Assistant Rob Judson leaves Illinois State coaching staff

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When Dan Muller was hired as the new head coach at Illinois State, it was stipulated that assistant coach Rob Judson would be a member of his coaching staff. Judson spent the prior five seasons as a member of Tim Jankovich’s staff, and the move was an interesting one given the fact that most new coaches look to bring in a completely different staff.

After one season on Muller’s staff Judson has stepped down to pursue other opporturnities, according to a report by Randy Kindred of the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph. Judson will receive a buyout of $175,000 as part of the agreement.

“I want to thank Rob for his commitment and contributions to our program this year, and over the past six years,” Muller said in a statement released by the school. “I enjoyed our year together and wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

Judson helped lead the Redbirds to a record of 122-79 and four Postseason NIT appearances. According to Kindred’s story, Judson was a finalist for the head coaching position last year following Jankovich’s move to SMU.

The move leaves Muller with an opening to fill on his coaching staff, with associate head coach Dana Ward and assistant Torrey Ward currently on staff. The question now is whether or not Muller has a replacement in mind with the first evaluation period less than a month away (July 10).

Illinois State has just one senior on its roster for the 2013-14 season, but with five juniors this is an important summer recruiting-wise when it comes to making inroads with 2014 and 2015 prospects (2015 prospects can begin receiving phone calls at midnight tonight).

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

Associated Press
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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.

Kevin Marfo commits to George Washington

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Kevin Marfo committed to George Washington on Friday evening, announcing his decision on Twitter.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” he tweeted.

This caps a successful week for Mike Lonergan on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, GW landed a commitment from Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard. He is the son of former GW guard Shawnta Rogers, the 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. GW ends the week by adding a tenacious rebounder to a front court that graduates top rebounder Kevin Larsen after this season. Rogers and Marfo join power forward Collin Smith in the Class of 2016. Seton Hall transfer Jaren Sina will also be eligible in 2016-17.

He cut his list to 10 in August with Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Boston College, UMass, Saint Joseph’s, DePaul, Rhode Island and Providence all making the cut along wit the Colonials. He later trimmed the list to five finalists: BC, Providence, DePaul, GW and Rhode Island.

The Worcester Academy (Mass.) forward played for BABC this summer in the Nike EYBL, averaging 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.  The 6-foot-8 Marfo is listed as the No. 148 overall player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.