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.”

PHOTO: Baylor shows off new uniforms

Scott Drew
Associated Press
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Wednesday afternoon the Baylor basketball program sent out some images of its uniform combinations for the upcoming season, and the volt color way that first made a splash in 2012 is back. Baylor’s got four different uniforms it can wear this season: home (white), away (green) and two alternate uniforms.

While there is some volt green in each of the four uniforms, its presence is relatively tame compared to the uniforms Scott Drew’s program wore back in 2012. Of course those uniforms were part of adidas’ AdiZero uniform release (Baylor is now outfitted by Nike), with two other schools (Cincinnati and Louisville) wearing colorful uniforms with shorts that had “interesting” patterns on them.

While some of the new uniform designs in college sports have received some pushback from fans and alums, this stuff is about the players and recruits programs look to land for the future. Everyone likes free stuff, and when it comes to apparel for young athletes having something that’s both free and “exclusive” is seen as a positive.

Pressure is on new coach Steve Prohm at Iowa State

Steve Prohm
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AMES, Iowa (AP) Five months ago, Iowa State’s Steve Prohm was the coach at mid-major Murray State. Now he’s in charge of one of the big favorites in the Big 12.

Prohm officially began his first season in charge of the Cyclones on Tuesday with the team’s annual media day.

Iowa State has all the pieces to make a run at the league title and more – provided that Prohm can handle coaching college basketball at the highest level, of course.

In the minds of Prohm’s players, the Cyclones have nothing to worry about.

“Coach (Prohm) is in here earning our trust and our respect every day,” said senior forward Georges Niang. “Even though he’s not trying to cross any of our toes, he puts his foot down when he needs to and lets us know that stuff needs to get done. I think he has a great combination of how to keep us motivated…and still be stern and be able to get the most out of us.”

Fred Hoiberg’s departure for the Chicago Bulls after five mostly successful seasons gave Prohm a shot at a national title. The roster Hoiberg left behind for Prohm is loaded.

Niang, a likely preseason first-team All-American, second-team All-Big 12 point guard Monte Morris and league defensive player of the year Jameel McKay headline one of the nation’s most talented starting units. Throw in veterans like Naz Long, Matt Thomas, Abdel Nader and transfer Deonte Burton, and Prohm might just have the best roster a new Power Five coach has inherited since Bill Guthridge took over for Dean Smith at North Carolina in 1997.

Guthridge reached the Final Four with his first team.

Prohm isn’t shying away from the notion that Iowa State is among the handful of teams with serious national title aspirations.

“Yeah, they’re realistic,” Prohm said when asked about the sky-high expectations for this year’s team. “I think we have the opportunity to have a very special season.”

The similarities between what type of styles Prohm and Hoiberg use was cited as a big reason why Iowa State hired him. Hoiberg even lobbied for Prohm to athletic director Jamie Pollard during the hiring process.

To that end, Prohm is going to let his players have a ton of input on how they play. Prohm doesn’t plan many changes, just tweaks that mostly involve techniques to improve Iowa State’s somewhat inconsistent rebounding and defense.

“I don’t need to say, `This is the way we’re doing things guys because this is the way I did it.’ That’s stupid,” Prohm said. “I need to meet these guys halfway.”

Prohm also acknowledged that he’ll be doing quite a bit of learning himself this season. But Prohm said he intends to embrace the unique opportunity he’s been afforded.

“This is a great situation to walk into. No question,” Prohm said. “Is there pressure? Yeah. But who wants a job with no pressure?”