Oliver Purnell

Oliver Purnell, DePaul add Renard Phillips to coaching staff

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Renard Phillips began his new job on the DePaul coaching staff today, head coach Oliver Purnell announced through a school statement Monday afternoon.

Phillips joins the Blue Demons following a 20-7 season with Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C. Phillips had made stops at Arlington Country Day (Fla.), Progressive Christian Academy (Md.) and Georgetown Prep (Md.) in the three previous season before taking over the FCA program in May of 2012.

Phillips also served on the coaching staff at his alma mater, DeMatha Catholic (Md.) in the 2002-2003 after four years of playing college ball at VMI.

The new addition should help with recruiting for the Blue Demons, as Phillips had been a coach in the D.C. Assault AAU program since 2008. D.C. Assault has produced dozens of Division I college basketball players over the year including Nolan Smith, Austin Freeman, Wally Judge, Rodney McGruder and Quinn Cook.

Phillips replaces assistant Brian Ellerbe.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Report: Four-star center reclassifying to 2015; down to three

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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.

The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.

But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.

VIDEO: Utah Valley’s Mark Pope dances, lip syncs with daughters

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New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.

The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.