Rudy Keeling, former head coach at Maine and Northeastern, passes away

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On Sunday the University of Maine announced that former head coach Rudy Keeling passed away at age 64 after a battle with an undisclosed illness.

In 13 seasons as a head coach (eight at Maine, five at Northeastern), Keeling posted a record of 154 wins and 214 losses. In 1994 Keeling was named North Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Black Bears to a school-record 20 victories

“The Black Bear Men’s Basketball program, and the entire UMaine community is deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Coach Keeling,” Maine head coach Ted Woodward said in a statement released by the school.  “He was an outstanding coach, a first-class person and representative of the University of Maine, and a beloved and highly respected member of the entire basketball coaching community.  

“He touched many lives of young people here at Maine, was an outstanding example of character, integrity, and intelligence, and his influence has, and will continue to be felt throughout our great school and all of college athletics.

“It has always been an honor to follow in his footsteps at the University of Maine and the wonderful example he provided daily and throughout his career.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and to all the outstanding young men who had the tremendous opportunity to be coached and mentored by him.”

Named commissioner of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) in 2007, Keeling officially retired in mid-January

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.