South Dakota Athletics

South Dakota promotes assistant Joey James to interim head coach

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On Tuesday it was announced that South Dakota head coach Dave Boots made the decision to retire after holding the position for 25 years. With the day that Division I program can begin practicing being three weeks away, South Dakota athletic director David Herbster didn’t have a lot of time to go through a national search for Boots’ successor.

As a result the school has promoted assistant coach Joey James, giving him the title of interim head coach for the 2013-14 campaign.

“David Boots’ resignation this close to the beginning of the season makes an extensive national search an impossibility,” Herbster said in the release. “After carefully considering our options, I have decided to appoint Assistant Coach Joey James interim head coach. At the conclusion of the season, a national search for the position will be conducted.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Coach James’ experience and caliber to give us leadership and continuity for the immediate future. His knowledge of the game, ability to recruit and to relate to the players makes him the right coach to lead the Coyote men this season.”

With James being promoted he’s obviously familiar with the roster, given the fact that he was Boots’ top recruiter before the head coach announced his decision to retire. South Dakota finished the 2012-13 season with a 10-20 record, going 5-11 in Summit League play. The Coyotes lost leading scorer Juevol Myles from last season’s team but welcome back junior guard Brandon Bos (11.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and senior center Trevor Gruis (12.3, 6.1).

“Our staff and players will work hard on and off the court and will represent our University and program with great pride,” James stated. “We have a team that is ready to take another step in the process of competing for a Summit League championship. They play hard, compete hard and have great chemistry. Our staff is confident we will get the job done.”

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.