Former Miami University, Central Michigan head coach Charlie Coles passes away


Friday afternoon the Miami University athletic department announced that former head coach Charlie Coles, the school’s all-time leader in victories, has passed away at the age of 71.

During his 16 seasons at Miami Coles won 266 games and led his alma mater to seven postseason appearances, with three being NCAA tournament berths. Coles’ best team at Miami was the 1998-99 edition (24-8; 15-3 MAC), led by Wally Szczerbiak, which reached the Sweet 16 before being eliminated by Kentucky.

Before his lengthy run at Miami Coles spent six seasons at Central Michigan (1985-91), posting a record of 92-84 and leading the Chippewas to an NCAA tournament appearance in 1987.

Coles’ best player during his time at CMU was Dan Majerle, who was selected in the first round of the 1988 NBA Draft and is now the head coach at Grand Canyon University.

Health issues ultimately led to Coles making the decision to retire at the end of the 2011-12 season.

“I made this decision before the year started,” Coles said. “Not the final decision, but the overall feeling. The final decision came when I got sick two weeks ago.

“I had a talk with my doctor,” he continued. “He said, ‘You’re going to be OK for three or four years, but sooner or later, you’re a guy that’s had two bypasses and extreme heart problems. So why don’t you just start considering not doing it now?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ It was a tough thing for me to tell my family, but I’ve got to go on.”

Before taking over at Miami Coles was an assistant on Herb Sendek’s staff at the school, and the current Arizona State head coach offered his thoughts on Coles’ passing Friday afternoon.

“I have so many fond memories of Charlie both as a friend and a coach, and many of them start with recruiting drives early in the morning with a cup of coffee on winding roads in southern Ohio,” says Coach Sendek. “Charlie made you laugh and made you think. He was comfortable and held court with one person or many. But I also want people to remember he was a great coach….a really, really, great coach. Much of what we try to instill today is what Charlie was teaching us two decades ago.

“We lost a great coach and a real great person to be around. He loved the game and poured his life into it. For that reason, all of us who were around Coach Coles are better coaches. “

Coles was a good coach who was also highly entertaining, and the below video of Coles’ meeting the press following a loss at Kentucky is a prime example of this.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEO: Shane Richards’ shot lifts shorthanded Manhattan

Shane Richards
Associated Press
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Thanks to injuries and the departure of Jermaine Lawrence, the beginning of the season has been difficult for Steve Masiello’s Manhattan Jaspers. Entering Wednesday’s game against George Mason, which was coming off of a surprising run to the Charleston Classic title game, with just six available players the Jaspers looked to pick up their first win of the season.

And Manhattan was successful, with a Shane Richards three-point play with 1.1 seconds remaining being the difference in their 69-67 win at Draddy Gymnasium. Below is video of the game-winning play, courtesy of Manhattan Athletics.

Richards (13 points) was one of three Jaspers to reach double figures, with Rich Williams leading the way with 26 points and nine rebounds and Thomas Capuano adding 14 points. What also helped the Jaspers was the fact that they forced 25 George Mason, converting those opportunities into 24 points.

Not sure if Manhattan and George Mason are due to play again next season, but the last two meetings have produced dramatic outcomes. The Patriots won last year’s game in Fairfax on a Jalen Jenkins’ 75-footer as time expired.

Video credit: Manhattan Athletics

UNLV hangs on for 72-69 win over No. 13 Indiana

Tom Crean
AP Photo
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LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) UNLV answered every run by Indiana, and the Runnin’ Rebels were able to hang through the frantic final seconds for a 72-69 victory over the 13th-ranked Hoosiers on Wednesday.

The game had the intensity of a February conference matchup and just enough mistakes to make sure it was November.

“One of the reasons we came to Maui, other than it was exciting for our fans, was to play against the best,” UNLV coach Dave Rice said. “See how we match up. See where we’re good. See where our deficiencies are, and now we’ll have all next week to practice.”

Patrick McCaw had 20 points for the Runnin’ Rebels (5-1), who bounced back from their opening loss to UCLA with wins over Chaminade and the Hoosiers (4-2), who leave Hawaii with just one win in three games.

“This is a test,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “The eight teams walking out of here, no matter what, in three days are getting tested. All right? Even if the champion tonight blows through it, whoever the champion is, they’re still getting tested because you’re playing three games in three days against very high level competition.”

Indiana trailed by 15 points in the first half and turned on some solid defense to get back in the game. The Hoosiers closed to 55-53 with 8:20 to play. The Runnin’ Rebels then went on a 12-1 spurt, with McCaw scoring seven of the points, including a run-closing 3.

“Coming in, we knew since Indiana is a great offensive team, we really had to lock down and play defense,” Ike Nwamu said. “It was really paramount for us to execute defensively.”

The Hoosiers weren’t done. They got within three points twice in the final 30 seconds. The first time was on a dunk by Thomas Bryant off a tremendous pass from a flying Yogi Ferrell. UNLV’s Jerome Seagears made both ends of a 1-and-1 with 13 seconds left to make it 72-67.

Max Bielfeldt’s drive for Indiana with 7.5 seconds remaining provided the final margin, but the game was far from over.

Nwamu missed two free throws with 7.1 seconds left, and Indiana gave the ball back to UNLV on a 5-second count on the inbounds. UNLV then threw the ball away on an inbounds pass. Nick Zeisloft’s 3-point attempt was partially blocked by Ben Carter, and Nwamu was fouled on the rebound. He missed both free throws with .8 seconds left, but all Indiana could get off was a heave that was well short.

“I knew my man set the screen. I knew they were looking for a 3,” Carter said of the blocked shot. “I saw Pat was trailing his man a little bit, so I knew I had to help. Luckily I was able to get the tip on the ball and it was a pivotal play.”

Crean said he wouldn’t change the play.

“That was excellent. They made an athletic play. But he did a good job taking the shot,” Crean said.

Carter and Nwamu had 16 points apiece for UNLV, and Seagears added 12.

“These kind of games, it’s so much about momentum,” Rice said. “It’s about a big stop here, a big basket here. We always focus on what happens at the end of the game. And that’s obviously critically important. … It’s an entire game. That’s why we focus on it’s every play throughout the course of 40 minutes.”

Zeisloft led the Hoosiers, who lost to Wake Forest in the final seconds in their opener, with 17 points, and James Blackmon Jr. had 13. Indiana had 21 turnovers that led to 22 points for the Runnin’ Rebels.

“We got ourselves in a hole at the beginning with our turnovers, and you’re not going to beat any type of team, let alone one as talented as UNLV, when you’re giving them 22 points,” Crean said. “It’s unacceptable with the guys that have the ball in their hands for us to be giving the ball that way, and we’ve got to get that fixed. We really do, or we’ve got to fix the lineup.”