University of Georgia

Report: Georgia to promote Jonas Hayes to assistant coach

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After spending five seasons as an assistant coach at Belmont Abbey College, former Georgia Bulldog Jonas Hayes returned to his alma mater last spring to join Mark Fox’s staff as program coordinator.

According to a report by Dean Legge of Hayes will receive a promotion, making the move to assistant coach. Hayes would move into the position vacated when Kwanza Johnson joined Trent Johnson’s staff at TCU earlier this spring.

“I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be joining Coach Fox’s staff,” Hayes said last year after joining the program. “Georgia holds a special place in my heart. I’m just ready to get started, ready to do whatever I can to help build the program.”

That will be the difficult task for Hayes, who is expected to do much of the heavy lifting in the recruiting game for Fox. The Bulldogs are trying to steady the ship after a third losing season in four years – and the 2013-14 recruiting class in state and beyond is seen as a critical building block for the future of the program under Fox.

Georgia has just two seniors on this coming season’s roster in forwards Marcus Thornton and Donte Williams, so there shouldn’t be turnover of major proportions in 2014.

From a recruiting standpoint, there are in-state players such as power forward JaKeenan Grant (Springfield, Ga.) and center Trayvon Reed (Snellville, Ga.) within the state lines who can help the program in the future if the Bulldogs can land them.

Hayes has college coaching experience, so it isn’t as if he hasn’t been through the ringer before. With the Bulldogs entering year three of the Fox era, fans are hopeful that the Bulldogs can reach the postseason in the near future.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.