How close is Butler to deciding who will replace the departed Brad Stevens?
According to numerous media reports Michigan assistant Lavall Jordan and Butler assistant Brandon Miller, who both played at Butler, are the two finalists for the job opening with both having interviewed in the last two days.
Miller interviewed with Butler AD Barry Collier on Wednesday, with Jordan doing so Thursday.
Miller returned to his alma mater this spring to replace the departed Matt Graves, who is now the head coach at South Alabama. Last season Miller served as a special assistant on John Groce’s staff at Illinois. As a player Miller was a member of the 2003 team that made the school’s first Sweet 16 appearance in 41 years.
Jordan was MVP of the 2001 team that beat Wake Forest before losing to eventual national runner-up Arizona in the second round of the NCAA tournament. He’s been a member of John Beilein’s staff at Michigan for the last four seasons and played an key role in the development of point guard Trey Burke.
Before the NCAA Tournament, Wolverines’ All-American guard Trey Burke told WDFN-AM in Detroit, “Once I stepped in and learned a lot from the coaches, specifically LaVall Jordan, I was able to be successful from day one.”
Either of these two coaches would fall in line with Butler’s recent record of hiring coaches, in that there’s a clear understanding of the program and its identity.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.