As the head coach at Wisconsin since 2001, Bo Ryan’s led the program to 321 wins and this past season the Final Four for the first time since 2000. With that being the case the school saw fit to reward the head coach with a contract extension, and on Saturday the school athletic board has approved that decision.
Ryan’s deal will now run through the 2018-19 season, and he stands to receive a $100,000 raise each year of the deal. Ryan, who according to the Associated Press made around $2.3 million in 2013-14, received a $60,000 bonus as a result of his leading the Badgers to the Final Four.
Wisconsin finished the 2013-14 season with a 30-8 record, falling to Kentucky in the national semifinals. And with Ben Brust being the lone departing starter, the expectation is that the Badgers will be a national title contender in 2014-15.
Frank Kaminsky, one of the nation’s most improved players, will be back as will forward Sam Dekker and guards Josh Gasser and Traevon Jackson. Wisconsin will also return multiple bench contributors (Nigel Hayes, Duje Dukan and Bronson Koenig), and incoming freshman Ethan Happ has received positive reviews for his play with Team USA at the Albert Schweitzer Games in Germany.
The United States team finished second in the event, falling to Italy in the title game, but Happ was named tournament MVP.
The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.
The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.
It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.
Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.
The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.
Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”
It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.