One day after it was announced that Maryland assistant coach Dalonte Hill would take a leave of absence from the program, details have emerged regarding the events that led to his being arrested on charges including driving under intoxication.
In a story by Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun, a Howard County (Md.) police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn stated that Hill’s car struck a wooden electrical pole prior to his being stopped by law enforcement.
According to Sherry Llewellyn, Hill was questioned by an officer who was on duty in the vicinity of the Bottom of the Bay Seafood restaurant when she saw his truck hit the pole. The officer said that after talking with Hill, she smelled alcohol on his breath and observed other signs that he had been drinking.
Hill, 34, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, as well as failing to control a vehicle in order to avoid an accident. It was the third drunk driving charge against Hill in the past five years, and his second in 21 months. Hill has been ordered to appear in Howard County District Court on Jan. 17 at 9 a.m.
As was stated by many before the police report was made available, this could have been a whole lot worse for Hill. Hopefully the time away from coaching will allow Hill to properly address whatever the issue(s) may be.
With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.
Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.
“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”
Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.
As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.
Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.
“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.
“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”
Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group. Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.
As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.