The star of Marquette’s 2014 recruiting class won’t be heading to Marquette after all.
Ahmed Hill announced on twitter on Thursday night that he had been released from his letter of intent and will be reopening his recruitment. Hill is a 6-foot-5 off-guard from Georgia that ranks as the No. 69 recruit in the country, according to Rivals.
Hill is the first of Marquette’s five-man recruiting class to make it official that he will not be a Golden Eagle under new head coach Steve Wojciechowski. Malek Harris and Marial Shayok are still considering Marquette while reopening their recruitment. Sandy Cohen, another top 100 guard, confirmed that he will still be attending Marquette while Satchel Pierce has said nothing publicly either way.
Hill tweeted to Marquette fans last night:
“To all the Marquette fans, students and alumni: I truly love Marquette and wish that I could have put on that uniform and played in front of you guys. Unfortunately, I chose Marquette because of the relationship me and Coach Buzz and Coach Chew had. I just didn’t feel that same relationship with the new coach. [Your] guys school was great, it truly was. I have been released from Marquette and I will choose a decide on another college. This was a difficult decision that me and my family thought and prayed about. Sorry if I let any of you guys down, sorry MU Nation, love you guys.”
First of all, that’s a class gesture from Hill.
Second of all, this is the second example in three days of a player committing to a coach instead of a school. Kingsley Okoroh committed to Tennessee on Monday. Cuonzo Martin left Tennessee for Cal on Tuesday. An hour later, Okoroh was committed to Cal.
Maybe one day the NCAA will admit as much, particularly when it comes to the signing of a national letter of intent.
And maybe one day I’ll be as rich as Bill Gates.
With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.
And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.
Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.
Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.
Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.
Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.
“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”
While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.