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.

LaSalle parts ways with longtime head coach Dr. John Giannini

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La Salle announced on Friday that they are parting ways with head coach John Giannini.

Giannini had been the head coach of the program for 14 seasons, amassing a record of 212-226. Before taking over at La Salle, he spent seven seasons as the head coach at Rowan and eight seasons coaching at Maine.

“Today Bill Bradshaw and I mutually agreed that La Salle University could benefit from a new voice in leading the program,” said Dr. Giannini. “It is difficult to admit this but I have given every effort possible for success and I have received nothing but support and encouragement from Bill and President Hanycz. Greater things may be accomplished for this storied program and great university with the approach of a new coach. I am forever grateful, especially to my loyal staff and dedicated student-athletes. I look forward to my next challenge and La Salle’s future success.”

Kentucky clarifies ‘false reports’ they did not shake Kansas State hands after loss

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After Kansas State knocked off Kentucky in the Sweet 16, the purple Wildcats alleged that the blue Wildcats did not shake their hands after the game.

“They didn’t shake our hands,” Kansas State junior guard Amaad Wainright told ESPN last night. “It’s sorry.”

“They know what they did.”

Kentucky bristled at the allegations.

“They were turned and celebrating, so I walked off,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “There was no disrespect for anything. It’s just that they were celebrating, and I was happy for them.”

“My team’s not like that. There’s no disrespect in any way. They beat us. They deserved to win the game.”

NCAA amends rule to allow Isaac Haas to play

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BOSTON — The NCAA has changed their interpretation of the rule that kept Isaac Haas out of the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Haas broke his elbow in Purdue’s first round win over Cal St.-Fullerton, but he was not allowed to play in a second round game against Butler because his brace did not meet NCAA standards.

So they changed those standards.

“With ample time this week to review the intent of the playing rule, the committee decided to provide a more contemporary interpretation, while keeping health and safety for all players the highest priority,” said Gavitt. “Technology has improved materials used in braces, so now there will be more flexibility in applying the rule as long as the brace is fully covered and padded. Isaac and other players in similar circumstances should be able to play, as long as the brace is safe for all.”

Sources have told NBC Sports that, despite Haas’ lobbying to get onto the court, he is not expected to play on Friday night. If he does, it will be in a very limited capacity.

“He didn’t practice the last two days,” Painter said on Thursday, “and when you don’t practice, you don’t play.”

“I don’t see him playing until he can practice and show me he can shoot a right-handed free throw and get a rebound with two hands.”

USC’s Chimezie Metu declares for NBA draft

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USC junior forward Chimezie Metu announced on Thursday evening that he will be declaring for the NBA draft:

This decision is not surprising. Metu finished his degree — Law History and Culture —  in three seasons. He held himself out of USC’s NIT games in an effort to keep himself from getting injured with NBA workouts on the horizon.

Metu averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 boards and 1.6 blocks for the Trojans this season. He is considered a borderline first round pick.

VIDEO: Kansas State legend celebrates revenge on Kentucky 67 years in the making

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In 1951, Kansas State lost to Kentucky in the National Championship game.

Ernie Barrett, who eventually became the school’s athletic director and is known as “Mr. K-State“, played on that team.

He’s wanted to get revenge on Big Blue ever since.

On Thursday night, Kansas State did.

Ernie was there, and here was his reaction in the locker room: