calipari

The Secondary Break: Friday’s Links

1 Comment

College Basketball’s Top 25 Coaching Gigs (Sports on Earth)
It’s a topic that tends to come up just about every spring, with the coaching carousel leading many to wonder which head coaching jobs are the best in the sport. Will Leitch of Sports on Earth put together his list of the 25 best head coaching jobs in college basketball, with the usual suspects leading the way at the top.

The narrative of Andrew Wiggins is already growing tiresome (Busting Brackets)
“To those whom much is given, much is expected.” For college basketball’s top players with their status comes a great amount of scrutiny. Such has been life for Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins, whose performances are picked apart on a nightly basis. And for some, the narrative that has accompanied the freshman has become tiresome.

Shabazz Muhammad’s father pleads guilty in federal fraud case (Los Angeles Times)
On Thursday afternoon Ron Holmes, the father of former UCLA wing Shabazz Muhammad, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit federal fraud in connection with some real estate deals he made in the Las Vegas area. Holmes, who originally entered a not guilty plea in May, received six months house arrest in 2000 a similar charge in Los Angeles County.

Louisville’s Mangok Mathiang trying to follow Gorgui Dieng’s growth curve (Louisville Courier-Journal)
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino made the decision a short time ago to move Mangok Mathiang into the starting lineup, and while some fans may have expected Mathiang to immediately become “Gorgui Dieng 2.0” the process will take longer than that. The hope is that in time Mathiang will be able to add some weight (he currently weighs 212 pounds) and become an impact player in the post.

“Return to Rec” as much about history as it is future (State College News)
On Saturday Penn State will host Princeton, but instead of playing in their usual home building (the spacious Bryce Jordan Center) the Nittany Lions will do so at Rec Hall. Rec Hall was the program’s home for decades and Penn State was very tough to beat there, as they racked up a winning percentage of 73.7%. Penn State last played at Rec Hall in January 1996 before moving into the Bryce Jordan Center.

Memphis head coach Josh Pastner donates $250,000 to building plan (Associated Press)
On Thursday Memphis head coach Josh Pastner made the greatest contribution made by a head coach in the history of the program, as he donated $250,000 meant to help improve the athletic facilities on campus. One of those upgrades is expected to be a new practice and training facility for the basketball program.

DeAndre Kane carries father’s dream with him at Iowa State (CBS Sports)
Iowa State senior guard DeAndre Kane’s been one of the best transfers in the country thus far, helping to lead the way for a team that’s undefeated entering Friday’s game against No. 23 Iowa. Kane’s pushed forward despite losing his father in February 2012, wearing the number 50 in his honor.

Starting 5: Atlantic 10 better than the Big East? Very possibly (Sporting News)
Non-conference play gives us the opportunity to evaluate conferences and how they stack up against other leagues. And thanks to its solid start and successful runs by member teams in multiple in-season tournaments the Atlantic 10 has been better than some anticipated. And according to Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, the A-10 could be closing the gap between itself and the Big East.

Villanova’s Jenkins to return for senior season

Villanova forward Kris Jenkins (2) reacts to play against North Carolina during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Leave a comment

After briefly taking part in the NBA Draft evaluation process, Villanova forward Kris Jenkins announced Monday night that he’s decided to withdraw and return to school for his senior year. Jenkins, whose three-pointer as time expired gave the Wildcats the win over North Carolina in the national title game, announced the news via Twitter.

2015-16 was a breakout season for Jenkins, who moved into the starting lineup and averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The 6-foot-6 forward shot 45.9 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc, and with starters Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu graduating he’ll have even more opportunities to produce next season.

Jenkins’ decision to return leaves wing Josh Hart as the lone Wildcats going through the early entry process at this time. Hart was a first team All-Big East selection as a junior, and his return would be the final piece to the puzzle for a team that many expect to be a national title contender in 2016-17.

Jenkins and Hart wouldn’t be the only returnees who had a part in the national title run, with guards Jalen Brunson and Phil Booth, wing Mikal Bridges and forward Darryl Reynolds back as well. To that group Villanova adds Fordham transfer Eric Paschall and a recruiting class anchored by Omari Spellman and Dylan Painter with Donte DiVincenzo and Tim Delaney available after being hampered by injuries last season.

