Maine Athletics

Maine announces addition of Deshon Gaither to coaching staff

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With assistant Nate Philippe joining new head coach Mike Brennan’s staff at American, Maine head coach Ted Woodward had a vacancy to fill on his coaching staff.

That’s officially been done, as the school announced on Friday that former Lee Academy (Lee, Maine) postgraduate head coach Deshon Gaither has been hired. In two seasons at Lee, Gaither posted a record of 52-17 and his prior collegiate coaching experience came as a member of Max Good’s staff at Bryant (when the Bulldogs were a Division II power before moving up to Division I).

“Deshon is a tremendous addition to our coaching staff and we are thrilled to have him join us,” Woodward said in the release announcing the hire. “He has a wealth of experience at all levels of basketball, understands and is a great teacher of the game, and is an experienced and well-connected recruiter which is vital to success at the college level.

“He comes highly recommended from great people. He has coached at many different levels and throughout the world. We look forward to having Deshon as a Black Bear. He is a great addition to our staff.”

Maine enters the 2013-14 season with no seniors and five freshmen, and they’ll need to account for the departure of leading scorers Justin Edwards (16.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg; transferred to Kansas State) and Alasdair Fraser (13.4, 8.1; turned pro). Maine finished the 2012-13 season with an 11-9 record, going 6-10 in America East play.

Moving up a spot in the conference pecking order may be a bit more manageable despite those key personnel losses however, as Boston University (Patriot League) has been “replaced” by Division I provisional member UMass-Lowell.

Maine’s leading scorers entering the 2013-14 campaign are junior guards Xavier Pollard and Zarko Valjarevic, who averaged 9.7 and 8.4 points per game respectively.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.