Despite an overall record of 17-14 (10-6 America East), the 2012-13 season was a historic one for the Hartford Hawks. Why? The program made its first-ever postseason appearance as a Division I member, earning a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. As a result head coach John Gallagher was rewarded with a contract extension through the 2017-18 season, with the school announcing the news on Wednesday.
“We are extremely confident in the direction of our men’s basketball program and we’re excited to see what Coach Gallagher and his staff can build in the future,” director of athletics Pat Meiser said in the release. “The success we had this season along with what we have returning next year is very encouraging. I am pleased with the level of competitiveness and am confident that that will only continue to rise.”
Those 17 wins matched the school record for wins in a season, with the 1989-90 squad (Vin Baker was a freshman on that team) being the last to win that many games. And with this year’s team returning more than 90 percent of its points and rebounds from last season, including first team All-America East selection Mark Nwakamma (14.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg), the Hawks could potentially establish a new school record for wins in a season.
And they’ll attempt to do so in a league that looks slightly different, as Boston University left America East to join the Patriot League with provisional Division I member UMass-Lowell taking their place as America East’s ninth member. However, even with that switch Stony Brook and Vermont are still around, as is reigning America East tournament champion Albany. Hartford has the pieces needed to contend this season, and the administration believes it has the coach who can lead the program to heights it has yet to reach at the Division I level.
“I’d like to thank Walter Harrison for his faith in me,” Gallagher stated. “I would also like to thank Pat Meiser for the support she has provided to me and the program throughout the last three years.
“My family and I are grateful that we have an administration that is behind our growing program and has the same vision and the same mission as the staff here. I’m really exciting about the years to come.”
One of the top points guards in the Class of 2017 has trimmed his list of potential collegiate destinations to six.
Trae Young, a consensus top-25 recruit, listed Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oklahoma State and Kentucky as the schools he is considering as he readies to begin his senior year of high school.
The list of the 6-foot-2 point guard is largely provincial as it includes Oklahoma, whose campus is just minutes away from Young’s Norman North High School, and fellow in-state school Oklahoma. Another pair of Big 12 schools make the list in powerhouse Kansas and the Red Raiders, whose first-year coach, Chris Beard, has spent the bulk of his career working in Texas. Texas Tech is also Young’s father’s alma mater. Washington has been on a role sending its players to the pros and recently received the commitment of top-five 2017 recruit Michael Porter, Jr.
Kentucky, of course, needs no explanation as to its attractiveness to high-level players.
Clemson will get a four-star recruit on campus a year earlier than it expected, though his on-court debut for the Tigers will remain on schedule.
A.J. Oliver, a guard from South Carolina, will enroll early at Clemson and redshirt this upcoming season, he announced via social media Wednesday.
“I woke up this morning and realized that the greatest opportunity for me is to enroll early into Clemson,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will redshirt a year & start my college career early.”
Oliver, whose mother is the head women’s basketball coach at Clemson, was a consensus top-100 player in the class of 2017 who committed to the Tigers last December. Texas Tech and the College of Charleston were involved before his commitment.
A three-star shooting guard, Scott Spencer of Virginia, was previously the only member coach Brad Brownell’s 2016 class. While Oliver’s decision to redshirt will keep him off the court for the 2016-17 season, he’ll have spent a full season in the Tiger program before making his debut in 2017
The cupboard isn’t bare in 2017 for the Tigers due to Oliver’s reclassification because Clemson received a commitment from power forward Malik Williams, a consensus top-150 player, earlier Wednesday.
Kentucky used Calipari-Chaney fight in media training
Kentucky held some media training sessions yesterday, and one of the topics that head coach John Calipari used to make a point was … his blow-up with John Chaney. The moment was captured on SnapChat by a trio of Kentucky newcomers.
You remember that incident. Chaney, then the head coach at Temple, and Cal, who was coaching Atlantic 10 rival UMass at the time, nearly came to blows over the way that Cal handled officials during the game. Before the video below picks up, the two shared this exchange:
“Could I say this to you, please?” Chaney said, before the video above picks up. “You’ve got a good ball club. But what you did with the officials out there is wrong, and I don’t want to be a party to that. You understand?”
Cal responded: “You weren’t out there, Coach. You don’t have any idea.”
Chaney fired back: “You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, O.K.? Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don’t want to be a party to that.”