Being that Craig Robinson’s brother-in-law is President Barack Obama, it’s a safe assessment to call the Oregon State head man the “First Coach.”
Well, now Robinson has someone on staff that he can talk “White House” with.
Oregon State announced the addition of Joe Kennedy on Monday. Along with spending time on staff at Northwestern, he also spent time as a Special Assistant for the Office of Public Engagement at the White House from January 2009 to October 2010.
Kennedy has been hired as the Beavers’ Director of Player Personnel, coming to the program after spending three seasons as the Director of Basketball Operations at Northwestern, where he also played from 2003-07.
In his time in Washington D.C., Kennedy, who is the son of long-time college coach Pat, acted as a liaison for the Obama Administration to various sports organizations, from youth to professional. He also worked on Obama’s campaign staff from April 2007 until January 2009, when Obama took office.
“I am extremely excited and honored to work for one of the most respected coaches in all of basketball and join the OSU family,” Kennedy said in a release. “Our outstanding university and strong athletic department have a special opportunity to build a premier program in college basketball, and I am enthusiastic to contribute in any way possible.”
So it’s safe to now call Oregon State the “First Program,” right?
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.