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The Secondary Break: Monday’s Links

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Former La Salle great Tom Gola passes away (Philadelphia Daily News)
On Sunday it was reported that Tom Gola, who led the La Salle Explorers to NCAA and NIT titles as a player, passed away at the age of 81. In four seasons at La Salle, Gola accounted for 2,461 points and 2,201 rebounds, with the rebounding total being a mark that likely won’t be reached again.

Ex-RMU coach Schmidt has transformed St. Bonaventure (TimesOnline.com)
After putting Robert Morris in a position where they could eventually win the Northeast Conference and reach the NCAA tournament, Mark Schmidt accepted the position at St. Bonaventure with the Bonnies having gone 24-88 under Anthony Solomon. What Schmidt has done in Olean is turn the program in the right direction, even reaching the NCAA tournament in 2012.

Virginia Cavaliers on Emersonian win streak (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
With their blowout win over Virginia Tech on Saturday, Virginia moved to 6-1 in ACC play with all six wins being by double digits. Head coach Tony Bennett used the occasion to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson while addressing his players, noting that “a hero is not fed on sweets.”

Stony Brook’s Anthony Jackson embracing bench role (Big Apple Buckets)
Stony Brook is the lone remaining undefeated team in America East, and while players such as Jameel Warney and David Coley have been key pieces so has Anthony Jackson. Jackson, a senior guard, has been referred to as a “sixth starter” by head coach Steve Pikiell.

Pitt’s Lamar Patterson: Focus on performance, not Wooden snub (Sporting News)
One of the players surprisingly left off of the midseason Wooden Award list was Pittsburgh senior forward Lamar Patterson, who has been a key figure for a team that’s been among the best in the ACC. But that doesn’t concern Patterson, who’s focused on more important matters such as the team’s game against Duke on Monday night.

Seniors, upperclassmen share spotlight with superstar freshmen (USA Today)
The freshmen arrived on the scene amidst much fanfare, but as the season’s worn on a number of older players have stepped forward across the country. Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Syracuse’s C.J. Fair and UConn’s Shabazz Napier are just a couple of the players who have had major impacts on college basketball this season.

With less flash, Bluejay Brooks making a splash (Omaha World-Herald)
Creighton junior guard Devon Brooks has been an important addition for the Bluejays, especially with Grant Gibbs currently out of the lineup with a knee injury. But there was some fine-tuning to be done, as Brooks needed to remove some of the flash in order to become a more effective player.

California’s Justin Cobbs, Richard Solomon bring balance to court (Los Angeles Times)
While California’s trip to southern California didn’t go as planned, with the Golden Bears losing to both USC and UCLA, they’re still in a tie for second place with the Arizona schools visiting Berkeley this week. Two key players are point guard Justin Cobbs and power forward Richard Solomon, who have been friends since high school.

Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year

Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long defends Buffalo guard Jarryn Skeete during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 84-63. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
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Iowa State got a boost to its roster for next season as senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long has been granted a hardship waiver by the Big 12 conference.

“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”

The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.

CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.

The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.

The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.

 

VIDEOS: Stephen Curry’s personally invites athletes to his select camp

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, holds the championship trophy and Andre Iguodala holds the series MVP trophy as they celebrate winning the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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As he did last year, the NBA’s MVP is sending out personal invites to Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp for some of the best high school and college point guards in the country.

It’s a pretty cool thing for the kids. Can you imagine how you would feel as a high school junior getting a personalized invitation to a camp from Stephen Curry himself?

 

VIDEO: John Calipari vows to lose some weight

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John Calipari has a goal this offseason: to lose some weight.

“Mid-50s, I let it go a little bit,” Calipari said as he worked out on an elliptical. “Had a heck of a year. But going forward, gotta get in better shape. Gotta get the body right. Started a week ago. What I will say to you is really simple. I’m not showing you my body for a month.”

The reason why Cal needs to get into shape?

He’s going to have to coach this year, because Tyler Ulis is heading to the NBA.

“I shoulda got some of his salary,” Ulis joked.

Cal won’t have to coach too hard. He’s got one of the best recruiting classes in the country coming into the program, including three top ten players and five of the nation’s top 30 prospects.

Four-star PG Jaylen Fisher de-commits from UNLV

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Coaching changes can wreak havoc on a program’s recruiting class, and that’s been the case for UNLV thanks to the tumultuous nature of their search for a new head coach. Thursday evening one prospect who remained committed to the Mountain West program throughout the process that ultimately led to Marvin Menzies landing the job announced that he’s decided to reopen his recruitment.

Four-star point guard Jaylen Fisher, ranked 55th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals.com, announced via social media that he’s decided to de-commit from UNLV.

“I was very much looking forward to the opportunity to be a Rebel this year,” Fisher wrote. “But there have been a lot of changes with the program since I committed to UNLV; changes that have made me reconsider whether UNLV is still a good fit for me. So with that in mind and after much consideration with my family, I have decided it’s best that I reopen my recruitment.”

Fisher’s decision leaves wing Justin Jackson as the lone member of UNLV’s 2016 class at this point, with Jackson telling Scout.com in early April that he was undecided as to whether or not he’d reopen his recruitment. The school’s search for a coach began in January when they parted ways with Dave Rice, promoting Todd Simon in an interim role.

After deciding not to retain Simon, who’s now the head coach at Southern Utah, UNLV hired former Little Rock head coach Chris Beard…who left for Texas Tech less than two weeks later. UNLV landed Menzies, who they passed over for Beard, and he’s got a lot of work to do to field a roster that will be competitive in the Mountain West next season.

As for Fisher, the Arlington, Tennessee native should be a popular prospect with his decision to reopen things. And with Memphis losing former commit Charlie Moore, the Tigers are in need of help at the point. The question now is whether or not new head coach Tubby Smith will look to reach out to Fisher.

h/t Memphis Commercial-Appeal