After putting together a record of 49-47 in his first three seasons as the head coach at Texas A&M, Billy Kennedy made the decision to change things up on his coaching staff. Glynn Cyprien and John Reese weren’t retained, and as a result Kennedy had two spots on his staff to fill heading into the summer.
After hiring Amir Abdur-Rahim to fill one vacancy, it’s been reported by multiple outlets that Kennedy will add a coach familiar with the SEC to complete his staff.
According to both Logan Lee of TexAgs.com and Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Texas A&M will hire former Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury to be an assistant on Kennedy’s staff. Stansbury spent 14 seasons in Starkville, putting together a record of 293-166 and leading the Bulldogs to six NCAA tournament appearances.
Stansbury and Abdur-Rahim join Kyle Keller, the lone holdover from the 2013-14 coaching staff, as Kennedy’s assistants heading into the 2014-15 season.
The addition of Stansbury gives Kennedy a coach not only well-versed in coaching in the SEC but also a solid recruiter, which will help Texas A&M as it looks to improve its standing within the conference. Because while football has certainly adjusted well to its new surroundings, the same can’t be said for the basketball program. Texas A&M has made just one postseason tournament appearance during Kennedy’s tenure, reaching the CBI this past season.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
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