Vanderbilt has made a change to their coaching staff, as Kevin Stallings went out and plucked Yanni Hufnagel off of Tommy Amaker’s staff at Harvard.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join Coach Stallings and the rest of his outstanding staff here at Vanderbilt,” said Hufnagel. “Coach Stallings is not only recognized as one of the best coaches in college basketball, but also as one of the most family-driven. Vanderbilt’s brand is a powerful one and I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to represent such an elite institution.”
Hufnagel is one of the guys responsible for Harvard’s resurgence mainly because he’s a terrific recruiter. He brought in players that are far more talented than typical Ivy League players because he was able to target the elite kids with the grades to get into Harvard and sell them on the idea that Harvard, as he told me two years ago, “isn’t a four-year decision, it’s a 40-year decision.”
That same style of recruiting will work at Vanderbilt, another elite academic institution. Find the kids that care about academics and sell them on a) winning in the SEC and b) having a degree from Vanderbilt to fall back on whenever the ball stops bouncing. It’s a great hire, particularly because the influx of talent into the Commodore program has been lacking in recent years.
More interesting, however, will be to see how Harvard responds. They will be loaded next season and will likely have enough talent on the roster for the next couple of seasons to be a continuous threat to make the NCAA tournament. But without Hufnagel on the staff, are they still going to be able to go out and get the same players that they have in recent years?
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas