Cuonzo Martin to receive a $50,000 bump in salary

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When Cuonzo Martin accepted the head coaching job at the University of Tennessee in 2011, he was inked to a five year contract worth $1.3 million per year. As announced by Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, Martin’s salary will be increased $50,000 heading into the 2013-14 season.

Hart explained that the bump is attributed to two reasons:

The first is that Cuonzo led our program to top-five finishes in the SEC in his first two years, which is impressive. The other thing is that, personally, I appreciate the leadership that he has provided at the University of Tennessee and in guiding those young men.

According to GoVolsXtra.com, the breakdown of Martin’s salary is as follows: “The extra $50,000 will be split evenly among his base salary, which rises to $350,000, and his broadcasting payout, now $450,000. The remainder of Martin’s salary stems from apparel ($325,000) and endorsements ($225,000).”

$1.35 million is hardly chump change, but Martin’s revamped salary still ranks in the bottom half of the SEC when compared to his counterparts’ salaries.

Martin, who has done a stellar job stabilizing the Tennessee program following the antics Bruce Pearl pulled — remember that BBQ incident? — explained that, regardless of what he is compensated, he will always work hard at his craft: “Regardless of what I’m making and that sort of thing, I’m always going to do my job to the best of my ability. It was a great gesture, but I don’t get caught up in perception or anything on the outside. I’m here to do a job.”

Tennessee is coming off a 20-13 season that saw them just miss out on the NCAA Tournament. Martin brings back many of his top players — save for Trae Golden who recently transferred to Georgia Tech — along with Memphis transfer Antonio Barton. The Volunteers will most likely be a fringe Top 25 team to begin the 2013-14 season.

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

Virginia, Seton Hall, Rhode Island, Vandy in NIT Tip-Off

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NEW YORK (AP) — Virginia and Vanderbilt will meet in one semifinal of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Thanksgiving Day at Barclays Center.

Rhode Island and Seton Hall face off in the other semifinal with the winners meeting on Friday, Nov. 24.

This is the third straight year the Tip-Off has been held at Barclays Center. Eventual NCAA champion Villanova won the event in 2015. All games will be televised on ESPNU.

Non-bracketed teams in the NIT Season Tip-Off who will play games at campus sites are: Austin Peay, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Oakland City and UNC Asheville.

Miles Bridges explain why he returned to Michigan State

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Miles Bridges changed the landscape of the 2017-18 college basketball season on April 13.

The Michigan State forward spurned the NBA for another year in East Lansing. The decision not only meant that Bridges was a frontrunner for national player of the year, but solidified the Spartans as a national title contender.

But Bridges’ choice to return was still puzzling to many. The 6-foot-7 forward was projected as a lottery pick. Bridges explained his decision to Mike Decourcy of Sporting News in a story published on Thursday.

“He says, ‘You know what, Coach? I want to get better. I don’t want to be in the D-League. I’ve got buddies that are, and I just want to make sure when I go, I’m ready,’ ” Izzo recalled to Sporting News. “I looked at him and I said, ‘Done deal.’ For me, that was a done deal. It was a reasonable, sensible argument.”

Agents, friends, reporters, scouts, acquaintances, fans, strangers and family members — oh and, as we said, coaches — all had one opinion about how Bridges should spend the next year of his life. Miles had another, opposing, viewpoint.

Bridges told Decourcy that support came from his teammates, many of whom were returning to the team as well. Assuming the backcourt of Cassius Winston and Josh Langford make a leap forward, as well as incoming freshman Jaren Jackson providing an immediate impact, the Spartans’ title hopes could become a reality.

Bridges averaged 16.9 points, 8.3 boards, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks as a freshman at Michigan State. He’s rated as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.

Four conferences sign on to basketball officiating alliance

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.

The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.

John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.

ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.

North Carolina to unveil national championship banner in October

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The latest addition to the rafters of the Dean Dome will be unveiled this fall.

North Carolina will raise the banner for its 2017 national championship on Oct. 13, according to a report from Inside Carolina.

The event will coincide with the Tar Heels’ “Late Night With Roy” event that marks the public start to the season for the program and also serves, like many other top programs, as a recruiting tool.

North Carolina won its sixth NCAA national championship in April by defeating Gonzaga, 71-65, in Phoenix to avenge its last-second loss in the title game to Villanova the year prior. It was the Tar Heels’ first championship since 2009.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.