Iona announced a coaching hire Friday, with head coach Tim Cluess adding Brock Erickson to his coaching staff to fill the vacancy left when Zak Boisvert joined Greg Herenda’s staff at Fairleigh Dickinson.
Last season Erickson was the head coach at the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota where one of his players was guard Isaiah Williams, who won Suncoast Conference Player of the Year honors.
Williams, who was one of six Manatees to earn all-conference honors, signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Iona program in November.
Erickson has plenty of coaching experience at the junior college level, and his five-year stint at Monroe (N.Y.) JC means that he has some familiarity with the New York metropolitan area.
His Mustang squad played at the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, KS in each of his last three seasons at Monroe. Erickson had a track record of recruiting top talent from across the nation. He helped recruit four NJCAA All-American and 21 All-Conference players. Academically, he displayed a great deal of success as well. In five years at Monroe, 22 of his 25 sophomores graduated. While he was an assistant, the team held a record of 147-28, including a third place finish in 2011 and fifth place finish in 2012 at the national tournament. For much of the 2011-2012 season, Erickson’s team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for NJCAA Division I.
“We’re excited to have Coach Erickson come on board,” said Cluess in the release announcing the hire. “His tireless work ethic and knowledge of the game will be a tremendous asset to the program.
“Brock has several years of experience at the Division III and junior college levels in the Metropolitan area and has established strong connections that will help us with recruiting as well.”
Erickson joins associate head coach Jared Grasso and assistant Bill O’Keefe on Cluess’ staff, with the Gaels looking to reach the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season in 2013-14.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Texas and head coach Shaka Smart continue to recruit at a high level, especially in the state of Texas, as the Longhorns landed a commitment from Class of 2017 four-star guard Jase Febres on Friday night.
The 6-foot-5 Febres is considered the No. 63 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings as he burst on the national radar this summer with some strong shooting performances. Febres shot over 40 percent from three-point range during the month of July after battling through injury during the spring. Besides owning good size for a wing shooter, Febres also takes pride in defending and he can rebound a bit from the wing as well.
Febres is going to have to improve his overall offensive package if a defense plays him off the three-point line, but he has upside as a three-and-D guy with the Longhorns.
The Class of 2017 is starting to round into shape for Texas as Febres joins four-star power forward Jericho Sims and four-star forward Royce Hamm. Since taking over the Texas job, Smart has done a great job of keeping local talent home as he now has five four- and five-star prospects from the state in the last two classes.
Kentucky fans have unique ways of making their annual Big Blue Madness event the most chaotic tip-off event of the season. While Big Blue Nation is waiting in line for tickets to this year’s festivities in Tent City, one couple decided to go the extra mile.
After securing the first spot in line for tickets, Ray Branham and Vicki Harvey opted to get married. According to a post from Drew Franklin of Kentucky Sports Radio, the couple had already been talking about tying the knot, but decided to make the move once they had the top spot in line. As you can see by the wedding video, it was a very Kentucky-themed ceremony as the duo got married in front of friends and other Kentucky fans.
I can’t say I’m surprised two Kentucky fans decided to get married in line for something like Big Blue Madness and this (unplanned) wedding gives this year’s event something unique that we will always remember.
On the day that college basketball practice is to start, Penn State head coach Pat Chambers announced that his roster would be changing.
Joe Hampton, a 6-foot-8, 290 pound power forward from Maryland, will be leaving the program.
“Joe has made the decision to leave the program based on personal reasons,” Chambers said. “We wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors.”
Hampton was a three-star prospect that missed his senior season at Oak Hill Academy with torn ACL, but he reportedly enrolled at Penn State in May, before the rest of the Nittany Lion recruit class.
Tom Izzo landed his second commitment in the Class of 2017 as big man Xavier Tillman announced that he will be attending Michigan State.
A 6-foot-7, 235 pound power forward, Tillman is a physical-if-undersized player that is rated as a three-star prospect. He’s not a one-and-done player, but he’s should be a good program guy for the Spartans.
“Tillman is another big and strong interior presence for Michigan State,” said NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips. “What separates Tillman from a lot of big men his size is his passing ability. Tillman is an intelligent player on the offensive end and he rebounds his area well.”
Tillman joins Jaren Jackson, his AAU teammate for Speice Indy Heat, in Michigan State’s recruiting class.
He picked Michigan State over Purdue and Marquette.
Kobi Simmons has some ridiculous hops.
Well, take a look at this tweet:
His vertical is … 45 inches? That’s pretty impressive, but not quite as impressive as the pictures that he tweeted out, the full effect of which you cannot receive until you see the picture in it’s entirety:
1. Look how high he is off the court.
2. Look at where his hand is in relation to the top of the back board.
3. … LOOK AT HIS CHIN!
I know that the angle of this picture is probably playing some visual tricks on us, but think about how high you have to be able to jump just to have a camera visually trick someone’s eyes into thinking your chin is above the backboard.