With two assistant coaches leaving the program at the end of the 2012-13 season, Rider head coach Kevin Baggett had some slots to fill on his coaching staff for the 2013-14 campaign. The first move was to promote John Griffin, who was the director of basketball operations last season, to assistant coach.
And according to a report from Kyle Franco of the Trentonian, the other vacancy will be filled by Donyell Marshall. Marshall, who averaged 11.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 15 seasons in the NBA, has experience as an assistant at both the collegiate (George Washington; 2010-11) and professional levels (Maine Red Claws; 2011-12).
Marshall’s most noteworthy achievements as a player came at the college level, as he earned Big East Player of the Year and consensus All-America honors as a junior at UConn in 1994. Marshall averaged 25.1 points per game, leading the Huskies to a 29-5 record and a Sweet 16 appearance.
Interestingly enough UConn’s first round victory in the NCAA tournament that season came at the expense of Rider, as the Huskies beat the Broncs by the final score of 64-46. Marshall led the way offensively for the Huskies, scoring a game-high 19 points.
An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.