Richmond Athletics

Richmond redshirt freshman center Luke Piotrowski decides to transfer

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After redshirting in 2011-12, Richmond center Luke Piotrowski hoped that there would be more opportunities to earn playing time in 2012-13. Unfortunately for Piotrowski that wasn’t the case, as he played in just six games for the Spiders, posting averages of 0.3 points and 1.1 rebounds per game (3.6 minutes/game).

On Wednesday it was reported by Josh Verlin of City of Basketball Love that Piotrowski has decided to transfer, with his desire for more playing time being the primary factor.

Piotrowski played a total of 15 minutes in the Spiders’ first two games of the season, blowout victories over Liberty and UNCW. But after those contests the Atlantic Christian (N.J.) High product played a total of ten minutes for the remainder of the season.

“I’m going to miss Richmond a lot, I really did love it there, I had a great relationship with Coach Mooney and the rest of the staff and I really am grateful for everything they’ve done for me for the past two years,” he told CoBL by phone.

“I think it just kind of got to a point where I said to myself, ‘I want to be the best player that I can be and I need to go to a place that allows me to be.’ I met with coach [Chris] Mooney and we kind of decided that transferring might be the best option.”

The Spiders welcome back four interior players who saw double-digit minutes in 2012-13, with Derrick Williams (11.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) being the lone senior. Joining him on the floor will be a trio of sophomores: Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (3.9, 4.0, 1.8 bpg), Deion Taylor (3.6, 1.8) and Terry Allen (4.4, 3.4).

And waiting in the wings is T.J. Cline, who averaged 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a freshman at Niagara last season before deciding to transfer in the aftermath of Joe Mihalich leaving to take the Hofstra job.

Cline, who will have to sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules, was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team. With those options at Mooney’s disposal, playing time was going to be tough to come by for Piotrowski.

Knee injury temporarily sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
Associated Press
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.

Duke figuring out approach for this season

Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks with the media about the Blue Devils' 2013-14 basketball season, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
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Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.

“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.

“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”

Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group.  Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.

As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.