Kyle Griffin named assistant coach at Lehigh

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Dr. Brett Reed and Lehigh athletics announced the hiring of Kyle Griffin as an assistant men’s basketball coach on Tuesday afternoon.

Griffin will take the place of Stephen Ott on the coaching staff who was recently hired by first-year Florida International head coach Anthony Evans.

Griffin, who comes to Lehigh from the Hoop Group, joins a list of current and former Patriot League coaches who transitioned from running camps and instructing players at the Hoop Group camps to assistant coaching.

Ott, Griffin’s predecessor, was the Director of Team Events at the Hoop Group before becoming the Director of Basketball Operations at Siena. Kevin Driscoll, an assistant coach at Holy Cross in his first season, was formerly the director of the Elite / Eastern Invitational and the Skills / Pocono Invitational for the last four years at the Hoop Group. Current Old Dominion assistant Lamar Barrett, who was an assistant at American last season under Jeff Jones, was the director of the Hoop Group from 2006-2008.

What many of these assistant coaches have in common is an expansive rolodex to tap into in the AAU basketball and recruiting world. The contacts Griffin has built up is something that Reed will certainly lean on:

[Kyle] has also grown a tremendous number of recruiting relationships through his very productive experiences with the Hoop Group. At the Hoop Group, Kyle was responsible for the organization and communication with various coaches around the nation to field competitive tournaments for a very strong basketball organization in this country.

A former player at La Salle and Siena who battled knee injuries his entire collegiate career, Griffin won’t be a stranger to the culture and program at Lehigh as his father, Bill Griffin, is the Assistant Director of Athletics at Lehigh and former member of the Lehigh basketball team.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.