Delaney missed all of last year after undergoing surgical procedures on his hips, and DiVincenzo played a total of 74 minutes over the first nine games before having to sit due to a broken foot.

Florida State guard Rathan-Mayes to return for junior season

Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) drives past Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger, left, for a score in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
Leave a comment

With their top three scorers from last season all deciding to declare for the NBA Draft, Florida State was facing the possibility of having to rebuild their backcourt ahead of the 2016-17 season. However two of those three have decided to return to Tallahassee, with rising junior Xavier Rathan-Mayes announcing on Monday that he will be back in school.

Rathan-Mayes joins rising sophomore Dwayne Bacon in returning to play another season for head coach Leonard Hamilton, with Malik Beasley hiring representation and remaining in the draft.

Rathan-Mayes had more scoring help last season and as a result was able to concentrate more on the distribution aspects of the point guard position, as he averaged 11.8 points and 4.4 assists per contest. With the return of Rathan-Mayes and Bacon, Florida State will have two of its top three scorers from last season back on campus.

The Seminoles did lose some veteran players, most notably guard Devon Bookert and center Boris Bojanovsky, but the returnees and a recruiting class led by McDonald’s All-American forward Jonathan Isaac means that they won’t lack for options next season.

Auburn lands third transfer within the last week

Auburn guard T.J. Dunans (4) and coach Bruce Pearl celebrate a 75-74 win over UAB in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala.  (Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP)
Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP
Leave a comment

After receiving commitments from former Purdue/Houston guard Ronnie Johnson and former Presbyterian forward DeSean Murray, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl continued to load up on the transfer market Monday. Forward LaRon Smith, who was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year at Bethune-Cookman last season, announced that he will use his final season of eligibility at the SEC program.

Like Smith, Johnson will also be eligible to compete immediately for the Tigers while Murray will have to sit out next season before having two years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-8 Smith played two seasons at Georgia State before transferring to Bethune-Cookman, where he averaged 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest in 2015-16. Smith played just over 25 minutes per game for the Wildcats, shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

Smith reached double figures in scoring in four of the Wildcats’ final seven games, including a 20-point, 11-rebound, three-block outing in an overtime win over North Carolina A&T. He joins a front court in need of depth following the departures of the likes of Cinmeon Bowers and Tyler Harris, with Horace Spencer, Trayvon Reed and incoming freshman Anfernee McLemore also competing for minutes in 2016-17.

SMU lands former Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt

Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt (24) leaps for a layup past Tennessee guard Shembari Phillips (25) during an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Arkansas won 75-65. (Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP
Leave a comment

With a five-member recruiting class set to arrive on campus this summer, SMU added a talented transfer Monday afternoon. Jimmy Whitt, who played his freshman season at Arkansas, committed to join Larry Brown’s program. Whitt, a 6-foot-4 guard from Columbia, Missouri, will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 campaign.

As a freshman at Arkansas, Whitt averaged 6.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in just over 17 minutes of action per game. He reached double figures in scoring nine time, with the high being a 15-point outing in a blowout win over Missouri in mid-January. Whitt produced a stretch of four consecutive games in double figures during non-conference play, but he struggled to maintain that consistency against SEC competition.

At SMU he’ll join a perimeter rotation that will lose rising senior Sterling Brown following the 2016-17 season. Among those who will have eligibility remaining when Whitt becomes eligible are Ben Emelogu, Shake Milton, Jarrey Foster and incoming freshmen Tom Wilson and Dashawn McDowell.

 

Boise State assistant named head coach at Northern Colorado

rp_primary_Linder_Jeff_Action_vs_Dayton_031815_2_
Courtesy UNCBears.com
Leave a comment

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) Jeff Linder is the new basketball coach at Northern Colorado. He spent the last six seasons at Boise State, where he was associate head coach for the Broncos since 2013-14.

Linder replaces B.J. Hill, who was fired last month amid an NCAA investigation into allegations of violations in the program.

University President Kay Norton and Athletic Director Darren Dunn announced Linder’s hiring Sunday.

Linder played high school ball in Lafayette, Colorado, and college ball at Mesa State and Western Colorado State. He began his coaching career under Colorado head coach Ricardo Patton.

In a statement, Linder said, “I look forward to returning home to the state of Colorado and continuing to build this program into something everyone can be proud of.”

Hill was 86-98 in six seasons at UNC.