With Cuonzo Martin making the decision to bring two of his assistants from Tennessee with him to California, there was a need to add a coach familiar with recruiting California and the rest of the west coast. And according to multiple reports Sunday, Martin’s taken care of that with the addition of Yanni Hufnagel to the Cal coaching staff.
While there’s been no official announcement with regards to the move, it was confirmed by Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean.
Hufnagel’s making the move to Berkeley after spending a season on Kevin Stallings’ staff at Vanderbilt, and his impact from a recruiting standpoint was felt immediately in Nashville. The hope for California is that this occurs in Berkeley as well, with the state being home to a number of the nation’s best high school prospects.
While this is both a positive and important development for Cal, which currently has just one commitment in the 2014 class (center Kingsley Okoroh), it’s a tough one for Vanderbilt. Hufnagel is the second assistant to leave Stallings’ staff this offseason, with David Cason making the move to VCU last month. Hufnagel’s move west leaves Vanderbilt with one assistant at present time in Tom Richardson, who has been a member of Stallings’ staff since the 2003-04 season.
The positive for Vanderbilt is that these moves are occurring in May, giving Stallings time to find replacements ahead of the three critical July open periods.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.
For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year.
On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.
Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.
Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.
In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.
As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.
(More to come from Chapel Hill…)
North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.
(H/T: The Cauldron)