 57) at Utah (KenPom: 44, RPI: 16), 9:00 p.m.
San Diego State (KenPom: 65, RPI: 47) at Fresno State, 11:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Ben Simmons, LSU get tested at South Carolina; more important bubble matchups

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, LSU forward Ben Simmons (25) drives downcourt as teammate Antonio Blakeney (2) follows in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State in New York. For all of his gaudy numbers, Simmons is still trying to figure out the best way to put the Tigers in position to win. And now the schedule gets harder, starting with Tuesday night's, Dec. 29, 2015, tilt against Wake Forest, followed by the opening of Southeastern Conference play against Vanderbilt and No. 10 Kentucky. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: LSU at South Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

LSU attempts to stay atop the SEC standings when they travel on the road to face South Carolina. The Gamecocks have been very tough at home this season and they’re trying to form a potential four-way tie in the conference standings if they’re able to win this one (and Texas A&M wins tonight). It will be intriguing to see how Ben Simmons fares against South Carolina’s stingy defense.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: Saint Joseph’s at George Washington, 7:00 p.m.

An important game in the Atlantic 10 as Saint Joseph’s heads to the Smith Center to play surging George Washington. The Colonels have won three straight games as they try to stay with VCU and Dayton and make a move to tie the Hawks in the league standings. CBT’s Rob Dauster will be in the building for this one, so make sure to follow him on Twitter for updates.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. No. 21 Baylor will have a tough one in the Big 12 when they go on the road at Kansas State. The Wildcats just knocked off Oklahoma and the Octagon of Doom is a very tough place to play, even if Kansas State is struggling in the standings.
  2. No. 16 SMU will try to stay in the lead in the American as they host Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane could really use a road win like this for its postseason chances.
  3. An intriguing Pac-12 contest tips as Washington heads to Utah. The Pac-12 standings are a mess right now, but these two teams still have a chance to make one final move for the regular season title if they start building momentum now.
  4. In the SEC, Alabama hosts No. 15 Texas A&M, a team that has lost three of its last four games. The Aggies will be favored in this road contest, but this one could be interesting because of Avery Johnson’s unique connection to Texas A&M. Avery Johnson Jr., a transfer guard sitting out this season at Alabama, played for the Aggies last season, so he could have some useful tips for his dad on slowing down Texas A&M’s potent offense.
  5. No. 20 Providence will be looking for revenge when they head to Milwaukee to face Marquette. The Golden Eagles currently sit eighth in the Big East standings, but they did win on the road by a point over the Friars earlier this season.