Arizona State hires experienced JUCO head coach Barret Peery to assistant coaching position

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It’s been a rough few weeks for the Arizona State Sun Devils as the Pac-12 squad lost on the NCAA Tournament’s only true buzzer-beater, lost Jahii Carson to the pros, and senior starters Jordan Bachynski and Jermaine Marshall graduated.

Herb Sendek’s squad has also lost three transfers this offseason including Brandan Kearney, Egor Koulechov and Calaen Robinson along with assistant coach Eric Musselman.

The Sun Devils finally got some good news on Friday as the school announced the hiring of successful junior college head coach Barret Peery to an assistant coaching position.

Peery spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Indian Hills Community College, compiling a 93-11 overall record while sending 15 players from the program onto Division I scholarships. Peery also led Indian Hills to the 2013-14 national title game and has previous experience as an assistant coach at Utah under Jim Boylen, while also leading junior college power College of Southern Idaho to an 85-19 mark in three seasons before his stint at Utah.

“Barret has proven to be a great recruiter and coach with a solid background,” said Sendek in the release. “We wanted to move quickly to hire a person who could make a difference in all facets of our program and continue our success and Coach Peery can do just that. We have had great success with our assistant coaches here, and Coach Peery fits the mold of what we have had in the past. He is committed, focused and understands the pace that we want to continue to play.”

The hiring of Peery for Arizona State is interesting for two reasons.

For one, Peery is used to significant roster turnover as a veteran junior college head coach and he’ll be asked to assist an Arizona State program that will need to re-stock on talent after the previously mentioned roster losses sustained this offseason. Peery coached 15 DI players at Indian Hills and 23 more DI players in three years at CSI, so he’s used to recruiting high-level players in a short amount of time while building rosters of players with minimal time together.

Peery’s style of play preference is another interesting tidbit in his hiring under Sendek. While Sendek was noted for his slow style of play before having a jet at point guard like Carson, the veteran head coach sped up the Sun Devils’ offense with Carson at the helm. It’ll be interesting to see which style of play Sendek goes with now that Jahii is moving on to the pros.

This comes into play with Peery because both of his teams at CSI and Indian Hills were among the highest-scoring teams in the country. CSI was the highest-scoring junior college team in the country two of three seasons with Peery at the helm while more of the same occurred at Indian Hills, including a school-record 97.9 points per game in 2012-13.

Can Peery make a difference on the recruiting trail and as a coach for the Sun Devils? Time will tell, but given his track record of recruiting junior college kids and playing in an uptempo system, he should be helpful in the immediate future for Arizona State on the recruiting trail.

Memphis lands commitment from 2018 center Connor Vanover

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Memphis picked up its first commitment in the Class of 2018 on Wednesday night as unique center prospect Connor Vanover announced his decision on Twitter.

At 7-foot-2, Vanover brings elite size to the interior for the Tigers and he’s also skilled enough that he was a 43 percent three-point shooter during his stint playing with Pro Skills in the Nike EYBL this spring. Although Vanover needs to add strength and athleticism to adapt to the college level, he simply has size that you can’t teach. Pair that size with an intriguing perimeter jumper and it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Tubby Smith is able to develop Vanover the next few years.

A three-star prospect according to Rivals, Vanover averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the spring. Originally from Arkansas, Vanover is spending his senior season of high school ball at prep school powerhouse Findlay Prep.

Bill Self unsure of how long he will continue to coach

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Kansas head coach Bill Self is one of the most decorated college basketball coaches of all time.

Recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month, Self has won a record 13 consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships while also claiming a national title for the Jayhawks during his storied career.

But while most legendary coaches in contemporary college basketball have stayed around to coach well into their late 60s or early 70s, the 54-year-old Self doesn’t necessarily see his career playing out that way.

Speaking with ESPN.com reporter Myron Medcalf on Wednesday, Self acknowledged that he’s thinking about potentially retiring once his next contract ends after the 2021-22 season. With five more years left on his current deal, that would mean that Self would be retiring before he would even turn 60.

“I’ve said all along that if I could go to my late 50s, that’d be good for me,” Self said to Medcalf. “Now that I’m getting close to my late 50s, I’m like, ‘Well…’ but my contract runs until I’m 59, so I’ve got five more years left. I definitely want to do that. Then whatever happens after that I’d be happy with whatever. But I don’t want to [coach too late].”

While Hall of Fame coaches like Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (72 years old), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (70 years old) and North Carolina’s Roy Williams (67 years old) are showing no signs of slowing down, Self acknowledged to Medcalf that coach, and specifically recruiting, has started to take its toll on him.

“With recruiting the way that it is, it just wears you down,” Self said to Medcalf.

With Kansas pursuing so many potential one-and-done prospects over the past few seasons, it means that Self usually has to recruit sizable recruiting classes

Self is certainly entitled to do what he wants with his career and his life but it would be a shame to see one of the game’s greats hang it up at that point in his career. Potentially retiring at that age means that Self won’t chase 1,000 wins or any additional longevity records

Ohio State lands second pledge in two days with 2018 guard Duane Washington

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Ohio State stayed hot on the recruiting trail on Wednesday as the Buckeyes landed a commitment from Class of 2018 guard Duane Washington.

The 6-foot-3 Washington is the second commitment for Ohio State and new head coach Chris Holtmann in the last two days after four-star forward Jaedon LeDee pledged to the Buckeyes on Tuesday.

One of the better shooters in the Class of 2018, Washington averaged 14.9 points per game on tremendous shooting splits (48% FG, 87% FT, 45% 3PT) playing with The Family in the Nike EYBL this spring. A Michigan native who now resides in California, Washington gives Ohio State a much-needed guard commitment in the Class of 2018.

With the Buckeyes needing to fill a lot of scholarships due to roster turnover, Washington is a solid start to their perimeter class. While Washington isn’t likely to play point guard, he can play multiple perimeter spots and should be a solid addition to the Buckeye rotation.

Syracuse walk-on accused of sexual assault

Syracuse Post-Standard
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Dominick Parker, an 18-year old freshman who was added to the Syracuse roster as a walk-on just 12 days ago, was arrested last Friday and charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, reports Syracuse.com.

Parker is accused of having sexual contact with an 18-year old female student while she was incapable of giving consent. His name and picture have been removed from the Syracuse athletics website.

“Sexual and relationship violence is not tolerated at Syracuse University,” the school said in a statement. “We are now doing all that we can to support and provide assistance to those affected by the alleged incident. As this is an ongoing investigation, Syracuse University will not be providing further comment.”

Wichita State to sell beer at Koch Arena

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As if it wasn’t already hard enough to win games at Koch Arena.

Starting this season, Wichita State fans will be able to buy beer during games at their home arena, a fact that should ensure that the raucous home environs that have made the Shockers so difficult to beat in Wichita remains the same.

That’s not a bad thing to add to a home court advantage while making the move into a new conference, the American, for the 2017-18 season.

Once a rarity, beer at college sporting events in a growing trend. Minnesota, Florida and Texas, among a number of others have added alcohol sales in recent years. Given the money that would seem likely to be generated, it’s a trend that will probably become even more pervasive in college athletics.

Let’s just make sure that everyone partakes in moderation.