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 DawgPost.com 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.
The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.
The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.
They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.
That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.
Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:
With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.
At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes
“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:
“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”
“It’s all money.”
Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.
Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .
Want to talk about coaching luxuries?
Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.